Ewart Beckford and Hopeton Overton Brown probably wouldn't garner much recognition trading under their given names. But under their recording aliases of U-Roy and the Scientist , respectively, Beckford and Brown are two living legends in their native Jamaica. Before DJ Kool Herc brought the Jamaican sound-system ideology to the Bronx and kick-started hip hop culture, U-Roy was the resident DJ for dub originator King Tubby and the Scientist was Tubby's teenage studio apprentice. This is a link that often goes unmentioned in the retelling of hip hop history, but here's a chance to check out some very influential artists who still know how to rock a party. These two pioneers come together for one special evening this Thursday, Feb. 9, at the Independent; call 771-1421 or visit www.theindependentsf.com for more info.
For more than a decade Psycho Les and Ju Ju, the New York duo known as the Beatnuts , have figured out how to tread the fine line between humor and corniness. While a great many of their East Coast colleagues were running around trying to act all hard, the Beatnuts were busy chasing skirts, smoking blunts, and digging through old records for instantly memorable melodies, samples that would later be stolen by tuneless fur-clad singers like J. Lo. And yet, despite the act's influence and originality, hard-core national success has eluded deez Nuts (2004's Milk Me failed to produce any hits). Nevertheless, their easygoing, party-down philosophy is a natural fit here in the Yay Area. L.A. trio Literates and S.F.'s own D.N.A. Crew will get things started when the Beatnuts do their Cheech & Chong thing on Sunday, Feb. 12, at the Red Devil Lounge; call 921-1695 or go to www.reddevillounge.com for more info.