Spank Rock - Tell Me What It Look Like, Tell Me What It Is

Enter Spank Rock, come to turn your preconceptions on their heads, steal your girl, and claim the hip-hop crown for Baltimore

Feature by Bram Gieben | 16 Apr 2006
How long has it been since you heard genuinely fresh and original hip-hop from the US? Apart from the few star-travellers who occupy the fringes of the scene - the Anticon crew, Ammoncontact, Prefuse 73 and their ilk, Madlib and other former Lootpack alumni - original hip-hop is thin on the ground in the new commercial era of R & B, or: "Rap and bullshit," as the Wu-Tang once called it.

Enter Spank Rock, come to turn you preconceptions on their heads, steal your girl, and claim the hip-hop crown for Baltimore. Moving on from their successful Hollertronix parties, where Spank would rhyme over 145 bpm James Brown breaks with the bass on blast, he and his DJ xxxChange have bagged a deal with UK label Big Dada, home of Roots Manuva, and are set to release their debut 'YoYoYoYoYo' in April. Lead single Backyard Betty has been blowing up dancefloors of every kind - a filthy sex rhyme over heavy, hardcore digital beats and an old-skool, 2 Live Crew flavour. The album itself is an instant classic - incorporating the production techniques of the Baltimore Bass Connection (which includes fellow Big Dada signings Diplo), xxxChange brings the sound of the underground clubs to an international arena, creating a sound that is abrasive and dirty, referencing all the most exciting movements in dance and hip-hop at once: from ghettotech to grime, from electro to crunk and back again.

Spank's rhymes are witty, delivered at breakneck speed, with self-reflexive rhythmic patterns and epic disses the likes of which have not been seen since Ultramagnetic MCs' classic album 'Critical Beatdown' from 1986. The cocky, assured way he drops his rhymes belies his youth, and is a contrast to the inflated egotism of his hip-hop peers. Spank Rock is confident in himself, undoubtedly, but his pride is centred in the music, the Hollertronix parties and the lifestyle, rather than the whips, chains and hos. It makes sense that Spank Rock has signed to a UK label. The drug-soaked, party-hard atmosphere of his debut is a million miles from the gritty urban fairytales of 50 Cent and his ilk.

In an era where gangsta has become a parody, Spank kills it - making tough wannabe mobsters look like dodos; making the college-radio boys look like the "hemp-hacky-sacking motherfuckers" (from Coke n Wet) they have always been. 'YoYoYoYoYo' even comes with its own ridiculous dance move, the Air Cock Thrust, coming soon to a dancefloor near you. Spank Rock is the fastest, the dirtiest, the best hip-hop artist of the 21st Century so far, without a doubt. If you want something new, bring that ass over here and get ready to shake it low.

YoYoYoYoYo' is out on April 10 on Big Dada. The 'Backyard Betty EP' is out now.
Check out Spank Rock's myspace page:, and also the website dedicated to his special dance move: You can upload videos of y,,,