Definitive Jux Tour

New York hip-hop spins in Tempe

First, the bad news: This package tour from New York hip-hop superindie Definitive Jux could use a couple higher-profile names than it currently boasts. At a hometown launch last month, label star Aesop Rock put in a breathtaking appearance at the end of a marathon show; though his rapping was as forbiddingly dense as it is on record, Aesop's commanding stage presence opened a door into his word play. Def Jux founder El-P showed up, too, and bestowed upon the appreciative crowd a world premi're of a new song: "You don't have it," he told the room of file-sharing adepts. And new roster addition Cage (formerly of Eminem-baiting porn rappers the Smut Peddlers) debuted a strangely emotional track built around an interpolation of Idaho guitar-rockers Built to Spill's "I Would Hurt a Fly."
Hangar 18 is set to perform at Club Freedom as part of the Def Jux Tour.
Hangar 18 is set to perform at Club Freedom as part of the Def Jux Tour.


Scheduled for Saturday, April 10. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $16 in advance, and $18 on the day of the show. Call 480-929-9003 for details.
Club Freedom, 919 East Apache Boulevard in Tempe

That caveat aside, the crew that hits Club Freedom Saturday night should offer dependable thrills for fans of Def Jux's earthy, brainy hip-hop, with short sets from Hangar 18, C-Rayz Walz and the Perceptionists, a new group featuring Boston diehards Mr. Lif and Akrobatik MCing over cuts by DJ Fakts One. But stay late for a headlining spot from hardworking Los Angeleno Murs, whose new album is a collaboration with producer 9th Wonder, a young North Carolinian who found himself in the pages of The Source and XXL last year thanks to an appearance on Jay-Z's The Black Album alongside industry heavyweights the Neptunes, Kanye West, and Just Blaze. On Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition, the rapper unloads psychologically complex appraisals of both gender and race wars over Wonder's distinctive swirl of classic-soul yelp and jeep-beat whomp.

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