Slick Rick the Ruler is gonna be telling tales at Respectable Street on Wednesday this week and Fat Joe will be throwing a wild party at Daer on Friday. Nice bookends for a quiet Thanksgiving Day.
If you have ever been curious about storytelling's prominence in hip hop, then look no further than Slick Rick, who helped build it with tracks like "Children’s Story" from his first album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, from 1988. The British rapper and producer has long been at the pinnacle of hip hop MCs, and with each record release, he added to the myth of Slick Rick — a lover, a hustler, a street poet, supreme ruler, and eye patch king. With his 1999 album The Art of Storytelling, he showed that more than a decade after his first LP, he is still the most dangerous storytelling MC in the hip hop lex. The Art of Storytelling brought us tracks with Rick collaborating with Nas, Canibus, Doug E Fresh, Redman, and Outkast. And the track "Street Talkin'" with Outkast has that same lyrical smoothness Slick Rick is known for. The velvet-voiced rapper will always be the Ruler. With DJ Richie Rick and DJ KJ. 9 p.m., Wednesday, November 27, at Respectable Street, 518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-832-9999; sub-culture.org/respectable-street. Admission is $18 via eventbrite.com.
Fat Joe has done so much for hip hop, he should be enshrined in murals across the country. The Bronx native has been a hit machine, at the top of the charts on and off for decades. He is the man that found the legendary Big Pun, gave us the mega-hit "All the Way Up" (off his 2017 collabo album with Remy Ma Plata O Plomo), and recently dropped the video for "Yes" with Cardi B and Anuel AA, and featuring Dre. Fat Joe has been one of those hip hop artists who've managed to shift and move with the industry. Fat Joe stepped into the music scene in the early '90s, when the MCs were samurais roaming New York City's boroughs looking for battles. To this day he is respected as one of hip hop's most constant talents and visionaries. 10 p.m., Friday, November 29, at Daer Nightclub, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; 954-779-4750; hardrocknightlife.com. Tickets are $15 and $20 via tixr.com.
Lil Durk has been the longest-lasting champion of the drill scene that came out of Chicago. His latest album, Love Songs 4 the Streets 2, released in early August, gives us a new chapter in the legacy of the Chicago MC. The drill scene was a sound of the youth of Chicago and many of the artists that came out of that scene were very young when they found themselves in the public eye. At 27, Lil Durk has more years in the game than most his age. Songs like "Die Slow," featuring 21 Savage from Lil Durk’s latest album, give a taste of just how serious the drill scene can be. It’s a scene that has produced music that can be shocking, but in truth, the music speaks directly to the twisted environment in Chicago where these artists came of age. Lil Durk's latest album has a slew of first-rate features, in addition to 21 Savage — artists like Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj, and A Boogie wit da Hoodie find themselves slugging it out alongside Lil Durk, while he continues flexing on the world. 10 p.m., Thursday, November 28, at Cafe Iguana, 8358 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines; 954-433-8787; cafeiguanapines.com. Tickets cost $30 to $50 via eventbrite.com.
Holy Dances has played to crowds of dancing locals since the West Palm Beach indie rockers released their debut EP In the Aura in 2017 to both local and critical fanfare. Their spacey melodies and laid-back approach to their hooks give off an almost time-twisted vibe. Sometimes you feel like you are listening to a time capsule unearthed from the '50s, and other times you feel like you are in 2019, dreaming on the sandy beach. Songs like "Goddess of Doom" make this case. The harmonica brings an otherwise outworldly space adventure back to earth and grounds it in the history of American music. The way the band harmonizes isn’t perfect, it isn’t angelic, but it’s damn honest. The looseness of how their guitarist plays gives off the feeling that this band is actually having a really good time playing together. Then in 2018 they released the single "Dive," which takes the listener a bit further away from space and more into the rushed confines of reality. With the sped-up tempo, they show off their ability as a band to embrace other elements of music. "Dive" sounds very reminiscent of '90s britpop that barreled its way into the U.S. with bands like Blur and Pulp. Holy Dances latest single, "Dinosaur," was released in late September and finds them doing a bit of a mix and match between the tempo of their first EP and from their last single, "Dive." We can expect a lot from Holy Dances in the future. With Analog, Brett Staska, and others. 8 p.m., Friday, November 29, at Voltaire, 526 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-408-5603; sub-culture.org/voltaire. Tickets cost $5 via eventbrite.com or $8 at the door.
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Since the release of his first album, Lyfe 268-192, in 2004, Lyfe Jennings has been a quintessential part of American R&B. An artist who has lived an intense life — 268-192 was his prison ID number — Jennings is a multi-instrumentalist with a voice that has real soul. While his unique crooning resonated and his talent was obvious from the start, it wasn’t until his third album, Lyfe Change (2008), that Jennings proved himself a craftsman. Previously, he'd mostly relied on himself to write and produce his music, but with his third album, he stretched his wings and began working with different producers on different sounds, and in so doing solidified his own. Jennings recently released his seventh album, 777, another sexy, storytelling R&B celebration with tracks like "Slave," with lyrics like, "This ain’t the part we fall in love/This is the part we kiss and fuck." In true Lyfe Jennings form, he manages to not only write on explicit sexual matters, but also gives us something deeper to digest. With Freddie Jackson, Avant, and Shirley Murdock for the Falling Back in Love Tour. 6:30 p.m., Saturday, November 30, at Pompano Beach Amphitheater, 1806 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach; 561-223-7231; theamppompano.org. Tickets range from $65 to $125 via eventbrite.com.