If you're like me, and you most likely are in many respects (carbon-based, bipedal, love teriyaki), then you first came to know Aloe Blacc as exactly one-half of L.A. underground favorites Emanon, along with Exile—who, like Blacc, has made himself more of an indie household name outside of the group via his album-length collaborations with Blu and Fashawn. Emanon are still together and working on their next LP. In the meantime, though, Blacc is stunning folks everywhere with the naked soul so ably demonstrated on his latest Stones Throw album, Good Things. I highly recommend checking the live set he did on Street Sounds a couple months back, as his stirringly stripped-down take on joints like "I Need a Dollar" (yes, the intro to HBO's How to Make It in America) will make you grateful the universe gave you ears (if you do have them), just as I certainly was when I witnessed him lay it down at KEXP. Whatever the case, go see the man at Nectar on Friday, November 5, rejoice, get down with the self of yours that may or may not in fact be bad.
Another underground hiphop dues-payer who literally found his voice in recent years is Mr. Mayer Hawthorne (formerly known as Haircut, DJ/producer of L.A./Detroit group Now On), who'll this week be getting his Hitsville-mindful groove on in the city that always sleeps; catch him DJing at HG Lodge on Saturday, November 6, for Members Only's weekly Almost Famous, and rocking in full with his band, the County, at Neumos on Sunday, November 7. If you instead find yourself in Fremont (pronounced fruh-mont) that night, hit up Nectar and dap up L.A.'s underground legend 2Mex. Monday, November 8, at Neumos yields you Doomtree, the Minneapolis rap massive spearheaded by the dude who is, for my slim money, the illest negro the City of Lakes currently has to offer who is not named Prince Rogers Nelson—I speak, of course, of one P.O.S.
There's plenty music to find yourself lost right in the familiar confines of your backyard right now—allow me (and Google) the privilege of guiding you to it. From down Tacoma way, the dude John Crown has dropped a free Bandcamp-able EP of the crucial, unpretentious, soul-rap variety called Before I Wake You Up. (Yo, Tacoma, keep it coming—y'all check the video for the Tryfe-laced banger "Back at It" by the 253's Leezy Soprano, too, seriously.) The homie Wizdom has dropped his Washington Wizard mixtape with DJ Swervewon. I'm still not sold on Wiz's voice, and possibly never will be, but the dude's hustle and even perhaps his flow (which has undeniably sharpened up) will no doubt speak to somebody out there. The Cloud Nice crew has two new joints out, Jarv Dee's "I Just Wanna" and Nacho Picasso's "Gone till November." Lastly but nowhere near least is the redux of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's VS. EP, which at last checking was one of the top 10 hiphop albums on iTunes. I say goddamn!