Threes Up for A Trio of Badass Boston Hip-Hop Shows: Moe Pope, Statik, DL...

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Boston hip-hop has come a long, long way since I showed up here to cover the scene 10 years ago. In that time, countless artists have seen international acclaim, and banked a good buck on tours from here to places like Japan and Germany. Cats like Slaine, Reks, and Termanology are renowned as some of the genre's premier lyricists – on either side of commercial divide – and top producers like Pete Rock and Premier regularly collaborate with artists from New England. Fuck – 7L and Esoteric are about to drop an album – an entire goddamn album – with Inspectah Deck (yes – I'll be reviewing the shit out of that one).

Though I look forward to covering more up-and-comers like Natural, Catch Wreck, Mark Merren, and Dutch Rebelle – and Charmingly Ghetto, of course – the old dude in me is always psyched for action from the talent that came up as I was honing writing chops. That excitement comes in many forms, starting with my satisfaction in seeing Moe Pope finally win some overdue respect. He narrates urban life in ways that roughnecks and new school bohemians can seemingly appreciate equally; and after dropping brilliance with Electric and Project Move, his hustle-hardy efforts alongside Rain and Christopher Talken caught fire outside of the immediate rap world.

Moe's wide attraction is no wonder. He's never cared much for hip-hop trends, and though there are traces of raw boom bap in his very breath, his latest full-length, Let The Right Ones In, steps across boundaries that even P.O.S. rarely toes. The guests, some of whom will join Moe on Friday for the big release bash at Brighton Music Hall, help facilitate the fantasy; Ceschi brings a dark organic jazz vibe to overdose on, while Lady Lamb the Beekeper and Jake Mehrmann jump on the epic exit opus “Last Song.” For straight saliva, Boycott Blues and Blacastan also touch the lineup, and so forth. All that plus sick packaging make for the first definite Bean rap buy of the year.

A bit off the music tip, but never too far off, is the latest project from Statik Selektah and his 'round-the-clock, club-to-club, block-to-block, station-to-station all-around-the-nation squad at Showoff Entertainment. Looking to give a little something back to the community for all the good fortune that they've had lately, this Thursday night at Good Life they're presenting a truly excellent short film they produced – directed by and starring JFK – for autism awareness called Shirley Ave. It is the Showoff crew after all, though, so they'll also be partying in honor of Statik's born day, all the while watching the Celtics beat up on the Knicks.

All of which brings be to the final purpose of this post – to welcome back Daniel Laurent to the Bean rhyme scene. DL started leaking me some tracks a few months ago, and not surprisingly, he's still writing far above the fray, reflecting all he sees around him through deep personal accounts of his continuing coming of age. As part of a seven show New England series, he'll be joining Letia Larok and Dre Robinson at Church next Monday – and at Grand Canal on February 27 – for what's guaranteed to be a night of throwback anthems and new heat, not to mention old friends tossing back shots of brown liquor. A reason to squeeze your thumb against your index if there ever was one.


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