Fresh Pub Hop on Porter’s Menu

    Nothing personal against the A.S. programming staff, but
    when it comes to hip-hop, the shows at UCSD over the past couple of years
    haven’t really been anything to get hyped up about. It’s not so much that the
    previous shows here have been horrible, it’s just that there is too much raw
    talent in the hip-hop world to not have consistently dope performances,
    especially since UCSD is so close to Los Angeles’ vibrant hip-hop scene.

    That should change this Friday Feb. 1, when Angeleno
    newcomer Blu performs at Porter’s Pub alongside veterans Elzhi (one half of the
    classic group Slum Village,
    for those who don’t know) and DJ House Shoes. Blu, besides being one of the
    best rappers to emerge from the West Coast in the past five years, is a
    charismatic performer who treats the stage like his own basement and the crowd
    like homies.

    Blu’s debut album, with producer/DJ Exile, was named the
    best hip-hop LP of 2007 by yours truly, and everything coming from the
    24-year-old rapper leads to the conclusion that it’s the start of something
    bigger.

    One of the show’s more exciting aspects of the show is that
    it pairs fresh faces like Blu with experienced heads like Elzhi and House
    Shoes. Elzhi is, from a technical standpoint, one of the best MCs rapping right
    now — his style is akin to what Big Daddy Kane was doing in the late ’80s in New
    York
    , but with an updated, Detroit-influenced style.
    His work with partner T3 as Slum Village
    has been consistently solid and, at best, has produced classic moments for
    modern hip-hop, even though mainstream radio has generally failed to recognize
    their importance and quality.

    When I say “their,” House Shoes is definitely included. The Detroit
    hip-hop scene is closely knit; speaking about one MC tends to spark discussion
    about other artists in the city, and few people from Detroit
    have their hands in as much music as House Shoes. This cat has built his
    reputation on only supporting quality music, while always having an eye out for
    the next shit. Currently, he’s opening up for Detroit
    bigshots like Guilty Simpson and Dilla’s little brother, Illa J.

    The DJ spins phenomenally well too, spending more energy on
    the selection of the tracks he’s going to spin than focusing on the
    cut-cut-scratch-cut aspect that many people associate with hip-hop DJs — in reality,
    it’s only worthwhile when a selected few experts do it.

    Trust me: you don’t want to miss this show. It’s free for
    students and nonaffiliates alike, and San Diego’s
    own DJ Norm Rocwell and the homie DJ PWC fill the opening slots. This is some
    of the best music you probably haven’t heard — don’t sleep.

    Blu, Elzhi and DJ House Shoes will be playing at Porter’s
    Pub on Feb. 1, at 8 p.m.

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