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Mac Lethal, with Soulcrate Music, Prof & Akream. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 8 p.m. $7. Hip-hop artists trip all over themselves to prove

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Tonight: Mac Lethal at Nectar, Red Jacket Mine at Hard Rock

mac lethal.jpg
Mac Lethal, with Soulcrate Music, Prof & Akream. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020. 8 p.m. $7. Hip-hop artists trip all over themselves to prove how real they are, but Kansas City's Mac Lethal is walking warts-and-all reality. Making a name for himself years ago as a freestyle battle rapper in multiple Scribble Jam contests, Mac Lethal is as quick-witted as they come. He's slept on floors on the road, played every hole-in-the-wall rock club imaginable, gotten nods from hip-hop's underground royalty (putting out a record on Rhymesayers), and now is doing his own thing on his own terms on his own label (Black Clover). Equally comfortable spitting scalding venom toward other MC's and hip-hop culture in general or somber self-analytical admissions of his various flaws, Mac teeters between overblown pompous posturing and giddily taking the piss out of himself, with results that are sometimes hilarious, sometimes staggeringly raw and reflective, and always entertaining. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Red Jacket Mine. Hard Rock Cafe, 116 Pike St., 204-2233. 9 p.m. $5. Red Jacket Mine's first Tuesday night set as Hard Rock's local music residency incorporated several elements that I don't see enough of around town: 1. Non-country pedal steel; 2. Guitar solos played with proficiency, not irony; 3. Tasteful, familiar, crowd-pleasing covers (Neil Young's Cinammon Girl" and The Velvet Underground's "White Light/White Heat). Their set - which they'll recreate tonight and on the 30th (Tuesdays belong to Slender Means in April) - is as un-self-conscious as the room they're playing in. CHRIS KORNELIS
 
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