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The Killah weighs in on a Fishscale;Hiphop flies 'round the world. 

Wednesday, Mar 22 2006
Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah has been getting a fair amount of airplay lately for his new single "Back Like That" off his forthcoming solo album, Fishscale. The track — featuring new R&B star Ne-Yo — is a perfect example of how the menacing-looking MC often favors an uplifting soul sound backing his hard edge (heÕs even experimented with disco, as heard on the classic "Cherchez Le Ghost," an interpolation of Dr. Buzzard's "Cherchez La Femme"). Killah's never been the most well-known of the Clan, but not for lack of charisma, talent, and drive; it's just pretty darned hard to overshadow folks like Ol' Dirty Bastard (R.I.P.) and Method Man. The Fishscale Tour (with special guest M-1 of the revolutionary group dead prez) goes down on Friday, March 24, at Mezzanine at 9 p.m. Admission is $20; call 625-8880 or go to for more info.— Tamara Palmer

Though the initial boom of the Asian underground's creative collision of traditional Indian classical music, mellifluous Bollywood soundtrack samples, and drum 'n' bass was centered in the U.K., few artists have pushed the style further than Brooklyn-born drummer, tabla maestro, and producer Karsh Kale . First emerging as an important contributor to Bill Laswell's Tabla Beat Science project in 2000, Kale has since established himself as one of electronic music's leading lights. He does this whether he's dropping eclectic DJ sets or powering his live band Realize through performances with his ferociously propulsive percussion. His latest effort for locally based imprint Six Degrees, Broken English, keeps an ear to the dance floor while bringing the musician closer to a futuristic global pop sound only suggested in his earlier work. Kale celebrates the new release with a headlining DJ set on Friday, March 24, at 1015 Folsom as part of local Asian Massive collective Dhamaal's third annual event, Worldly; call 431-1200 or visit for more info.— Dave Pehling

Michael Nader Musleh — aka DJ Nader — is a jockey known for blending traditional Arabic records with Western house and hip hop beats, bridging the cultural and generational divides. His efforts have earned praise in numerous circles, as he's opened for rock, swing, soul, and electronica artists. Nader's "Arabic Hip Hop Hizzy Party" will apparently be the "first ever Arab hip-hop party in San Francisco," according to the organizer. While this might be true, the Bay Area has a strong track record of embracing internationally flavored musical hybrids (just ask the Dhamaal crew behind "Non-Stop Bhangra"). Local MC Furious, L.A.'s Get Lit Entertainment, and North Carolina's Othaz will do live PAs, while DJ Nik Apollo will join Nader in turntable/CD mixing duties. They'll also screen selections from Slingshot Hip Hop, a documentary by Palestinian director Jackis Sollum. Besides being an attentive DJ, Nader knows a thing or two about throwing a party — his brother Nabiel is half of veteran S.F. promoters/restaurateurs Martel & Nabiel. Not a bad family business. Experience this cultural fusion on Friday, March 24, at Cafe Cocomo. Admission is $15-25; call 824-6910 or go to for more info.— Tamara Palmer

This week brings a different sort of winter games to the area: the finals for the third annual Freestyle Olympics for up-and-coming MCs. The top eight contestants from the recent preliminaries (held at Mighty) take their skills to Club Six. And just in case you think the competitors will spit some prepared verses, the organizers have made this contest foolproof. MCs have to adapt to changing tempos and are required to incorporate rhymes about the imagery projected on the walls into their battle calls. While slightly different from the giant slaloms of Torino, these verbal obstacle courses still showcase awesome athletics. See for yourself on Saturday, March 25, at 8 p.m. Admission is $7-10; call 863-1221 or visit for more info.— Tamara Palmer

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Tamara Palmer


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