On Thursday, April 17, you've got local gem Shaprece opening up for UK singer Daley at the Tractor—nice to see such a jazzy, future-leaning R&B bill happening in Ballard. Check Shaprece's newest work with producer IG88—"Tell Me" and "Her Song"—on Soundcloud. She's taxiing for takeoff.
Singer Heather Gin's release party for her Passion is at Barboza the same evening—very much the other side of the coin. Passion is pure played-out (to the tune of a decade behind) pop-radio playtime, evoking a wannabe "Toxic"-era Britney with occasional rap cameos from Romaro Franceswa, Spac3man, and Neema (who, to his credit, is the only one who sounded at home here). I have it on good authority (aka YouTube) that Ms. Gin is nice on the keys, but Passion's direction is pure struggle & B. That said, the release party will feature the talents of all the above rappers, plus the genuine double threat of singer/MC Dice.
Saturday, April 19, begins a weekend heavy with shows: NYC's Underachievers hit the Crocodile with ex–Raider Klansman Denzel Curry, Dillon Cooper, and Azizi Gibson. This is a bill full of promising young talent on the come-up—but for my money, Curry is the real gem here, as evinced by his excellent N64 from late last year. Over at the WaMu Theater that night, you'll find Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa on Snoop's Wellness Retreat tour—with Moors Nacho Picasso and Jarv Dee opening up the proceedings amid, no doubt, a restrained and sober atmosphere. Meanwhile at the Showbox, Seattle's world-beating b-boy mossie Massive Monkees celebrate 15 years of crushing shit with special guests Lean Rock, Roxrite, Mr. Wiggles, and Boogie Frantick. Remember to stretch.
Which brings us to Sunday, April 20: 4/20, huh-huh. Weed. You've got the Filthy Fingers United/Black Magic Noize tape release over at Vermillion—OCnotes, ZZ Top's Drummer's Drum Machine's Manager's Band (brilliant name), Black Magic Noize, Vaughn illa, Diogenes, Thad Wenatchee, plus host Greg Cypher (of Kung Foo Grip) and DJ Able One will all be in attendance, so hopefully there's room for you, too. If not, there's always the Crocodile, where a bunch of rappers, mostly credible (Havi, Donte Peace, Feezable the Germ, Dirty D, Most Official), will be opening for Lil Debbie—not the snack-cake mogul, but the former "DJ" of the now-defunct White Girl Mob—who has no credibility whatsoever. This is all hosted/hatched by Neema.
What are you smoking? Go see the legendary Slick Rick the Ruler at Neumos on 4/20. He's the illest storyteller in rap history, a great who influenced everyone from Snoop to Nas to Outkast. He's got a cool eye patch and more jewelry than the Queen of England. He went to prison before it was cool (shout-out to Boosie, though) and dropped a classic 10 years after his debut. What else do you need?
How about a Mobb Deep show at the Crocodile on Tuesday, April 22? Man, if you saved your shekels for these last two shows alone, no one would blame you.