SpaceGhostPurrp and the whole Raider Klan were just here and reportedly found the Seattle crowd timid and mostly motionless, not an atypical situation. In an amazing reversal of fortune, last time LA's Blu was here, he just stood his lanky ass there, and people in the crowd were mad. (Not just in Seattle, either.) Thing is, if you listen to Blu, you gotta know he's no live-wire, Mystikal-ass motherfucker; he's a thoughtful, meditative, often-half-asleep-ass rapper, so you get what you pay for and not a penny more. Thus, I somewhat regretfully hereby issue his upcoming April 17 show at Neumos a "Lauryn Hill Buyer Beware" notice—but let it be known that his LA compadres, the soulful neo–Daisy Agers TiRon & Ayomari, energetic local boom-bap revivalists Nu Era, and cosmic soul controller OCnotes are all propping him up, so there just may be better results than last time.
The official ambassador of the Bay, one of the very small handful of 40-plus rappers that's still relevant and doing their job—Earl Stevens, ya boy E-40—is playing at the Showbox at the Market on Friday the 19th (also: Parker Brothaz, Cool Nutz, Neema, and Fearce & Bean, with host G. Prez). Life is amazing. Go, go to him.
Saturday, April 20, 4/20, the smokers' holiday, Hitler's birthday, the 14th anniversary of the United States' loss of innocence (#5,658,768) via Columbine—well anyway, there's plenty of stuff to do. Jim Jones is at the Crocodile, hopefully gearing up to tear the roof off like his man Cam'Ron did a couple months back. With him is Oakland's Philthy Rich, possibly also a liver of the so-called "Vampire Life" that Jones is out here hashtagging ad infinitum. (Get some sleep, y'all, you'll feel less weird.) Over at 95 Slide, you have "420 All-Stars," something marvelous cooked up by the 4Evergreen Group and the Chef: the Cigar Shallah Raekwon himself performing his classics from the Purple Tape on. Over at Vermillion, you can put that head nod to work at the Pad Pushers Showcase, featuring producer power pack OCnotes, WIZDUMB, Vaughnilla, Specs One, Diogenes, plus DJ Able of the Elefaders on the oons and doses.
Tuesday the 23rd, the Crocodile brings you poet ternt internet sensation (remember "Pale Kid Raps Fast"?) ternt rapper (though honestly not necessarily in that order) named Watsky. Opening up is amazing LA rapper (who's no stranger to memedom himself) Dumbfoundead and Seattle's pop-EDM movers/shakers the Flavr Blue. That show's sold out already, so you might wanna go get your mind and spirit blown and moved respectively by the infinite electronic soul of the British diamond-of-god James Blake, who's doing his oceanic and emotive thing at the Neptune that night. His new album, Overgrown, is indeed... just... (*shakes head in disbelief, tenderly presses finger to your lips, softly shushes your questions*). That said (and unsaid), by the time you read this, I'll be back on the road with Shabazz Palaces and THEESatisfaction. Love y'all, thanks for trusting me, or at least tolerating me, all these years.