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DJ Toph One mixes it up at a new Friday happy hour; Digital Underground offers a silly reprieve from silly hip hop

Although Red Wine Collective ringleader and Bay Area native DJ Toph One has gained a sturdy reputation for spinning some of the choicest hip hop and funk sounds, he's equally adept at DJing other nifty genres, such as dirty rock, ska-punk, and electro-funk. In what will hopefully be a continued tradition, he will be spinning a long set on a weekly basis at downtown's Kate O'Brien's, perfect for the after-work crowds, or for the most awesome residents in the burgeoning downtown/SOMA neighborhood. (OK, I live there, but I'd like to imagine that I have very brief moments of awesomeness every now and then.) Catch Toph starting at 8 p.m. this and every Friday. Admission is free; call 882-7240 for more information. -- Brock Keeling


"The Legendz of Hip Hop" is a special showcase commemorating 30 years of hip hop, which has arguably been around a bit longer than that, but who's keeping track? Local promoters Milestone Entertainment have assembled some of the East Coast pioneers to celebrate the occasion. Grandmaster Melle Mel & the Furious Five featuring Scorpio will undoubtedly perform "White Lines" and "The Message," and Mel will likely dazzle the crowd with his beefy bodybuilder torso. Kurtis Blow, the first rapper to ever nab a big record deal, is a consummate performer whose easygoing smile and earnestness never fail to make people feel good. Big Daddy Kane, originator of narcissistic largess on wax, and Dana Dane (remembered for ... not much) round out the special guests. Expect this promising bill to bring some old-school, positive magic to San Francisco on Friday, July 1, at Space 550; call 550-8286 or visit www.space550.com for more info. -- Tamara Palmer


Hip hop acts have a reputation for serving up lukewarm live shows, but an exception to this rule is Digital Underground -- the perfect antidote to rappers grabbing their crotches and tossing out some lackluster call-and-response clichés to a crowd. From touring arenas with Public Enemy in the early '90s at the height of its fame (during that brief era when Oakland was a fertile breeding ground for major-label talent) to the considerably more cozy venues that are its current bread and butter, DU has always been a sure bet. The group's live sets are anything but rote, as the core of Shock G and Money B blend the best bits from their catalog, including staple hits like "The Humpty Dance" and "Freaks of the Industry," as well as recent material from Shock's funny and substantive solo album, Fear of a Mixed Planet. The farther commercial hip hop sticks itself up its own materialistic, testosterone-driven ass, the more the laid-back funk and adolescent humor of Digital Underground feel like a breath of fresh air. The Shotgun Wedding Quintet opens for the original masters of the oregano flow on Saturday, July 2, at the Red Devil Lounge; call 921-1695 or visit www.reddevillounge.com for more info.-- Tamara Palmer

 
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