Blueprint at Propaganda, December 20

Is the Midwest the new locus of underground hip-hop? Minnesota's Twin Cities have boasted a long tradition of a scene focused on wordplay-heavy lyricism absent of rap's usual macho swagger. These days, though, the area seems to be sprouting even more artists and labels pushing the genre edges of what is considered hip-hop, with up-and-comers ranging from the poppy "hippie-hop" artist Mod Sun to stables of moodier acts on labels like Doomtree.

None of that would have happened, though, without the enormous influence of stalwart label Rhymesayers, which has produced artists — like the late Eyedea — who may be considered "backpacky" in some circles but unskilled by none. Among those is Ohio native Blueprint, a onetime battle-circuit champion who's translated his nimble freestyling skills into narratives made striking with his breathy, deep, commanding flow. He arrives in Lake Worth as part of a quick Florida-only tour that includes not one but two dates in Orlando. We'd want to escape to the Sunshine State over the winter too.

He comes supported by a host of local acts familiar to fans of these frequent Rhymesayers shows at Propaganda, including Jabrjaw and DJ Dee Dubbs.

 
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