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Friday, July 18, 2014

Blackalicious returns after nine-year break

Gift Of Gab (left) and Chief Xcel.
  • Courtesy Anti- Records
  • Gift Of Gab (left) and Chief Xcel.
Lyricist Gift Of Gab and producer/DJ Chief Xcel broke into the mainstream with 2000's Nia, but it was their 2002 follow-up Blazing Arrow that solidified the duo's standing as one of the more promising, progressive hip-hop acts of the time. Gab's talent on the microphone - rather, talents plural, as the guy can whip between delivery styles with impressive speed - are as much a Blackalicious calling card as Xcel's impeccably curated musical selections.

In many ways, tunes from the pre-Bush/Obama years feel ancient, but Blackalicious has always excelled at a timeless accessibility: Old school without limiting themselves, and innovative without inspiring head-scratching. After a nine-year break between albums as a duo, Blackalicious plans to release their fourth LP Emoni this year.

With Boog Brown, Illmont, and DJ Obeah. Sat., July 19. $15-$17. 9 p.m. Terminal West. 887 West Marietta St. NW. 404-876-5566. www.terminalwestatl.com.

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