Three Must See Acts This Week: Lubelski, SOB X RBE, Denzel Curry

Underground dance at the Great Northern, and hip-hop at the Fox and the Warfield.

Lubelski. Photo by Mass Musings

Tech house

Lubelski

9:30 p.m., Thursday, March 15, at The Great Northern. $10; thegreatnorthernsf.com

Remember P.L.U.R.? It’s the acronym — which stands for “Peace. Love. Unity. Respect.” — that every kandi-covered raver swore they lived their life by as if it were a sacred theology. Most of those ravers are long-gone from the scene now, but then you have San Diego’s Desert Hearts crew, who do an impeccable job at living in the spirit of what “P.L.U.R.” stood for, but in a subtle, more authentic way. Comprised of veteran producers, DJs, and fun-lovers alike, Desert Hearts is an exemplary model of what an underground dance-music crew ought to be. So it only makes sense that groovy tech-house producer and DJ Lubelski would be their kindred spirit. Lubelski’s productions are bouncy and slightly psychedelic tech-house tracks, similar to Dirtybird Records’ style. Using a mix of instruments and software, Lubelski’s production method allows him to create lushly produced techno and house songs that straddle the line between sensual and idiosyncratic, like other artists found on the Desert Hearts roster. 

Hip-hop

SOB X RBE

8 p.m., Saturday, March 17, at Fox Theater Oakland. $35; thefoxoakland.com

The Bay Area rap scene never left. In fact, you could faithfully argue that some of the most talented, up-and-coming rappers right now are from the Bay Area, like Oakland’s Kamaiyah or Vallejo’s Nef the Pharaoh. SOB X RBE, the hip-hop quartet from North Vallejo, seem poised to take over the music world within the next year. The group — which consists of barely-old-enough-to-drink rappers and longtime friends DaBoii, Slimmy B, Lul G, and Yhung TO — formed only two years ago, but they’ve gained a fan base and a level of recognition seasoned artists would kill for. Their self-titled mixtape made seismic waves in the hip-hop world upon its release last year, with listeners immediately drawn to the group’s hyphy-influenced yet strikingly modern sound. SOB’s popularity rose so quick, the group sold out their first-ever live performances — three nights in a row. SOB hit the ground sprinting this year, releasing the excellent debut studio album GANGIN and appearing on Top Dawg Entertainment’s Black Panther soundtrack. (The standout banging track “Paramedic!” features a guest spot from Kendrick Lamar.) SOB X RBE has a sound that will please the older heads in hip-hop, but not at the expense of chasing nostalgia, as SOB is a welcome, refreshing evolution.

Denzel Curry

Hip-hop

Denzel Curry

(with A$AP Ferg) 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 20, at The Warfield. $35; thewarfieldtheatre.com

Denzel Curry may be only 23 years old, but his already-prolific career has earned him the status of a cult hero in underground hip-hop, with his star value increasing every day. Born and raised in Carol City, Fla., Curry knew from an early age that he had a natural talent, often challenging peers to rap battles during school. As a teenager, Curry looked up to Wiz Khalifa and Kid Cudi for creative inspiration, but became increasingly turned off by hip-hop’s poppy and vanilla tendencies in the early portion of the decade. However, it was when Curry heard fellow Floridian producer SpaceGhostPurrp’s influential 2011 mixtape Blackland Radio 66.6 that his faith in hip-hop was renewed, leading Curry to join SpaceGhost’s rap collective Raider Klan. Although the two got along artistically, SpaceGhost’s difficult temperament led to tensions in Raider Klan, leaving Curry no choice but to leave the crew in 2013 to embark on a solo career. Since then, Curry has strengthened his aggressive yet crystal-clear flow in all his releases, often paired with some dark, intense production. Curry’s signature track, “Ultimate,” perfectly sums up what makes himself stand out among his peers, as it hits you with the force of a jet engine but lingers on your mind far after it’s over.

 

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