Macklemore, Kendrick Lamar, Das Racist, Mikey Rocks
Here I sit, last week to you, now to me—watching the presidential debate, noticing too much deflection, too much disrespect for people's intelligence, for Big Bird, for Jim Lehrer's whole aura. Perfect time to decompress with a Das Racist show. Catch Himanshu, Kool A.D., and Dap at the Showbox at the Market on Wednesday, October 10, being generally too smart for their own good and too goofy to be taken seriously by, like, your average Slaughterhouse fan (which is pretty funny, considering). Joining DR are three acts signed to their Greedhead imprint: Dark York shade-thrower Le1f, the stoney bedroom tropicalia of SAFE, and their resident forest-dwelling "Death Shark," Lakutis. You want to get weird? You got no better setup.
On Thursday, October 11, LA's Pac Div and ex–Cool Kid Mikey Rocks, along with Eighty4 Fly and DJ Swervewon, hit Neumos. The Cool Kids were ahead of the curve in sound and sartorial style—now everybody makes kinda-boring, '90s-referencing rap while draped in dope snapbacks and vintage gear. What came first, blogs or blog rap?
You probably caught Macklemore on that BET Backroom session, where the boy got off—okay, yes, and the ThunderCat pelt he was rocking made him look exactly like Kraven the Hunter. It's Kraven's archnemesis Mack takes the most after, though—"great power" coming with "great responsibility" and such—as Macklemore doesn't do cookie-cutter rap-guy stuff; he stands up for exactly what he believes in. "Same Love" advocating for marriage equality, and its beautiful Jon Augustavo video, is some genuinely moving shit. And it all resonates with somebody—to the tune of the 7,500 tickets sold to their Friday, October 12, show at WaMu Theater, the kickoff to the US tour for The Heist. The basic-cable hate that cats got for Mack kind of pales in comparison, no? Ha-ha, "pales," right? Just know it's not a big deal; you can still like the guy who once made a song dissecting his "White Privilege"—and still like all the rappers who unwittingly support white supremacy through their advocacy of self-hate and murder! (Drags on Swisher: "Huh"?) Or whatever. Find a really good reason to hate the dude—just don't bother me with it.
Or fuck the dumb shit. We all know that Kendrick Lamar is easily the best thang smokin' right now, and he's coming to the Neptune on Sunday, October 14. Everything K-Dot's leaked in the last few—"Swimming Pools," "Westside, Right on Time," and the C-Breezy-type-slapping, Just Blaze–laced "Compton," have all been hottest fire. From what I recall of his 2011 Bumbershoot set, Lamar's a dope, personable performer, too... except for that moment when he told a young girl in the audience that her name was "Tammy"—as in his Section.80 cut "Tammy's Song (Her Evils)," which is about a pair of women victimized by men—without a trace of irony (hiphop is good for this). A minor gripe, but one that stuck with me. Anyway, his TDE/Black Hippy dudes Jay Rock and Ab-Soul are opening, so this is a sure thing. If you're wondering where Schoolboy Q is, well, just wait a week. Till then.