Three Must-See Acts This Week

Ho99o9, Princess Nokia, and Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real



With 3TEETH, 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 25, at Great American Music Hall. $18;

Hip-hop relies on constant experimentation, and the brutally intense punk hip-hop duo Ho99o9 (pronounced horror) sound unlike any other artist either in hip-hop or punk. Rappers and longtime friends theOGM and Eaddy formed the group in Newark around 2012, equally influenced by figures like Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and Rob Zombie — and these unlikely antecedents can be heard in the duo’s blistering releases. Ho99o9 earned a cult following with two thunderous EPs in the years leading up to their 2017 debut album, United States of Horror. It’s 45 minutes of unhinged aggression, with a sonic range that includes hardcore punk anthems to heavy industrial beats, with both theOGM and Eaddy taking turns spitting violently unforgiving bars. Although technically a hip-hip duo, Ho99o9’s mosh-friendly sound is likely to appeal to those who follow hardcore punk rather than hip-hop. But hip-hop fans should still give the duo a listen, as Ho99o9’s shocking and socially critical lyricism along with their boisterous presence make them unique in either genre.

Princess Nokia. Photo by Bojan Jovanovic


Princess Nokia

9 p.m., Friday, April 20, at 1015 Folsom. $20;

Princess Nokia is not someone you want to mess with. The self-described feminist, bruja, and queer tomboy does not forgive ignorance and will gladly confront you — either through sharp braggadocios in her music, or in person, as when she defended a group of teens from a racist man on a New York subway. But unless you’re truly an unhappy soul, there’s no reason you and Princess Nokia wouldn’t get along — and her style of hip-hop should not be missed. Born Destiny Frasqueri, Princess Nokia is a native New Yorker, one who experienced an uneasy childhood growing up in and out of foster care. Frasqueri’s debut album 1992 Deluxe is a critical self-reflection of her own identity and life experiences, produced with an unmistakable East Coast style. A recently released mixtape, A Girl Cried Red, trades the bars and hi-hats found on her previous releases for soft, confessional vocals and acoustic guitars, proudly displaying Princess Nokia’s 2000s emo influences. A Girl Cried Red, while a departure from previous releases, shows the listener a more vulnerable and human side to her.


Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real. Photo by Myriam Santos

Country / Rock

Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real

8 p.m, Monday and Tuesday, April 23-24, at Great American Music Hall. $23;

When you’re the son of a country legend like Willie Nelson, creating heartfelt rock with some old-fashioned grit has to run in your blood, and Lukas Nelson has proven he has that and more. After briefly attending college in L.A., it didn’t take long for Nelson to realize music was his true passion, so he started Promise of the Real with other local musicians in 2008. Playing as the backing band for his father Willie’s band — and for Creedence Clearwater Revival’s John Fogerty — led to a collaboration with Neil Young for two studio albums, earning Promise of the Real the coveted spot as Young’s backing band for the next couple of years. The band’s debut self-titled major label album saw its release last fall, claiming a No. 1 spot on the Americana Radio Chart. Nelson audibly has the old-school country spirit in his soul on the album, proudly displaying his guitar skills with his whisky-soaked voice. Nelson’s musicianship combined with his emotive lyricism is a nice change of pace from the “bro-country” that has infected the genre this past decade.

Tags: , , , , ,

Related Stories