This DC-based rapper has maintained a cult following longer than some hip-hop characters can keep a major label interested, yet he's never made a full foray into the mainstream. Melding conscious, thought-provoking raps with string-heavy instrumental backing and traditional melodic structures, the lack of radio material is assuredly part of his pigeonholed status. Still, the man born Amir Mohamed el Khalifa raps with the power of predecessors like Rakim and borrows from the sonic junkyard of groups like A Tribe Called Quest.
Sat., Oct. 12, 8 p.m., 2013
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