Sat., March 02, Blackalicious
Harlow's Restaurant & Nightclub, 9:30 p.m., $20-$23
Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel of Blackalicious have been making great music together since the early '90s. The hip-hop duo's Sacramento friendship goes back even further to their days at John F. Kennedy High School in the late '80s. Gab's linguistic dexterity has long held listeners in sway; it's a high-speed lyrical avalanche, primed with diction and mental clarity. Xcel is known for fusing creative production with cunning calculated risks and a hugely soulful spirit. Although the two have ventured into solo and collaborative projects lately (and Gab has bravely dealt with kidney failure), this year, the duo is readying a new Blackalicious album. 2708 J Street, www.blackalicious.com.