The term "turntablist" arose in the mid-'90s to describe the dexterous DJs that were playing their decks like any other legitimate musical instrument. The present-day turntablist does more than that, though; he channels that talent into the worlds of songwriting and production as well. For this month's installment of "Flava of the Month," resident DJs Triple Threat (Shortkut, Apollo, and Vinroc) are bringing up their longtime friend and colleague from Southern California. DJ Rhettmatic is a key member of the Beat Junkies crew, of which Shortkut is also a member, and continues to produce songs for L.A. talents such as Aceyalone and his group Visionaries. Between them all, they share several regional, national, and international DJ championships -- enough title belts to put Hulk Hogan to shame. And, indeed, it's Hogan's heyday that they'll be musically celebrating when they get together, setting off nuggets of hip hop, soul, and funk from the '80s. Strap on those key-tars and vocoders on Saturday, Aug. 27, at Milk; call 387-6455 or visit www.milksf.com for more info.
North Carolina's Little Brother (DJ/producer/Jay-Z favorite 9th Wonder and MCs Phonte and Big Pooh) are a testament to the breadth and depth of hip hop coming out of the South, which is often categorized as much more gangster-oriented and sex-obsessed than this trio would ever dream of being. The three artists chose their moniker to reflect how they wanted to be perceived: as the little brother to the Native Tongues, the classic East Coast collective of hip hop artists like A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. Discerning East Bay record label ABB (Always Bigger and Better) were among Little Brother's key early supporters, releasing the group's debut The Listening in 2003. Major label Atlantic Records then came sniffing along, and has teamed up with ABB for Little Brother's forthcoming album The Minstrel Show, an incisive examination of black entertainers about which the buzz is deafening. In fact, the editor-in-chief of hip hop bible The Source resigned last week when the rag's publishers wanted to give Minstrel a slightly lower rating than he did. Music so good that people will stake their jobs on it? Now that sounds like something not to be missed. SoCal electronic pop artists the Away Team open when Little Brother performs on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at Slim's; call 255-0333 or visit www.slims-sf.com for more info.