11 Concerts in the Washington Area You Can’t Miss This July

11 Concerts in the Washington Area You Can’t Miss This July
11 Concerts in the Washington Area You Can’t Miss This July

Just when it seemed like the dust had finally settled from the biggest, loudest, most petty argument in rap, Kendrick Lamar celebrated Juneteenth with a victory lap. The Compton rapper, who had just beaten Drake in a back-and-forth battle of songs, brought together nearly every star in the city’s orbit for a one-off concert in Los Angeles that was streamed live on Prime Video.

For those who can’t see “The Pop Out” or attend in person, three artists from the big show will perform on stages across the Washington DC area this month. And for those who need a break from Lamar’s diss hit “Not Like Us,” there’s plenty of opportunity at other shows to explore and enjoy the breadth and depth of the genre.

As members of the Black Hippy Crew Schoolboy Q and Lamar were compatriots and collaborators for years. The latter’s appearance on the former’s breakthrough single, “Collard Greens,” set the stage for Schoolboy’s triumphant 2014 title track, “Man of the Year.” Schoolboy took a five-year hiatus, funded in part by endorsement deals related to his other great passion, golf, then returned to hip-hop earlier this year with the release of “Blue Lips,” an album that vacillates between moments of soothing introspection and claustrophobic paranoia. (July 25, 8 p.m. at the Fillmore Silver Spring. $53.50–$123.90.)

“The Pop Out” wasn’t just about denigrating Drake, but also about bringing LA rappers together, even across the gang lines that have led to so many deaths in the black community. What Lamar called “unity at its finest” was evident by featuring both Schoolboy Q, a former member of the Crips, and YGa well-known member of the Bloods. YG is touring in advance of his upcoming mixtape Just Re’d Up 3, a back-to-basics project that he introduced with the nonstop single “Knocka.” (July 28, 8 p.m. at the Fillmore Silver Spring. $35.25–$501.50.)

Cathedral Kennedy also appeared at the event, charming listeners with his laid-back Los Angeles flow reminiscent of Ice Cube at his chillest or DJ Quik at his slowest. In the late 2000s, Kennedy emerged as an exciting West Coast voice during the blog era. Since then, he’s remained independent, releasing collaborative albums with crooner TeeFLii and producer Hit-Boy, and while he’s not a household name, “My Type of Party” still sounds like you’re coming to the event on the best night of your life. (July 11, 8 p.m. at the Howard Theater. $50–$80.)

Few artists have influenced rap as much as Chef Keefwho has lived in LA for a decade but will likely always be associated with his hometown of Chicago. The rapper and producer’s breakthrough hit “I Don’t Like” is a generational anthem that still gets club crowds going wild, and the influence of his voice and productions can be heard on drill rappers around the world, mumbling Atlantans, and countless SoundCloud rappers with a whole lot of red. After performing in the Chicago area for the first time in over a decade, Keef is on the road on “A Lil Tour,” celebrating an icon who is only 28 years old. (25 July, 8 p.m. at Echostage. $76.)

The generation of rappers following in Chief Keef’s footsteps is not much younger than their role model. $NOT And Cochise are 26-year-olds who grew up in South Florida and have collaborated with and inspired by Keef. The pair scored a hit with “Tell Em,” a track that finds $NOT offering casual menace and Cochise offering helium-sniffing chirps. They’re joined on tour by fellow rising internet stars FourFive, Baby Kia, Scarlet House and the 0500gcsy collective. (July 30, 6:30 p.m. at the Fillmore Silver Spring. $48–$113.30.)

Previous Industries consists of three Chicagoans living in LA. Rapper Open Mike Eagle, Video by Dave And Still crack are like Ghidorah: not only do they prove that three heads are better than one, but their music also recalls the far-fetched samples and lush lyricism of King Geedorah, a pseudonym of MF Doom, one of the group’s biggest influences. Previous Industries’ album “Service Merchandise” revolves around disused chains and features meditations from three men of “a certain age” who “drink all the whiskey you have on your shelf.” (July 26th at 8pm at Songbyrd. $20–22.)

Rapper from LA Sideshow was born in Ethiopia but raised in DC. The versatile rapper spits boasts, threats and non sequiturs, varying his delivery and tone over anything-goes beats that draw from the traditions of boom-bap, drill, cloud rap and more. On his recent album “FUNTOY,” Sideshow challenged imitators and reaffirmed his claim to greatness: “They hear my music, go home and rehearse the flow/ And more, I’m trying to break the fast, stand next to the goat.” On this program, he is joined by likeminded talents Niontay and DC’s own El Cousteau. (July 19th, 10pm at Comet Ping Pong. $18–20.)

rapper Bucky Malone is staying busy. After teaming up with DC’s WiFiGawd for the collaborative album Polo’s & 40 Below$ last year, the Virginia native released his most personal album yet, Derren. Over twinkling synths, dizzying textures, and deep red bass, Malone unfurls lived-in lyrics about trading street life for the music business that reference Three 6 Mafia as much as classic video games. After giving Polo’s a stripped-down and bolted-down treatment, he returned with Club Mars, an album-length tribute to the East Village’s classic Mars Bar that delves into club music and turns Crystal Water’s classic Gypsy Woman into a hip-house love song. (July 8th at 8pm at Songbyrd. $15–18.)

DC’s most reliable festival, Broccoli City Festivalreturns this month with a lineup that includes some of the artists — Megan Thee Stallion, Sexyy Red, Baby Tate – who have conquered hip-hop with their raunchy, sex-positive lyrics. Next in this line could come Bktherulaa 21-year-old from Atlanta who performs Auto-Tune melodies in two-minute messages and went viral on TikTok with the ethereal “Tweakin’ Together.” (July 12, 8 p.m. at the Howard Theater. $25–45.)

Ice cream seasoning hasn’t let the controversy surrounding her album cover stop her from releasing her debut album, “Y2K!” just days before her DC tour stop. Since her breakthrough less than two years ago, Spice has kept her foot on the gas (no pun intended) with the club-ready “Think U the S— (Fart),” a scatological take on familiar attacks on her fellow travelers, and “Gimmie a Light,” which samples the similarly named Sean Paul classic and asks, “Who’s bigger than her? Who’s prettier too? Like, honestly, who’s bigger than me?” (July 30, 8 p.m. during the national anthem. $59.50–$99.50.)

He is not quite at the top yet, but This Mexican OT continues to climb the rap rankings, recently securing a spot on XXL’s annual Freshman Class list. The attention is well deserved: There’s no one in hip-hop who sounds like the 25-year-old Texan, who interrupts a syrupy flow by rolling letters previously thought unrollable. In addition to blending cowboy couture and hip-hop style on the albums “Lonestar Luchador” and “Texas Technician,” he recalls Houston Trunk Rattlers of his collaborators Slim Thug, Paul Wall and Z-Ro, and paints vivid pictures with his words: “There’s money in the right pocket, cocaine in the left pocket, a bulletproof white Cadillac, he rides in a tank.” (July 24, 8 p.m. at the Fillmore Silver Spring. $41.75–$127.45.)

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