Aceyalone @ Club Red
Over the years, Aceyalone (pronounced Ace-ee-alone) has released enough smart, meandering rhymes that his collection could have driven even the most dedicated hip-hop heads to boredom — maybe even himself, if his last two albums are any indication. After a sensible collaboration with RJD2 on the critically acclaimed Magnificent City (2006), he released Lightning Strikes and Aceyalone & the Lonely Ones. The former was made up entirely of dancehall beats, and the latter is an ode to swing and big band music. Both were a change from Aceyalone's socially conscious raps and his past as a nurturer of new, open-flow MCs. But for hip-hop's lyrical scholars, Aceyalone is still a deity of sorts. He's got far-reaching influence, a versatile flow, and longevity in a game defined by turnover. He's an MC's MC. If many of the lyrically conscious rappers from California that proceeded Aceyalone sound like him, it's probably because he played a hand in their development. In the early 1990s, the Los Angeles rapper founded Project Blowed, the world's longest-running open mic freestyle night. He was also a founding member of legendary underground groups Freestyle Fellowship, Haiku D'Etat, and The A-Team with Abstract Rude. Today, Aceyalone remains a cornerstone of underground West Coast hip-hop — more influential than widely rotated.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.