Yeah, kids, it's time: Blue Scholars invite you to celebrate the release of Cinemetropolis with a two-day throwdown at Neumos on June 17 and 18. Opening up on the 17th are Helluvastate and JusMoni, with your host Macklemore (who you might've seen in the latest XXL); on the 18th, I host and you're treated to sets from Brothers from Another and the Good Sin.

The return of Seattle's favorite sons is understated yet triumphant, cognizant of all they've accomplished but painfully conscious of all they have left to do. Geo is loose (even funny) but on-point as ever, sharp as a fucking tack; he raps local (the titular grocery of "Fou Lee," the 206 borough-check of "Slick Watts") and thinks global, using the everyman's hustle to hint at larger geopolitical concerns. The many moods of Sabzi 2.0 are in full effect: The tropical pop-synth vibe of Oof!, the moody palettes of his elegant Made in Heights work, even the goofball trap-slap of his excellent work with Das Racist all snowball into a parade march shot through with 808s and taiko drums, iced with vintage video-game bleeps, something like the epic eight-bit music at the end of a NES RPG.

An immediate standout is "Oskar Barnack ∞ Oscar Grant"; the intro—named after the German father of 35 mm photography—is a beat built from the clicking sounds of Geo fiddling with a vintage-sounding camera. When in the second part—named, of course, for the young Bay Area man executed by a transit cop live on video—Geo comes in chanting "shoot the cops," that beat forms the jittery skeleton bones of a rather elegant assertion: Although wrongdoing cops caught on tape have been walking free since Rodney King, it's our duty as responsible citizens of a would-be police state to use our overpriced smartphone/cameras to watch our watchmen.

On "Tommy Chong," a smoke-loving Geo laces a weed rap with a history and law clinic, before Macklemore brings in some welcome levity, self-deprecatingly advocating for moderation. "Chief Sealth" has a defiant swag and strident flow, and over the speedy funk of closer "Fin," Geo talks a yard of sharply barbed shit (referencing that "the label that owes Mos Def money owes us") and shouts out the teachers who caught suspensions from playing Scholars tracks for their students. It's a surprisingly dancey, feel-good Footloose finish, and the two young vets, lane-makers, and openhearted journeymen close it out in top form.

Monday, June 20, means another CD release party at Neumos, this time to celebrate the proper Rhymesayers debut of once-again Seattle residents Grieves & Budo, entitled Together/Apart (no less than Mr. Lif, Type, and Sapient open). Fresh off destroying Soundset and now on the Warped Tour, they've become hardened road dogs, and time together has only deepened their chemistry. Grieves, hard-line emo-rap soldier, still kicks a boilerplate melancholy rap; better, though, is the emerging of his low-key singing hooks (just check album standout "On the Rocks"), not to mention one-man virtuoso Budo's subtle, driving production. recommended