Why does this year's edition of the Rhymesayers-promoted all-day hip-hop festival Soundset stand a good chance of being the best one yet? Well, for one thing, it's at Canterbury Park instead of the inhospitable concrete hot plate that is the HHH Metrodump's parking lot. For another, it features one of the best independent/classic-skewing hip-hop lineups in recent memory. The Twin Cities scene is in full force here, with Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Heiruspecs, Eyedea & Abilities, P.O.S., and a number of others. And they'll be joined by luminaries from across the continent: El-P, who just reissued Company Flow's earth-shaking '97 debut Funcrusher Plus and maintains the momentum of '07s devastating I'll Sleep When You're Dead; DOOM (minus the MF, plus the rightly hyped Born Like This), who'll hopefully break from the whole send-an-impostor routine to drop knowledge in person; the full original lineup of West Coast icons the Pharcyde; raspy Canadian junkshop genius Buck 65; Philly's 21st-century street-rap icon Freeway (paired with Seattle secret-weapon producer Jake One); and Prince Paul, the man who produced the first two De La albums and created some of hip hop's most enduring concept records. There'll also be exhibitions of other aspects of hip-hop culture, traditional (b-boy/b-girl competitions) and otherwise (skateboarding sessions and a custom car show). All ages.
Sun., May 24, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., 2009