If born in another time not all that long ago, Dead Prez might have been Eldridge Cleaver's in-house band. Instead, the New York rap group preserves the Black Panther ethos through its raw, confrontational tunes and close relationships with political activists. This resulted in the 2006 documentary Dead Prez: It's Bigger Than Hip Hop, the title taken from the group's biggest song. The film discusses the "S.F. 8," the name given to the eight former Panthers presently incarcerated here on murder charges that are, according to supporters, "based on confessions extracted by torture." In an ongoing effort to raise public awareness of the situation, this performance promises a refreshing angle never heard on commercial hip hop radio. Opener Wale is a hotly tipped rapper from Washington, D.C., who blends hip hop with that region's jangly local funk, known as go-go music.
Sun., Sept. 30, 9 p.m., 2007