Club DJ, producer and emcee Blaqstarr, born Charles Smith, was a local sensation in his native city of Baltimore in the early 2000s with popular singles and regular club nights. However, when DJ Diplo brought Blaqstarr to the attention of UK diva M.I.A., who was impressed by his dirty, fairly experimental, club-infused hip-hop, the Baltimore producer received his break. Realizing that they worked well together, M.I.A. asked Blaqstarr to collaborate with her on her second album and he since has been the co-writer and producer on all of her subsequent releases. After securing national attention from these collaborations, Blaqstarr released his debut EP in 2007 to critical acclaim and has only continued to further cement himself in the international club scene.