Second Family, Jay Barz, Silk Dougie, and Naughty by Nature
Second Family just dropped their dope Sleep Deprivation mixtape. NoQuezt acquits himself well—and even has some bars about being underrated—but one can't help but note the beastliness of his partner, Element, whose husky voice, storytelling, and vicious cobra-snap flow dominate this tape (though the excellent Leezy Soprano, who pops up on three tracks, does his goddamn thing, too). Shit is not a competition, though—Second Fam are a dope tandem, and this tape should whet appetites for a new album. It's gotta be hard being unrepentantly G in a regional scene (or is it just this era?) that tends to relate to sentimentality, emotional disclosure, and good-times rap more than it does struggle, shit-talk, and technical rapping; underdog status, however, has only made these dudes hungrier. Still, it's easier to just rhyme about your kicks, or even how much weed you smoke.
Speaking to just that, Jay Barz recently dropped a new EP, 420 Experienced—not really the slackadaisical stoner mixtape rap favored by Curren$y, Smoke DZA, and the like. It's more akin to the underground, college-radio-formatted hype of Humboldt's Potluck (who make an appearance on "Match"). Barz's chill, chiefed-out persona on this EP is, while a touch gimmicky, a welcome change from the always-yelling, super-chop Tech N9ne–ey direction homeboy seemed headed in last I heard. A whole lot of frustration is nonetheless evident, as he recounts how a weed charge has now made it about a million times tougher for him to find a job; instead of pumping melodrama, though, he just does like a lot of us do, and rolls the fuck up. (Speaking of, OG chief long-cloud Devin the Dude is at the Crocodile on Wednesday, May 18, and you know there's nobody more deserving of one Jeffrey Lebowski's title than he—that's a cool motherfucker.)
Silk Dougie, aka "Ur Dad," featured artist from the Shabazz Palaces EPs, is rocking Neumos on Sunday, May 22, and bringing a heat rock of a supporting cast: Black C from SF's almighty RBL Posse and West Coast legend Kokane (not to mention DJ Zechariah tha Barber, host Candidt, and the pre-req "special guests"). Miss all that, and you got real issues.
Naughty by Nature play Showbox at the Market on Monday, May 23, people. Even if you weren't born yet when people were really trying to figure out what "O.P.P." stood for, you are still required to be stoked that Illtown's finest are rocking in Seattle. Producer/DJ Kay Gee is, last I heard, out of the group (possibly in the lab, working on the comeback of Next) but Treach (even at 41, still the guy most likely to wear a chain and Master Lock around his neck) and Vinnie (the grimier, livelier Phife Dawg, if you will) are pros at house-rocking, with a string of big, undeniable hiphop hits under their belts. Somewhere there's a 90-year-old Japanese WWII vet who never heard the war ended, living in a fucking cave, ready for action, who knows every line of "Hip Hop Hooray" (and halfway remembers the video for "Feel Me Flow").