Downtown Miami's I/O continues to play host to long-lost hip-hoppers on the comeback trail. Black Moon, Digable Planets, and Fatlip have all spit to South Florida fans in the past few months, and now underground legend Masta Ace gets his turn. Ace sprouted from the Brooklyn projects into critical acclaim in the late '80s, brandishing an uptempo flow, deft wordplay, and slick wit. After releasing four critically hailed but publicly ignored albums over a decade, he dropped out of the game. Once Eminem cited Ace as an influence, though, he realized a return was in the works. Last year's The Long Hot Summer was both a bitter indictment of the music industry and an announcement of his retirement -- not to mention a wickedly funny, fun concept album. In true hip-hop form, Ace knows that post-retirement is the best time to hit the stage.
Masta Ace plays with fellow old schoolers Ed OG and DJ Evil Dee, plus Punchline, Sevenstar, and Haviken Hayes, at I/O, 30 NE 14th St., Miami. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Eighteen and over welcome. Call 305-358-8007.