Aceyalone and RJD2 team up for hip hop sweetness; Joaquin Joe Claussell brings soulful house from NYC

For more than 15 years, Los Angeles has cultivated a cadre of hip hop artists who make music that's distinct from the gangsta-soaked offerings of names like Snoop Dogg and DJ Quik. One such standout is Aceyalone (real name: Eddie Hayes), veteran of L.A.'s Freestyle Fellowship and a successful solo artist in his own right. Acey is touring in support of the just-released Magnificent City, a collaboration with RJD2, a studio wizard often compared to DJ Shadow who will be joining the MC on his road trip. The two first worked together on songs for Acey's 2003 album Love and Hate, and with Magnificent City they have cemented a partnership that draws out the best of both. French cinephile Wax Tailor and underrated L.A. rapper Busdriver will open when Aceyalone and RJD2 co-headline a night of 101 hip hop flavors on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Independent; call 771-1421 or visit for more info.

Joaquin "Joe" Claussell has been a mainstay in the New York soulful house scene for years, wearing multiple hats, from record store owner to producer to club promoter. But what he has always done best is DJ. The now-defunct party "Body & SOUL," which Claussell piloted throughout the '90s with fellow jocks Danny Krivit and François Kevorkian, amassed a following of loyal dancers that would have put Fame to shame. Over the past 10 years he's helmed the Spiritual Life record label, releasing music from himself and like-minded artists such as Jephte Guillaume, and he also directs the newer Sacred Rhythm imprint, the Web site of which features an astonishing mission statement of cosmic synchronicity. Yes, Claussell is apparently communicating with and through a much higher power than just the tipsy folks on the dance floor, so expect a heady bit of boogie when he makes an appearance at the weekly party "Salted" on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Mighty; call 762-0151 or visit for more info.

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