Since the days of getting dissed on Eminem’s first record, New York underground rapper Cage has gone under the knife for numerous readjustments—horrorcore rapper, pornocore rapper, sensitive splattercore rapper, etc. His new album, Depart From Me, radically casts him as the hip-hop version of Warped Tour ‘04 emocore complete with Jake Bannon–ish cover art: chugging guitar riffs, vulnerable warble, bummer subject matter, dashboard (er, subway) confessionals. Unlike pretty much anything going, he’s a gush of pure emotion, comfortable enough with his demons to confront them with knotty rhymes as well as screams—”Dr. Strong” is about his teenage stint in a mental hospital, the punky “Fat Kids Need an Anthem” is about his battles with drug use and weight gain. Other times, he’s a lovelorn puppy (see infectious single “I Never Knew You”), but he’s always a unique mix of punker angst and battle-rap anger. These two nights at Southpaw double as record-release party and the kick-starter for his month-long tour. With fellow Def Jux associate Yak Ballz, Junk Science, and Tone Tank.
Thu., July 2, 8 p.m.; Fri., July 3, 8 p.m., 2009