Saytown Beatdown: Something Biz-y, Something Blu

Courtesy photo
LA’s Blu

As many of our thoughts turn back to the productivity and responsibility that is required of us during the school year, this August promises to provide plenty of ways to avoiding said grown-up stuff. From national players new and old, to local soirees and exciting fresh talent; the next several weeks are a great time to love hip-hop in San Anto.

Blu gets intimate at Reggae Bar
Los Angeles rapper and producer Blu exploded onto the indie hip-hop scene with the release of 2007’s masterful Below the Heavens (with producer Exile). Since then, the raspy-voiced track-charmer has released a barrage of solid and pleasantly exploratory material. While this year’s release Good to be Home may have left some fans a bit disappointed, last year’s York, which found Blu working with such talented producers as Flying Lotus and Samiyam, shines bright as an exemplar of the emcee at his best; raw but conscious, staid but experimental. Catch Blu live at the tiny, intimate setting of Reggae Bar next week. Essential listen: “The World Is...” from Below the Heavens. $10, 8pm Fri, Aug 8, Reggae Bar, 2016 Austin Hwy, (210) 772-9891,

SAPD (Dooley and Pokell)rock 502 Bar
Recently I wrote about Rap & Roll Wednesdays, an open bi-weekly show at Fitzgerald’s that pairs the city’s best rappers with some of the city’s best musicians in other genres. While we are still waiting to see if that will turn into anything, here’s something to get excited about. Next Friday at 502 Bar, you can experience the combination of two experimental electronic/psychedelic bands (FILMSTRIPS and PBLC) with leftfield hip-hop act SAPD (comprised of local rappers/producers Dooley and Pokell). Relative newcomers to the scene, this duo should be fun to watch as they combine silky party raps with quirky beats. $5, 9pm Fri, Aug 8, 502 Bar, 502 Embassy Oaks, (210) 257-8125,

Texas Scratch League/Loudmouth League present a Meet & Greet and Emcee Challenge
Free and open to all ages, this is a perfect event for the hip-hop purist. Presented by Texas Scratch League, in association with Loudmouth League, the meet and greet provides local emcees, producers, graffiti artists and fans with an opportunity to build the connections today that will help SA’s hip-hop community thrive tomorrow. Taking place next weekend, the emcee challenge provides a non-competitive, non-coercive way for emcees to hone their skills and expand their knowledge. Free, 3pm-8pm Sat, Aug 9, The Paint Yard, 525 San Pedro, (210) 229-1707

Biz Markie comes to The Korova
Rapper, beat-boxer, actor and gadfly, Biz Markie is one of the truly great characters in the history of hip-hop. Biz released his debut album back in 1988, during what some would argue were the golden days of hip-hop, and since then he has stayed true to his craft(s) and to the positive power of hip-hop. He’s no gangsta; he’s an artist, a thoughtful and patient sort, and a truly gifted performer. Catch the legend live at The Korova in late August. $16-$20, 8pm Sat, Aug 23, The Korova, 107 Martin, (210) 995-7229,

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