kelly loverud

Lace up your Timbs, line up your line-beards, roll one leg of your fatigues up. There may be 32 levels when you're based, but there are 36 Chambers at the Showbox Sodo come Wednesday, January 25, as the Wu-Tang Clan end their Wu Fest tour in Seattle. Joining the ride are Chicago's Reverend Burke (also known, incredibly, as Lil' Chuuch), the lesser-known Long Beach Wu affiliates (being lesser known than North Star is almost an accomplishment) Black Knights, and Seattle sons Champagne Champagne. Wu-Tang crowds have a lovely tendency to greet the gods' openers with W hand signs and constant chants of "WU-TANG," but I know that Pearl Dragon, Sir Thomas, and Gajamagic will not be bowed by such tactics and possess an equally potent mantra in "CHAMPAGNE CHAMPAGNE," which will surely ring through the rafters this night. Investigative reports (nerds only: See what I did there) tell me that neither Ghostface nor Raekwon are on the road, so be forewarned if the Clan does "Triumph," there will not, I repeat will not, be any "AYO THAT'S AMAZIN'."

Friday, January 27, brings us another varied rap conglomerate, this time Minneapolis's own Doomtree at the Crocodile. Owing as much to Ian MacKaye as they do the Wu (I swear, I literally wrote that before I remembered that their Cecil Otter was partially responsible for 2011's mashup Wugazi album), Doomtree's DIY corporate-rap-still-sucks stance and fluttery, sometimes florid, raps sound mostly fresh, especially those of clan paterfamilias P.O.S. If you already fucks with these guys, you already have their newish album No Kings and fully plan on being at the Croc, right after you and your Suicide Girl barista GF get off work and hit the vegan Thai buffet.

Saturday, January 28, sneak in some soul, either at the Comet with Fly Moon Royalty or over at the Scarlet Tree with the Love Jones Experience (featuring, among others, Ms. Tiffany Wilson). If you go, be on time; if you clap, be on beat. Sunday, I'd advise you to hit Nectar for the Bay Area bombast of Blackalicious's big-voiced MC Gift of Gab, a guy who could actually rap through a mountain if the need arose. In support you'll find those super-rappin' asses Th3rdz (Candidt, JFK, and Xperience) whose debut, This, That & Th3rdz, should be dropping with the quickness.

I leave you with two local hardcore rap mixtapes you can acquire for only the cost of the energy needed to tap into a Google window. First, Tacoma MC Leezy Soprano's United We Ball. Doing G shit right, with as much wit and style as menace, Leezy reps quite correctly, and United burns from the ass to the crutch (just peep videos for "Back to It" and "Leezy"). Next up is rising-ass-star Nacho Picasso, who with dark lords Blue Sky Black Death released his newest, Lord of the Fly. Just a couple months after For the Glory made him a nationwide name, the tandem is back with more of the same: leaned-out, braggity shit-bust, deceptively simple, ladled over BSBD's Ridley Scott doom beats. Literary bonus: The video for "Naked Lunch" properly references William S. Burroughs and Hunter S. Thomson (who'd probably love this tape). Nacho? Yeah. recommended