Given that hip-hops only been skulking around for a short time, its disheartening that so many of its practitioners dont knowor dont care aboutits foundational elements. But the gang on hand tonight damn sure does. L.A.s Dilated Peoples has always focused its eagle eyes on the three pillars of the culturelyrics, production, and DJing. That may seem basic, I know, but when the airwaves are clogged with shit like Baghdad sewers, its sometimes tough to recall that you dont need much to make good hip-hop music. As MC Evidence says over a battering-ram beat littered with DJ Babus precision scratching on Back Again, from 06s artistically clear-sighted 20/20, Dont worry if I write checks, I write rhymes. That its a clever reversal of an old Diddy line alone makes it a winner in my tattered book, but its championing of the word over the dollar plants a tear tat by my eye.
Mon., June 2, 8 p.m., 2008