I'm spittin' in the wind/ Till it knocks a tree down in the woods/ God is good/ Either you stand for something/ Or fall for anything/ You can get all the money cars jewelry and things/ And still have nothing … Hip hop says you can be what you wanna be/ As long as you ain't f-a-k-e—"How You Sell Soul To A Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul,” by Public Enemy.
As hip-hop evolved, the form consistently balanced its revolutionary incursion into American music between self-conscious narcissism and culturally conscious criticism. Throughout the evolution of this rocanrol-replacing genre there’s been an overall tendency to ignore hierarchy and let artistic freedom ring. This postmodern free-for-all has resulted in a plethora of sub-genres, diffuse influence and a hell of a lot of dancing.
This week's “Show Up!” examines how the hip-hop phenomenon has affected concert choices in Burque. The sound has also influenced other genres—especially EDM and rocanrol—available for local consumption and, in an overarching sense, seems to be taking the lead as the musical diversion of choice all over our humble burg.
Public Enemy: “How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul”
Courtesy of the artist
Hip-hop popularized the term DJ, introducing playback gear and effects appropriated from genres like house music and urban happenings that featured “Jamaican Sound Systems” to clear its path to pop culture glory. More specifically an intensive on continuous cross-fertilization, disparate genres continue to be mutually influential. Such climactic crossovers are likely to be lively when An-Ten-Nae, a San Francisco DJ who calls his work “Acid Crunk,” performs at Sister (407 Central NW) on Friday, Oct. 7. An-Ten-Nae’s glitch-ridden, sparse but spacious take on electronica freely borrows from hip-hop vocalization and dubstep bass styles while incorporating an overarching beat that implores listeners to dance ecstatically. Sample-based sonic experimentalist Soohan and Kalling and Deja provide support. Advance tickets cost $12 at LA Underground; showtime is 9pm (21+).
Much like rocanrol or jazz—and just in time for our yearly Best of Burque Restaurants issue—hip-hop comes in a variety of flavors that are constantly in flux, evolving and being taken apart and rebuilt daily as each next generation or subculture comes into contact with it and begins making their own freaky-styley songs. Witness this method of transmitting culture memetically, yo, at The Jam Spot (239 San Pedro NE). On Saturday, Oct. 8, the Mighty Blunts Tour swoops down from the youthfully blue postmodern sky with artists like bro-rapper Stoner Jordan; Utah wunderkind (he wrote his first rhyme 12 years ago when he was in sixth grade) C Crime, whose work has a trap vibe laced with Detroit-style flow going for it; confession and funk driven Phoenix, Ariz. hip-hop artist Bag of Tricks Cat and the dark, mystic, groove-mixes of 3RD3Y3-HIII. Tickets for a glimpse of this brave new world filled with such 21+ people are $15; the visitation begins at 7pm.
Bag Of Tricks Cat: “For The Culture”
Much like rocanrol or jazz—and just in time for our yearly Best of Burque Restaurants issue—hip-hop comes in a variety of flavors that are constantly in flux, evolving and being taken apart and rebuilt daily as each next generation or subculture comes into contact with it and begins making their own freaky-styley songs
Montana of 300 has a gig Sunday night, Oct. 9, at Launchpad (618 Central SW). Noted for a complex rhythmic and rhyming style that incorporates metaphorically expressed stories about a troubled upbringing brought to life with cinematic strings and synths, a Roland drum machine and R&B vocal conceits, Montana of 300 is hip-hop nation. He initially reached the heights of stardom and praise on the strength of remixes, like that of “Panda,” a single by Desiingner—and with provocative yet insightful recordings like Fire in the Church. A true postmodernist from Chicago, Montana of 300 appropriates sounds and samples and beats from the previously recorded work of other rappers and EDM producers, but does so in such a way that implies the rapper is resignedly yet dutifully searching for something greater hidden amidst all the beats and bravado. This tendency comes out in compositions throughout Fire, including “Fighting Demons, Dropping Jewels” and “Daddy Used To Be the Plug.” Admission to this big-shoulder-borne bit of brilliance will cost 13+ listeners $20. Totally worth it totally starting at 7:30pm.
The following evening, Monday, Oct. 10, continue an exploration of hip-hop’s seeming dominance as a force in popular culture—and, consequently concert-booking and show-attending human proclivities in the Duke City—by taking a trip over to Sunshine Theater (120 Central SW). Schoolboy Q will be performng there as part of his Blank Face LP Tour. Quncy Matthew Hanley, a West Coast rapper with a definitive East Coast flair and attitude, began his career with a mixtape called Schoolboy Turned Hustla, a hard-edged effort that led to a record deal and later collaborations with Kendrick Lamar in a group called Black Hippy. Cali pretentions aside, Q’s work was and continues to be deeply influenced by the likes of 50-Cent and Jay-Z. His own style is aggressively beat-conscious, raw and wry with an ironic twist; Schoolboy Q’s flow sometimes contradicts the musical atmosphere in which he operates, making for hypnotically opaque journeys through sound and life. Joey Bada$$ opens. It will cost between $40-$160 to get into this world teeming with tough tuneage, beginning at 7pm.