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Charles Smith (born September 30, 1985), better known as Blaqstarr or DJ Blaqstarr, is a Baltimore, Maryland area rapper, singer, producer and DJ. He is best known for his work with M.I.A..

Birth nameCharles Jamal Smith
Also known asDJ Blaqstarr, Jamal Loving
Born (1985-09-30) September 30, 1985 (age 34)
OriginBaltimore, Maryland, U.S.
GenresHip hop, Baltimore club, dance
Occupation(s)Rapper, producer, singer, DJ
Years active2000s to present
LabelsN.E.E.T. Recordings, Manta Ray Records, GASS Records
Associated actsM.I.A., Rye Rye, Diplo
Website[Official website


Blaqstarr had local success in the early 2000s with the songs "Get My Gun", "Ryda Girl", "Jiggle It", "Hands Up Thumbs Down" and "Feel It In the Air", released via Starr Productions.[1][2][3] In 2005, he contributed songs such as "Tote It" to the album Operation Playtime and the songs "Supastarr" and "So Horney" to the album Baltimore Club 9.[4][5] In December 2005, M.I.A. travelled to America to work with Blaqstarr on her second album, telling The Observer, "I arrived at 9 am and he'd been arrested at seven; he was still up from the night before. That's his studio, and it's got a washer-dryer in the back and a sofa bed, that's his whole set-up; that's why he doesn't make it out of Baltimore."[6] "Shake It to The Ground" featured Rye Rye, an affiliate of Blaqstarr's in Baltimore, became a club hit in 2006. Blaqstarr introduced Rye Rye to M.I.A. after the singer asked for a meeting, leading to both touring with the artist and collaborations on her album Kala which led to wide recognition.[1][7] His EP Supastarr was released, its first single being the rereleased "Shake It To the Ground" for which a music video was made,[8] and another EP, titled Shake It To the Ground was also released in 2007.[9]

In January 2008, Blaqstarr released the album King of Roq.[10] He toured with Diplo, M.I.A. and Rye Rye, and participated in the Rock the Bells tour. He also produced and recorded tracks with M.I.A., Mos Def, Switch and Rye Rye. In June 2008, he contributed a track to the album Hollertronix 8, along with DJ Sega.

In early 2009, Blaqstarr released a single in collaboration with the DJ Diplo titled "Get Off".[11] M.I.A. and Blaqstarr released a song and video "Way Down in the Hole" following him signing to the N.E.E.T. Recordings record label. He also produced some of the tracks for the 2009 K-Swift album Greatest Hits.[12]

In 2009, Blaqstarr was chosen to perform at the People's Inaugural Ball in Washington D.C., one of the unofficial pre-inaugural events which took place in the days leading up to the inauguration of Barack Obama.

Blaqstarr was on the lineup for the SXSW Festival, which took place in Austin, Texas, from March 13 to 22, 2009.[13]

He released an EP entitled "The Divine" on January 25, 2011. It includes six songs: "All The World", "Rider Girl", "Oh My Darlin'", "Divine", "Wonder Women" and "Turning Out".

Critical receptionEdit

Music critic Chris Richards of The Washington Post, in reviewing the 2008 recording I'm Bangin' 2, wrote, "If Blaqstarr's hallucinogenic odes to sex, drugs and Baltimore don't make him a legend in his day, they should certainly cement his cult status in some dystopian future."[14] Billboard wrote, regarding King of Roq, "Much of the music sounds like standard hip-hop fare but sped up to Alvin & the Chipmunks speed; it's fast, furious and dirty."[15]



  • Supastarr (2007)
  • Shake It to the Ground (feat. Rye Rye) (Mad Decent, 2007)
  • Hollertronix #8 (2008)
  • The Divine EP (2011)
  • The Blaq Files (2014)
  • Trinity EP, vol 1 (2014)
  • Trinity EP, vol 1.5 (2014)
  • Moan Her Lease Her (2016)
  • M.I.A Aim. (2017)


  • Blaqstarr The Mixtape (2011)[16]


  • 2007: "Shake It To The Ground"
  • 2009: "S.U.S. (Save Ur Souls)/Way Down In The Hole" w/ M.I.A.[17]
  • 2010: "Oh My Darlin'" [18]
  • 2011: "Rider Gyrl"
  • 2011: "Never Hesitant"
  • 2014: "Dear Diamond" ft Common


  1. ^ a b DJ Blaqstarr at Allmusic
  2. ^ Shipley, Al (December 13, 2006). "The Year In Local Music". Baltimore City Paper. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
  3. ^ "Best Hook: Blaqstarr "Hands Up thumbs Down"". Baltimore City Paper. September 20, 2006. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
  4. ^ "DJ Lil Jay – Operation: Playtime (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  5. ^ "Various – DJ Technics – Baltimore Club 9 (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  6. ^ Yates, Steve (September 16, 2007). "New world order". The Observer. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
  7. ^ MC (January 24, 2009). "Faces to Watch". Billboard. pp. 23–25.
  8. ^ "The FADER – Video:DJ Blaqstarr & Rye Rye, "Shake it to the Ground"". The Fader. November 15, 2008. Retrieved September 19, 2008.
  9. ^ "Shake it to the Ground". Allmusic.
  10. ^ "King of Roq". Allmusic.
  11. ^ Brandon Soderburg (January 20, 2009). "Know Your Product: Blaq Starr/Diplo, "Get Off," (Mad Decent)". Baltimore City Paper.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Michael Byrne (February 2, 2009). "Know Your Product: K-Swift, Greatest Hits". Baltimore City Paper.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Crystal Method, Blaqstarr, others on board for SXSW". Live Daily. January 8, 2009. Archived from the original on January 22, 2009.
  14. ^ Richards, Chris (November 4, 2008). "Quick Spins: Blaqstarr: I'm Bangin' 2", The Washington Post, p. C5.
  15. ^ Harding, Cortney (August 9, 2008). "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", Billboard 120 (32): 44.
  16. ^ "Blaqstarr (Blaqstarr) on Twitter". Archived from the original on April 17, 2011. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  17. ^ "S.U.S MIA/BLAQSTARR – Elbows Music Blog Aggregator". Archived from the original on November 17, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  18. ^ "Video: Blaqstarr, "Oh My Darling" « The FADER". April 30, 2010. Retrieved April 17, 2013.

External linksEdit