Truly do I wish I knew how to fill 500 words raving about the "Bed Intruder" song, because at the moment, I can't for the life of me imagine a more powerful piece of music. Faced (once again) with the gray reality of failure, I digress so that we may discuss matters of local import, though my heart goes out to the Dodson family and all the good folks of Huntsville.
On Thursday, August 12, two shows spring to mind for hiphop heads who could, you know, not listen to hiphop that night. Over at the Showbox at the Market, you got the pure, sparkling, liquid funk godhead that is Chromeo, the current prime ministers of all Canadia (this is true—and if it's not, then we got problems). Chromeo squueeeeze out that minty-fresh Minneapolis dance-crack, something like the lord's own toothpaste—not a bad feat for two jokester hiphop heads from Montreal (one of whom is the brother of DJ A-Trak, one of the nicest humans ever born). Of course, over at the Croc is Nigerian-German singer Nneka, whose excellent U.S. debut LP, Concrete Jungle, has kicked up much dust in the last few months. Her fist-up township b-girl soul, sung in English and Ibo with a sweet swirl of silk and grit, shakes down the Babylon that exists in the hearts and palaces of the world. She's more Marley (like, Damian) than M.I.A., but at least there's a crop of international (read: brown) pop stars using their voice for something beyond dry-hump juvenilia, innovations in self-absorption, or, uh, Illuminati conditioning. Is this thing on?
You know what is on, is the 15th anniversary of the mighty MAD Krew, going down, way down, on Saturday, August 14. Presented by MADK and 206 Zulu, it's being held at the Underground Events Center in Belltown (2407 First Avenue, in the alley between Battery and Wall, sweetheart), which used to be the Down Under in much douchier days (seriously, the one time I got dragged there, there was a gotdamn foam party going on). Now it's a graffed-up, dark cavern of a spot that looks so Wild Style they should pump fucking subway noise in there or something; it's an absolutely perfect setting for the Madness After Dark posse to celebrate almost one and a half decades of mostly underground homegrown hiphop culture. This event sports DJs Mark Luv, Gumbeaux, Dev from Above, Grimrock, Tecumseh, Seabefore, and Sureal, plus b-boys/girls from Massive Monkees, Circle of Fire, BYC, and Fraggle Rock Crews, live painting by 179, Bler One, Crayone, Ziplok, Sire One, HNS, and last but loudly not least, MCs Gabriel Teodros, Suntonio Bandanaz, Waves of the Mind, and more. Respect and love to King Khazm, Dev, and all the MAD originals.
If in Fremont that same night, though, you got R.O.B.'s mixtape release at High Dive with the GCC, the whole Designated Hitters crew, plus the Good Sin and DJ Miguel Rockwell. Across the street and a couple blocks up, it's the sixth anniversary of Nectar, which it is celebrating with a live "mixtape" of performances from a grip of artists who have graced its stage including Grynch, Choklate, Helladope, Neema, and Sonny Bonoho. Run and tell that, homeboy.