Three Acts to See This Week: Tijana T, Dead Prez, Majid Jordan

A Serbian journalist and DJ, a socially conscious hip-hop duo from Florida, and two longtime friends who make highly danceable R&B.

Tijana T. Photo by Viktor Shekularatz

House/Techno

Tijana T

9:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 9, at the Monarch. $15; monarchsf.com

There’s a good chance if, a decade ago, you were to tell Tijana Todorovic, or simply Tijana T, that not only would she be a successful music journalist but also one of the most praised DJs in her home country of Serbia, she would likely write you off as a liar. That’s because she only discovered her DJ skills in 2013. Before realizing her talent in music selection, Todorovic made her splash in the Serbian music industry, covering festivals and artists from around the globe. It was through her career as a music journalist where her hidden talent as a vocalist came out, collaborating with New York techno fixture Abe Duque. After building a solid reputation in Belgrade’s club scene over a few years, Todorovic has been busy touring internationally at packed nightclubs and music festivals, finally making her United States debut this year. Her mixing style is a nice blend of throbbing techno and smooth house vocals, with hints of acid sprinkled throughout. Todorovic has been dominating the club scene in Belgrade for years, and her style is sure to translate perfectly for San Francisco. Tim Casagrande

Hip-hop

Dead Prez

9 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 8, at the Independent. $25; theindependentsf.com

For any artist who uses their music as a platform for political or social issues, the actual music usually takes precedence over any topics they discuss. Dead Prez operates in the opposite manner, as their music acts as a platform to shed a spotlight on racism, social injustice, and economic inequality. Their signature track “It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop” alludes to the idea that hip-hop is more than just a vehicle for record labels to make money off of, but rather a movement that uncovers adversity in marginalized communities through lyricism. The hip-hop duo, Stic.man and M-1, met in 1990 while studying at Florida A&M University, quickly forming a bond over their shared love of music and social justice. Even as the duo began to receive more mainstream attention, neither two ignored their involvement with community activism, and they still abide by their philosophy of self-reliance. Although their seminal album Let’s Get Free was released in 2000, the ferocious commentary holds just as much relevance today as it did 18 years ago. Tim Casagrande

Alternative R&B

Majid Jordan

9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Warfield. $34.50; thewarfieldtheatre.com

On the night of Majid Al Maskati’s 21st birthday in 2011, he was faced with the task of sneaking an underage friend of a friend into bars and clubs around Toronto along with the rest of his group. That night, Al Maskati and the underaged partier, Jordan Ullman, bonded over their mutual love of ’70s soul, R&B, and ’80s synth-pop, and instantly became musically involved. The two quietly began releasing music via Soundcloud under the moniker Majid Jordan, which soon caught the attention of Drake’s OVO Records. Fast-forward seven years, two studio albums, and numerous features, and the duo’s star power seems to shine brighter with each passing day, but both Al Maskati and Ullman remain focused on artistic growth and staying modest. In an interview with Complex last October, Ullman detailed Majid Jordan’s creative process and why they choose to not work within the confines of one genre, claiming, “We wanted to make a body of work that was eccentric and timeless, like your playlist is on shuffle but you’re listening to the same artist within the span of decades.” The duo’s sophomore album, The Space Between, is a successful experiment that seamlessly morphs soulful R&B with dreamy synth textures, all while delivering the right amount of energy that allows the listener to dance if they wanted. Tim Casagrande

 

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