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The Marginal Prophets
Commercial rap has become the knock-knock joke of the music industry -- we heard it in grade school. Record companies such as Priority and Death Row, once the rudder of the rap music industry, now rehash last year's beats and sprinkle them with O.G. Gat-totin', gin-and-juice-drinkin' lyrics so withered you'd think Methuselah himself ran A&R. Of course, when the majors are too busy with their master molds to recognize talent, independents can start getting well-deserved recognition. Such is the case with hometown rappers Marginal Prophets. They began their own label -- Gamma Ray -- to release their debut, Twist the Knob, in March of 1996. This effort is packed to the gills with seismic beats deep enough to put a subwoofer in throes, and yet avoids being repetitive. The Marginal Prophets differentiate their sound with diverse samples, ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd to King Crimson, as opposed to the overdone James Brown and P-Funk. Better yet, the rhymes of MCs Def G and K2 (squared) are reminiscent of early Pharcyde, telling wry stories good for hearty laughs instead of dust-filled sighs. Their live shows are not the standard two-rappers-and-a-beatbox variety, either. The Marginal Prophets have a full band, with Mark Gallegos on bass, Jim Richards on drums, Stark Raving Brad on percussion, and Chris Wilder on guitar. When you go to see them live, just be prepared for a real rap show, complete with crazy stage antics, a party atmosphere, and good music; not a one- or two-man ego party.

-- Robert Arriaga

The Marginal Prophets play Friday, July 11, at 9:30 p.m. at the Last Day Saloon, 406 Clement (at Fifth Avenue). Los Angelitos headline. Tickets are $7; call 387-6343.

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