Let's just get this out of the way: As interesting as Kanye West's Yeezus album might or might not be, it's a bit less so with each and every review and think piece on it. Among my favorite observations in the Kantextualizing deluge were Jeff "Passion of the" Weiss's, saying that no doubt this will be a lot of peoples' My First Avant-Garde Record, and a random Tumblr user ranting that Pitchfork is wack (shock) for fawning over the Yeezus when they summarily dismissed a quite similarly harsh-sounding (also: far more political, far less misogynist) album that came out a few years back, namely M.I.A.'s Maya. More reminders that music critics are mostly irrelevant, even me. Any local yokel rappers brittle wit the god Mizell should stop giving me power over your emotions, and recognize that I know full well that these are only my opinions, word to Mac Mall.
Now: KnowMads (Tom Pepe, Cheef, and producer Jester) have been putting out music locally since 2007's So It Goes, crafting works that fall firmly within a trademark canon of SeaTown rap that's at least a decade deep at this point—that sort of reflective, nostalgic-young-dude posi-core—executing it solidly and building a dedicated fan base brick by brick through word of mouth and steady live shows. Their groundswell isn't going unnoticed either, as KnowMads counted the Sasquatch! festival among their latest performances. The KnowMadic fam, between group projects and solo projects, have put out something like 10 albums. They'll be playing Barboza on Thursday, June 27, with frequent collaborator La, the multitalented Dice, singer Camila Recchio, and Grimeshine playing cuts.
Wednesday, July 3, Detroit's ex–Slum Villager Elzhi touches down at Nectar. He's still one of the most underrated MCs out, and his single "Blue Widow" from last year evinced some icebox-cold Nas swagger left over from El's last full-length project, the super-official Illmatic tribute LP Elmatic. He remains a testament to a thorough Motown rap ethic: If you can't lick off crazy multisyllable rhymes without making a big deal about it, you shouldn't even be rapping. Also on the bill are locals Luke ("Please say the muthafuckin'") Rain and Black Magic Noize, plus a showcase of Oakland MCs (why not?) featuring Task1ne, Ro Knew, Tai the 13th, and Spends Quality.
Saturday, July 6, Seattle's Brothers From Another take the Neumos stage (with Sound Off! champ and bubbling young'n Dave B) to promote positive vibrations and their upcoming Tacos on Broadway EP. (I mean, these guys must be laced when they roll into Tacos Chukis—like, extra pineapple on them joints, you feel me.) They recently shot off a single called "Groov" with a rather low-wattage appearance from Asher Roth—remember him? Far better, in my estimation, is their newer single "Drunk Talk," which they just filmed a video for. Now: Hurry up with my damn croissants.