YG, Flosstradamus, Aesop Rock, Pac Div
First off: My thoughts, like yours quite likely, are with the city of Boston—the innocent lives lost, the victims, the hurt. You've already seen our disgusting media in action, now let's hope this tragedy isn't used to justify more horror. Whatever happens, I truly believe our people need to "choose love," like the president said, and really try to envision a culture that lives for peace. Too soon? How soon is now?
Okay, right, America, culture of peace. Well, YG out of "Bompton" (at Neumos on Wednesday, April 24) doesn't exactly represent that—don't get me wrong, he really just makes pungently ignant party music—but as evidenced by his frequent collabos with Rollin 60s MC Nipsey Hussle, he does represent an LA that's moved past some of its color-line issues (those of the blue and red). Of course, in the true fashion of LA's embedded gang culture, that is probably partly due to pressure from other color-line issues (those of the black and brown). That said, all shades can enjoy YG, with high-powered Tactowners Jay Barz and ILLFIGHTYOU and the triumphant cool of Royce the Choice.
Half a decade ago, LA's Pac Div were at the forefront of what I, despite your feeble protestations, think of as the snapback blog-rap wave. Their mid-aughts mixtapes earned them the love of boutique-type bros everywhere, even if no one could ever quite name all three members. They tended to leave the actual quotables to guests like Blu and Kendrick Lamar, instead holding down that golden posse-cut middle ground that's now the domain of the Pro Era crew. Their raucous live presentation, however, gets the most fun out of their inoffensive brag raps—see what I mean at Nectar on Thursday, April 25, with NYC's ever-plucky weirdo Johnny Polygon, local champs Dyme Def, and ATL's silky After the Smoke.
The next night, pedestrians best watch out for ambulances on Pike Street: Chicago club cardinals Flosstradamus are playing at Neumos, and odds are good that when amateur hour strikes, there will be reports of unseasonably dressed people overheating like Excitebike up in that bitch. Why don't you slow that flow, but still get your heart goin' at a proper clip, with Aesop Rock at Neumos on Sunday, April 28, as he flexes his singular jabberjaw pedigree. His Hail Mary Mallon–mates Rob Sonic and Big Wiz will be there, as well as Busdriver. It's not inconceivable that Ace Rock's partner in the Uncluded—noted trap music expert Kimya Dawson—could make an appearance. The "trap music" thing was a joke, by the way—please don't include it in your psycho "Mistakes Larry Made" scrapbook, okay?
Actually, here's a freebie for you—it is totally a mistake what a glorified show calendar this column's gotten to be, what with a pile of local rap I've been needing to review. It's cool that Ryan Lewis is leaping off of pirate party ships and Macklemore is skydiving onto the Space Needle—actually, it's hella cool—but somebody has to unearth some new shit for y'all. On rare occasions, that somebody is me. Till then.