caption: The Snoop scoop.

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Let's start it like this: Congratulations to our dudes Dyme Def for being the Unsigned Hype in this month's Source magazine (with the Snoop cover, my nizzle). Unsigned Hype, as you may well know, has given light to the heavyweight likes of Biggie, DMX, Eminem, Mobb Deep, and Common before they got on, so this is a big, big look for DD, Soul Gorilla, and Seattle hiphop. Get down, fellas—what can I say?

Get right on down to Chop Suey on Sunday, May 4, to catch Kansas City's own Rhymesayers Entertainment/Black Clover representative Mac Lethal. Known as a fierce battle champ (he's the '02 Scribble Jam champeen), those who peeped Mac's 2007 album, 11:11, know that he's the Midwest's premier shitbag as well. There's no reason a song called "Pound That Beer" (a live favorite) should be at all good listening, but throughout 11:11, Mac's biting, abrasive humor, coiled-tight flow, and shitty fuckin' attitude make it work. On the song "Crazy" (where Lethal calls himself "Johnny Rotten on OxyContin"), Mac namechecks Al Swearengen, Marcel Proust, and Kilgore Trout, all over a track that packs a lot more bass than your average indie-rap heroes. Mac has been rolling the highways and byways of Middle America with our man Grieves, who, with his coconspirator Type, will be opening up.

The next night at Chop, you can see Northern State, but why would you? They suck. For crissakes, go listen to Jean Grae. Shit, go watch the newest brainchild of Ego Trip (the folks who brought you The [White] Rapper Show), VH1's Miss Rap Supreme! I love that fuckin' show and so will you, unless your name is Khia. R-E-S-P-E, respect me?

But even if your name were Khia, at least it wouldn't be Yak Ballz. NYC's YB has held down the "worst name in rap" for many moons now, as he holds it down on the mic alongside his fellow Weathermen (El-P, Cage, Camu Tao, Aesop Rock, Tame One, Breeze). For the most part, I've never been a huge fan of, uh, Yak Ballz, but I haven't checked him much beyond the '03 Weathermen mixtape The Conspiracy, where his slurred flow was constantly outclassed. He has a new joint out, called $cifentology II, released in conjunction with Scifen clothing, and a quick skim indicates that he's shared his boy Cage's trajectory from dusted, violent mayhem to angsty, rock-inflected, heartfelt raps. I like him a li'l better now. All right! He'll be at Nectar on Tuesday, May 6. Jersey's druggy, thuggy Slow Suicide Stimulus open up, alongside Seatown's Sonny Bonoho (thanks for the shirt) and Know Choice.

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Man, have you checked that new Prodigy album? HNIC Pt. 2 is crazy! There's a real argument to be made for albums from rappers who know they're about to go to jail—think The B. Coming—but shit, there'd probably be a LOT more good rap albums nowadays if that was true. Hold ya head, dun! recommended

hiphop@thestranger.com

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Washington Ensemble Theatre presents amber, a sensory installation set in the disco era
In this 30-minute multimedia experience, lights & sounds guide groups as they explore a series of immersive spaces.