As I write this column, Katt Williams roams Seattle's streets, brandishing pool cues, threatening to take over a Washington State ferry. Knowing this, I flew to the opposite end of the country.
On Wednesday, December 12, Neumos brings our humble city no less an entertainment than Kreayshawn's "Group Hug Tour." The lineup features Oakland's "Gucci Gucci" girl, Baltimore's young club diva and M.I.A. protégé Rye Rye, Tyga-signed ratchet Honey Cocaine, and Tumblr-wave posse-cut pest Chippy Nonstop. I support Kreay's girl-power move and the #rare femalecentric rap atmosphere that this show no doubt will produce—but Kreayshawn is still the person who gave the world one and a half catchy songs (I'm gonna go 'head and give her a half credit for "Bumpin Bumpin") before bringing in the mercifully short-lived White Girl Mob, which exposed innocent ears to V-Nasty (along with her love of the Nas-word) and BAYTL. When Kreay's million-dollar album (you'll recall that she was the first in the latest wave of major-label-desperation rap signings) tanked in the first week, people couldn't wait to clown. Not even the discovery that her mom was in the Trashwomen could save all that. Toronto-bred Honey Cocaine, for all her aggro bluster, hasn't produced a captivating bar of music to her name, sounding at her best like a couple of other rappers—heavy pour of Nicki, a dash of Kim—at their worst, which is pretty god-awful. Last and certainly least is Chippy—quite possibly the worst rapper out right now—not offering a discernible speck of rap talent, charisma, or at least enough genuine weirdness to get her past the lamentable level of "unknowing parody." Don't listen to me, though—go to this show and twerk away the emptiness.
At Barboza on Thursday, December 13, apparently Neema Brings the '90s Back. Now how exactly does Neema plan to do this? My best guess is a few Bad Boy tracks (played by DJ Mack Long) and other regrettable pop-rap singles (likely sourced from the early 2000s) interspersed with Neema's famously ethanol-powered rambling. Brainstorm of Dyme Def is also performing, likely previewing new material from his upcoming The Celestine Prophecy 2. (I'd be remiss if I didn't note that this same evening, Meshell Ndegeocello is doing a tribute to Nina Simone at the Kirkland Performance Center.)
Days after Kreayshawn and Neema bless Jet City, Riff Raff makes his return to Nectar (wasn't he, like, just there?) on Saturday, December 15, with all-ages and 21-plus sets (also featuring Appletree, Kush Gang Global, Aro the MC, Deadly D, Matt Jarvis with Camila Recchio, Evan Christian, and DJ Poindextar, in case you were wondering).
Finally, on Sunday, December 16, Blackalicious—the MC Gift of Gab and the producer/DJ Chief Excel, one of the West Coast's most beloved indie crews since the '90s—return to Seattle for the first time since last year's City Arts Fest at the Showbox, which they rocked mightily. Hit up Neumos and bear witness to the legendary lung capacity of Gab's powerful, ingenious flow.