Say Wut: Baltimore Breaks Man
- Words: Michael Byrne
It doesn’t take living in Baltimore to know a Say Wut track. The anthems, the bombastic horns, the overflowing, overpowered synths–the producer brings it harder than even some of the oldest of Baltimore club producers, cats who were making the stuff back when it was in its rawest, primordial chop-on-the-fly form.
Say Wut wants to rule your body absolutely all of the time and then pick you up off the floor post-collapse and send you back out into the sweating throng. While Blaqstarr–club music’s de facto statesman outside of B-more–wants to get you laid, Say Wut just wants you to go: get hyper, pop off, whatever.
That “go” is this supremely relaxed and humble producer’s watermark, a sample of a Freebloodz lyric that you probably couldn’t find in 10 years alone with the Atlanta crew’s discography. “No one would even believe where I got that sample,” Say Wut half-brags to me in his West Baltimore basement studio. (Hint: Lil Jon did the beat.) It’s just the word “go” pitched and pumped up ’til it sounds like it could start the next wave of Baltimore riots. “I can sit here now and trick a sample so many different ways,” he says.
”Go” is in damn near every Say Wut track and hasn’t started a riot yet, no matter how often his beats are killing dancefloors in Baltimore. On this summer’s drag race of an EP, Keep Rockin’, it gets another cozy home in “Go Pt. 2,” the sequel to Wut’s trademark anthem. “People like [that sample] so much; I wanted to keep on this path of Mr. Go, DJ Say Wut,” he says. “Go–that’s a hot sound to me. It can mean a million different things to any individual.”
Right now Say Wut is making club tracks for Baltimore’s venerable Unruly Records, along with running his own recording studio, production house, and DJ collective, Horsemen Entertainment. Horsemen is named after his old dance crew, which pretty much owned floors under the decks of club originators Scottie B and DJ Big L, long before Say Wut even touched a pair of 1200s.
Say Wut started off with the dancing, moving into DJing only in the past few years to help with Horsemen’s bottom line. “[As dancers], we heard certain things; we knew what would set the whole club off,” he explains. “We knew what would set the whole precedent of the entire club. They made circles around us. Once they saw [our] reaction, they would react on a song. That’s where I [learned] what would work in the club. From a dancer to a producer to a DJ… It’s still hard; I play certain things and I just want to go out there and get down.”
- September 18: New Forms Festival 2014 with Oneohtrix Point Never, Hieroglyphic Being, Helena Hauff, Madlib, and More
- September 24: Decibel Festival with Marcel Dettmann, KiNK, FaltyDL, John Roberts, Steffi, Simian Mobile Disco, and More
- October 15: Amsterdam Dance Event with Four Tet, DJ Koze, Jon Hopkins, Karenn, Ben UFO, Floating Points, MCDE, Talaboman, and More
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