fosters healthy competition in underground hip hop. Its best-known participant, Eminem (in 1997), reportedly got his ass kicked in the MC battle. When this nationwide event stops in San Francisco, it will present the preliminaries for the producer and MC standoffs. Oakland's Zeph & Azeem
, a DJ/MC partnership hot off releasing the overlooked gem Rise Up
, are special guest performers worth catching for their rap/dancehall/electro hybrid stylings. Last year's MC champ TheSaurus
won with lines like, "I'm sorry bro, but you can hardly flow. Oh God, this is just a comedy show!" (One of the kinder examples.) He also performs at "Scribble Jam" on Friday, July 6, at Slim's at 9 p.m. Admission is $16; call 255-0333 or visit www.scribblemagazine.com
for more info. Tamara Palmer
The U.K.'s DJ Steve Lawler plays the sort of house music that affirms rather than questions one's masculinity. He achieves this by generally by avoiding fey diva wanderings in favor of snarling synths and dirty bass lines. Very popular on the international circuit, Lawler holds down DJ residencies in London, Ibiza, and Los Angeles, where he's been known to play up to eight-hour sets for bacchanalian post-ravers. Lawler brings his twisted house to San Francisco on Friday, July 6, at Ruby Skye at midnight, with an after party at Slide beginning at 3 a.m. Admission is $15-30; call 693-0777 or visit www.rubyskye.com for more info. T.P.