Recently, a few people have personally told me that they've only just realized something I assumed everybody knew about this column at this point: The words you see here are purely my opinion, and nothing but. I mean, yeah, I'm one man—a great man, certainly—but not an officially designated governing body, nor an impartial, unemotional judge of music. My tastes are my own and pretty weird by lots of people's standards, so take it for what it is. GOSPEL.

That said, there are shows in town, you should go, etc. New Orleans maniac Mystikal will be at Neumos on Thursday, January 24, for crissakes. As most of you know, Mystikal made a bunch of great music on No Limit even before he hit it big with the Neptunes-produced "Shake Ya Ass." Some years after, though, he went to prison over some fucked up shit—namely, uh, videotaped sexual battery, which in turn fucked up my whole perception of the dude. (I would expect you'd feel weird about me if I did the same shit.) He served his time. He got out, signed to No Limit rival Cash Money, briefly went back in over a domestic-abuse rap—yeesh (SORRY IF YOU THINK I SHOULDN'T TALK ABOUT SHIT LIKE THIS, ABUSE-ENABLING AMERICANS). Now he's readying his CM album. So is his new James Brownified single "Hit Me" a greasy helping of vintage, awesomely combustible Mystikal? Yes, yes it is. So do with all this what you will, music fans.

Friday, January 25, at the Crocodile you'll find a bit of a Tacoma invasion headlined by the City of Destiny's own rap band the Breaklites. Going back to the "my opinion" thing (no Mac Mall), I typically hate rap bands but I like the Breaklites, as the raps are coo' and they avoid that whole format's typical traps: being too goofy and bro-ish or being too serious and po-faced (the worst). Also in there is RA Scion, not a Tacoma cat, but currently working on music with one, namely CityHall producer Todd Sykes. Sykes's old patna EvergreenOne is in a new group called ILLFIGHTYOU with Sandlot's KhrisP and Ugly Frank, and frankly speaking, it's some of the hardest, most gloriously ignorant shit I've heard out here in a minute, period. (Go YouTube their performance of "Threats" on, ah, KEXP's Street Sounds and say I'm wrong.) Also on deck from the Tac are Jai X Jrm—who are new to me, but sound promising—and ace producer DJ Semaj.

That same night you also got Aesop Rock at Neumos, likely performing stuff off his damn good Skelethon. Entry also gets you Rob Sonic & DJ Big Wiz plus Busdriver. The dream of indie rap is alive in Seattle, people.

Speaking of: Aceyalone, verbose and rubbery-worded as ever, at Nectar on Sunday, January 27. Jnatural, Pat Maine, Brainstorm (of Dyme Def), Black Magic Noize, and JumpmaNewz await you as well. Now go out there in the world and do your best, I'm right behind ya. recommended