Music Is a Lifestyle

By Anthony Wise

Instructor’s note: Here, Anthony tries to resolve the great Go-Go versus Baltimore Club music debate.

All around the world there are different types of lifestyles and music within these lifestyles. Music usually is a term of expression for that type of lifestyle. In the United States alone there are many styles of music. Rhythm and Blues, known as R&B, Rap, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Reggaeton, Crunk, Hyphy, Jazz, Rock and Roll and several others. Being raised in the Mid-Atlantic coast of the U.S., I have been exposed to two special genres of music which have left a great impact on my life, Baltimore Club Music and Go-Go.

Baltimore club music also called “Club Music” is a genre of party music. A blend of hip hop and chopped, staccato house music. This style of music was created in Baltimore, Maryland in the early 1990s. Club music is based on an 8 on 4 beat structure and approximately 130 beats per minute. This means that club music is anticipated for fast paced dancing that combines repetitive, looped vocal snippets similar to the ghetto-tech style of music. These samples are often used from currently produced songs in today’s society. However, they can also be simple repeated chants, sayings, or phrases. Club music is played in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and Newark, NJ as well as its hometown of Baltimore, MD. The instrumental tracks include heavy break beats. There are call and response stanzas similar to those found in go-go music.

Go-go’s essential beat is characterized by a dotted rhythm. Dramatically emphasized by the bass drum and snare drum this style of music provides a variety of instrumental sound the ear of its listeners. A swing rhythm is usually tempo of the music. Other instruments include the conga drums, timbale, and hand-held cowbells. An important attribute in go-go is the call-and-response with the crowd. It is usually during concerts or go-go dance parties. Go-go bands reach little success outside of the Washington, D.C. metro area. The style lives on and continues to evolve.

In a sense these two styles of music are quite similar. It’s only that the people from each of these cities do not care to listen or branch out to the other style of music. It causes hate crime and other logistics which leads to violence in communities of which both styles of music are played. It would be beneficial if more were eclectic and able to adapt to new cultures easily. As youth, especially in the urban communities, we should all be supportive of one another. It would show others that we are strong and together can make a difference. Also to change the stereotypes of the music we listen to and persona of our character.


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2 Responses to “Music Is a Lifestyle”

  1. fryntink Says:

    I’m not even from the Maryland/D.C. area, but I think you have a good point. We should change those stereotypes, and the stereotypes that come with all other types of music as well (i.e. metal, “emo,” punk, indie, pop, rap, techno, classical, blues, jazz, etc.)

  2. novaboii get-em Says:

    Yep I lived in the DMV area for four years and all i hear is “we just don’t like B-more music, and they don’t like ours” When these two meet in a place over a period of time then violence is bound to errupt. For example just yesterday 9/10/08 a fight broke out at a local basketball game on campus…….a dc/pg vs. b-more basketball game. sad….sad….the local authorities came and people were maced…..if there was not hostility between the two groups because of music or anything, would this have happened? most likely not.

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