In the Alibi’s current issue we interviewed Blackalicious rapper Gift of Gab. He was scheduled to headline a show this Wednesday for the ninth anniversary of Viny & Verses at Burt’s Tiki Lounge. Sadly, Phillip Torres, the founder of the free weekly hip-hop series says that Gab has cancelled this show and an entire planned tour of the Southwest due to health issues. As for this week’s V & V, a show will still go on, and DJ’s Intox, Shakedown and Dozer are scheduled to spin.
Don't let money change ya. That's the message of "Deception," arguably the most well-known and anthemic track by Bay Area duo Blackalicious. It's also a creed the group's vastly skilled, tongue-twisting MC Gift of Gab (née Timothy Parker) seems to have taken to heart. He’ll be headlining a show at Burt’s Tiki Lounge next Wednesday. The Alibi caught up with him in advance.
In case you hadn't heard, there's some damn good hip-hop goin' down in the 505 these days. Some is local, some imported, but the connecting thread is that a lot of it can be caught at Burt's Tiki Lounge's free weekly Vinyl & Verses series on Wednesday nights. Some of the better acts I caught last year include Burqueño emcees Def-I and Wake Self, and Chicago's Qwazaar and Robust. In advance of another V & V show tonight at Burt's, I thought I'd post a video to show the caliber of talent that this event attracts. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., and the whole thing is pretty lax. Performances usually start late and end close to 2 a.m. There's always breakdancing during the shows, not to mention some heavy cyphers outdoors once the venue shuts down. Tonight Jivin Scientist, Zoology and Golden Ghost are on the bill. Check it.
The 11 tracks on Zoology’s debut Krush Love buzz with electricity, but the musicians keep the energy tightly controlled, unspooling it meticulously. It’s tense. In a good way. The lyrics are clever and the rapping is precise, with multiple voices flowing smoothly around each other. Under the beats—involuntarily head-nod-inducing ones—melodies conjure hints of soul and jazz.