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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grouch & Eligh "Say G&E" at Slim's

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 7:00 AM

Non-Pretentious: The Grouch & Eligh
  • Non-Pretentious: The Grouch & Eligh

Say what you will about the virtues of backpack rap compared to its gangsta and pop variants, but the Grouch & Eligh are eating well off the indie hip-hop teat. The prolific Cali duo, both accomplished solo artists in their own right, as well as members of the Living Legends collective, have a new album out (their third as a two-man outfit), Say G&E, and have accumulated enough of a fanbase--both local and otherwise--to justify a headlining slot at Slim's (on a Saturday night, no less). Their new album attempts to close the divide between "lyrical" and "street" rap, with guest appearances by Sage Francis and Mistah FAB, and in addition to the duo's self-produced tracks, boasts some hot-shit beats from Flying Lotus, Amp Live and Rick Rock. Ah, seems like only yesterday G&E shared sketchy public utilities hookups, copious quantities of Top Ramen, and a "Lost Boys"-like warehouse in East Oakland with the Mystik Journeymen.

One thing which separates G&E from overly-precious alt.rap peers is their almost complete lack of pretentiousness. Despite being the shortest in stature (and perhaps least-typical-looking rapper) of the Legends, Eligh can catch fire live, though one wonders where those ferocious cadences emanate from. Similarly, the Grouch--whose "Artsy" video deconstructed alt.rap clichés without being overly-mean spirited-- has long been a proponent of rapping about every-day life without excess window dressing, a trait which has made him somewhat of a working-class hip-hop hero. Ticket info for the Slim's show is here.

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Eric Arnold


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