There's no doubt that this summer is highly saturated with hip-hop concerts. But even if you might not be all too enthusiastic for the Drake and Lil Wayne show in September, maybe some of the shows in the upcoming month can fill a share of your summer leisure time and dough. Conveniently, the always busy, always awesome Observatory is hosting all the shows on our list. And if scraping ticket money together is a problem for you, one of the listed shows costs less than a Li'l Caesar's Hot-n-Ready. Here are our picks for the best hip-hop shows in July.
5. Andre Nickatina
Thurs, July 17
Listening to Andre Nickatina offers a look into an epoch in rap that is now intangible. The grit in his delivery is unmatched by contemporary acts. Plus, the price of the show ($5) coming to the Observatory this go-'round will make "Ayo for Yayo" and "Drug Luv" that much sweeter to hear in person as you'll likely have more money to spend on your vices, thus be a little more in the zone.
4. Asher Roth
Wednesday, July 2
The Constellation Room
Currently on tour for the April release of his second official album, RetroHash, the onetime proponent of the undergrad experience has grown more abstract in his approach to the genre, incorporating more styles into his music with every release. While Pabst and Jazz was his most experimental project when it dropped, his latest effort is much more ethereal. Asher sticks to his mantra of delivering light-hearted lyrics -including professing his love for smoothies- on RetroHash, which combine with his reposing instrumentals for easy listening that can be smile inducing. Join Asher and a live band on his last show of his summer tour that should find him in full swing, where he's been known to shimmy across the stage before jumping off of it.
The Constellation Room
Saturday, July 26
Since finding a home at Strange Music Records and a true homie in fellow Southern rapper Yelawolf, the long haired rapper has been a master of the technical, rapid-fire flow, an attribute he shares with labelhead Tech N9ne. After being awarded four of five stars by XXL for his most recent album, The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant, which included a Mike Posner featured single and having the album peak at 5 on the Billboard Rap charts, Rittz has emerged as a mass appealing entity who hasn't succumbed to the "mainstream" sound. Prepare for a moshing crowd and a chance to chat it up with the big, red, baron whose been known to hop off stage and mingle with dedicated fans after his show.
2. Vince Staples (featuring AudioPush and Skeme)
Tuesday, July 22
The 20-year-old Long Beach native Vince Staples has become a champion of the neurotic flow, leading to frequent collaborations with Mac Miller and OddFuture. The Def Jam signee most recently made a push for major acclaim as an opener of Schoolboy Q's Oxymoron tour and the release of his mixtape, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2. It'll be great to see how Staples' growing artistry and experience on stage manifest in a show of his own. Leading up to an undoubtedly eccentric performance, IE natives AudioPush and Skeme of Inglewood will take the stage, presenting an array of young Hip-Hoppers to the Observatory.
Friday, July 4
No plans on 4th of July? Don't trip, get trippy. If you dropped the ball and missed out on Juicy last time he came to OC for a bass bumping performance at Powerhouse, don't fret. There's another chance to witness the antics of King Trippy in a much more intimate setting, which also happens to be Independence Day. Pump your arms and chug the theme drink of your choice in a very American fashion (get obliterated) while you sway to classics like "Slob on my Knob" and fight the urge to stripper-dance when it comes to "Bounce It" and his "Dark Horse" verse. The living legend is sure to tear down the rafters or burn them down with the surefire billow of smoke that'll constrict breathing while riding the second Kahuna wave of his two-decade career.