So much to do, so little time, and never enough clichés. All I know is, extensive listening to the five-volume The Best of Lil B: Faces of the Based God, artfully curated by the good folks at Mishka, is getting me through these overbooked days and nights. It's not the first Lil Boss compilation (the Cocaine Blunts blog, which introduced much of the world to Brandon McCartney, has put in good work here) and it shouldn't be the last, but where they've succeeded is in capturing the daunting breadth of the Based cosmology.
Some of y'all don't know what the hell I just said (this happens a lot, yes?), and some of you don't care; the latter should probably go see Def Jam's Mississippi champion Big K.R.I.T., playing at Neumos on Wednesday, July 25. He tithes to a Southern traditionalist rap church, catching the spirit of Pimp C—replacing the potent disdain with motivational speech, but honoring his gift for redeye-gravy hiphop production. LA's Casey Veggies opens up.
Thursday, July 26, at the Crocodile is one of the many occurrences of which we see so much lately: real talent (Dumbfoundead, Breezy Lovejoy Band) opening for YouTube sensation (Watsky). Not to say the dude Watsky has no talent—because clearly he can technically do the thing that rappers do with their mouths (ha, no, I mean rap)—it's just that his whole flow (not his literal flow, I'm talking about his overall vibe) is so much more ha-ha-this-guy-can-actually-rap than it is "actual rap." Paul Barman with no charisma and a twelfth of the sense of humor. Dumbfoundead is somebody who's used viral videos to great effect but is a tried and very true MC. Breezy Lovejoy brims with enough soul and finesse to damn near be a throwback in this post-skills era.
The Smoker's Club tour, specializing in shows starring hiphop's leaders in lyrical pharmacopeia, returns to Neumos on Saturday, July 28. Headlining is Juicy J, an Oscar-winning Memphis legend, still trippy after all these years. Three 6 Mafia's huge influence, I realize, has long been acknowledged by cooler people than me, but it seems like we're really seeing it nowadays. Whether you grew up on Triple 6 or you're just stuck on Blue Dream & Lean, it would behoove you to head for this double-stacked bill, as Jet-setter Smoke DZA, DC's trap bull Fat Trel, and teenage '90s-NYC rap revivalist Joey Bada$$ all share the stage.
I'd advise you to also peep the now generation of Seattle's posi-dude rap circuit: Brothers from Another, who enjoy their well-deserved headlining debut at the Crocodile on Sunday, July 29, are vibewise almost the Physics' little bros: smooth, having a great time, possessed of an unassuming charm. Serious, driven, craft-loving Shelton Harris seems to be the next Sol, who seems to be the next Macklemore—if your fragile heart can handle such reductive comparisons. Dave B. is a particularly sharp and heartful young MC from the Town with a crisp flow—maybe think J.Pinder or the Good Sin. Or don't think; I'm just kicking some freakin' context here, don't mind me.