First off, I wanna send some love and energy out to my man Shomari, aka Sho Nuff, a local fixture I know a whole lot of y'all know—he's been doing his damn thing since his appearance on Union of Opposites' "Continuations" off that 14 Fathoms Deep compilation back in the day. The brother recently had some health issues. Get better soon, Sho, much love.

Okay, I know some of y'all see this rag on Wednesday, so I'm gonna shout out a couple shows I blanked on last week, both on July 2. There's Please Believe at Chop Suey, featuring my man Peoples, Gator, R.O.B., State of the Artist, and Philly Alto. And there's that Weeds-lover (who isn't?) of a Living Legend, ya boy Luckyiam at Nectar, with The Key with No Lock coconspirators Ricky Pharoe and Tru-ID. Go! Hurry!

On Thursday, July 3, Studio Seven plays host to Emerald City Heavyweights, featuring a lot of SEA talent: Grieves, Staxx Brothers, Mind Movers, Khingz (all the stuff I keep hearing from his upcoming From Slaveships to Spaceships seriously sounds frickin' amazing), Asun and Kasi (Alpha P), Wolfpack, Type, Knox Family (Jerm and Julie C with DJ B Girl), Audiopoet, 33 1/3 (Jewels Hunter, Graves, and Randy Hanson), Language Arts, Yirim Seck, DJ Luvva J, and DJ Audeos. Speaking of Audeos, I've been seeing flyers for his popular "The North West" gear and I know I stall on letting people know where I got my hoodie, so I'll direct all inquiries to, capice? Alpha P are staying mad busy that night, as they're also rocking along with Sonny Bonoho and the stone veterano Silver Shadow D over at Waid's that night. Party train!

Then celebrate your independence—woo hoo. Don't lose a thumb, freak.

Then on Saturday, July 5, all lovers of West Coast rap and fierce lyricism (ooh! ooh!) wanna head out to Chop Suey to catch one of the underground's favorites: Long Beach's own Crooked I. I first caught Crooked back in '99 on Kurupt's classic Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha album, where he floored me from jump with lines like "This is the art of manslaughter/when I'm rockin' I'm more shockin'/than droppin' a boombox in bathwater." After being marooned on Death Row Records (now owned by a blond ex-beautician, sorry Suge) for years, he started makin' noise again in the last few; he ingeniously created a whole new wave of buzz for himself with his HipHop Weekly, where he dropped full-length "freestyles" via the internet for 52 consecutive weeks (that's about a year, homie). Download 'em all at—you just gotta reward a good Protestant work ethic like that. Come check Crooked out along with Jay Barz, Byrdie, Dough, the Parker Brothaz, GameBoy the 80's Baby, and your host, Neema. Bang bang, baby! recommended