Photo by Matt OttoMASTER P
ONLY GOD CAN UNGGGGGH HIM
For those of you who find your self-esteem running a bit high, a good dose of Master P might be just the ticket. At 35, this physically and lyrically unremarkable rapper is listed in the Guinness Book of World Recordsas the richest music producer. He owns a clothing line, a sports-management company, a movie-production company, a toy company, a travel agency, a phone-sex venture, a retail shoe chain and a philanthropic foundation. He has appeared in 18 movies since 1998. He has trained with the Toronto Raptors and the Denver Nuggets and is still considered an NBA contender. He is father to rap star Lil' Romeo and brother of rap star C-Murder. If you happen to have been born on the very same day as P (as this writer was), you might be re-assessing just what, exactly, you have been doing with your time on Earth thus far. It is important to weigh both sides of the equation. On one hand, you're right: you will never, ever, ever accomplish what Master P has. All of your great moments and triumphs to come, stacked end to end, will comfortably fit in a footnote of this man's obituary. On the other hand, it hasbeen a bad year for P. Conspicuously absent from Forbes'2004 "40 Richest Under 40" list, P and his other brother, rap star Silkk the Shocker, were arrested in Los Angeles on felony gun charges earlier this month. The demands of "authenticity" are closing in. That there is an obscenity of money at the core of Master P's life ($293.8 million as of 2002) is entirely relevant to his music. His No Limit Records may have made its fortune by Wal-Mart-ing gangsta rap—the label's releases average 20 songs per CD and sell for Rollback prices—but No Limit's marketing is straight from the playbook of 12th-century feudal landowners: the flaunting of vast wealth before stunned masses. Master P has flourished by being self-referentially honest about this wealth every step of the way. Be honest now: Isn't this how you like your rap? (SamMcPheeters)
MASTER P WITH SILKK THE SHOCKER AT VAULT 350, 350 PINE Ave., LONG BEACH, (888) 808-2858; WWW.VAULT350.COM. FRI., 7 P.M. $20. 21+.
THE GEISHA GIRLS
NOT GEISHAS, NOT GIRLS
Neither from Japan nor here for the sole purpose of entertaining men—although we hear drummer Damian Edwards will be giving rubdowns at a future show—Geisha Girls are in fact three boys from Southern California playing music that traces the edges of post-modern punk and new wave circa 1978. They spark like Gang of Four and sneer like the Alley Cats, with John Roller's (fabulous hair and) short, sharp guitar shocks dicing through Shawn Munoz's bass riffs and Edwards' dancing high hats. Thus far, their music has been documented with the release of an EP and seven-inch—check their MySpace profile for the most complete colors-and-numbers-of-vinyl breakdown ever—with a full-length to be released in the summer on Number 3 Records. "We're going to rerecord some of our older material," reports Munoz. "And then the rest of the record will be all new stuff." At one point lending his time and talent to four bands (including Bad Brains singer H.R.'s solo venture), Munoz is now solely focused on Geisha Girls, and right now, that means taking them to the Lone Star state. "I was actually looking at vans today because we're going to SXSW for the first time. I'm excited to see Texas and maybe drink some Alamo beer!" (KatJetson)
GEISHA GIRLS WITH THE LASSIE FOUNDATION AT THE REVOLVER PROJECT AT LA CAVE, 1695 IRVINE AVE., COSTA MESA; WWW.REVOLVERPORJECT.COM SAT., 9 P.M. FREE. 21+.
NOTHING BUT SMOOTH
Last time 2Mex was in town, I was sitting at the Detroit Bar drinking Shirley Temples and watching him play to a crowd large enough to cheerfully push a Mazda hatchback down a hill. Some girl was riding a man's crotch like it was going to start spitting out quarters, and people were literally burning their money on the candles surrounding the bar. Even better, the PA system made his vocals sound like the Cold Crush Brothers live at the Harlem World, circa 1983. Of course, when the PA system is working, 2Mex (also appearing in the hip-hop group the Visionaries) is nothing but smooth—he's got a sort of poetic charm and an almost thoughtful voice and delivery. Once, he had long hair that made him look like a doorman at a Hell's Angels bar, and sure, he's built like an '80s wrestler—but he rhymes Weezer lyrics into his songs, the true test of a sensitive New Age hip-hop man. His latest solo release (since his self-titled album, which dropped just about a year ago) is set to come out sometime this spring, but no dates have been set yet. (CharlieRose)
2MEX WITH OZOMATLI AND YERBA BUENA AT THE GLASS HOUSE, 200 W. SECOND ST., POMONA; THEGLASSHOUSE.US SAT., 7 P.M. $22. ALL AGES.
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