Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The b-more beats go on

"Howard Mazer, GM of WERQ 92.3 FM, along with friends, family and others at the station gathered to dedicate a mixing booth that celebrated the life of "K-Swift", otherwise known as Khia Edgerton, Monday. Edgerton died this summer after a pool accident at her home. She was 29."

The great thing about photographing someone is that I never forget them.

Unlike meeting someone random for the first time, when I see my subjects through the lens and get to know them, it's a rare occasion that I'll ever forget them or their story. And what is also nice, is I'll even get approached by those I've photographed, too.

So as I watched the news last night my eye caught glimpse of a couple of my subjects this past year, one being Howard Mazer, General Manager of WERQ 92.3 FM, the top radio station in Baltimore.

He and others were joining together to celebrate a special memorial dedicated to popular and groundbreaking Baltimore DJ Khia Edgerton, also known as "K-Swift" who died in a pool accident this summer.

Since Edgerton would have celebrated her thirtieth birthday Sunday, her coworkers and others celebrated all she accomplished on Monday.

Ederton was a pioneer in the Baltimore club music scene, enough to have a random guy like me enjoying it.

I grew up listening to a little bit of hip-hop music, and couldn't escape the addicting sounds of Baltimore club music. Whether it was in a friends car, at a party or bar, or just playing in the background of a sporting event.

Often I'd be heading home in more recent years, and the beats would keep me awake behind the wheel.

She knew what she was doing, and as I heard them say on the station once, "You know it's good when they in Harford County are feeling da beats..."

But back to remembering. This all came back to me after photographing Mazer earlier this year. I had liked the photo, yet wasn't very pleased with the context during the time it was shot. So when I saw him on the news, I thought the portrait better portrays the story now.

As for K-Swift, I remember photographing her at a high school basketball tournament at Morgan State earlier this year. I had heard her mixing for years, but never knew who she was. But once I heard the distinct beats, I knew exactly who she was.

Between the two games I was shooting, I let her know I liked her stuff and she gave me a free CD, which has been in my car changer since. From what I gathered, it was the last CD she released before passing.

Like the dedicated mixing booth, it will keep me going, just in different way. It will keep me jamming on the long night drives home, remind of home when I am not and remind me of someone who was bringing something new and fresh to others with her own style.


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