Credit the deepening musicality of Haitian singjay Unicus or the parole-induced clarity (if not sobriety) of old-kid lothario New MC (a.k.a. Big Zach), but this year's Two for One seemed like the album only Kanser fans knew the group had in them. As on the bootleggy collections Table Scraps 3 and Playlist Uno, the new Kanser is drunk on melody with a wide streak of autobiographical reckoning, subtly competitive in its ease: It took wisdom beyond Zach's stoner-mack persona to embrace producer Big Jess and singer Alicia Steele (now practically a full member, along with DJ Gabe Garcia), but maybe it's all he could do to keep up with Unicus's panoramic post-dancehall with the Goodfellas. Two for One splits down the middle like a miniature Minneapolis Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, but the oddest couple in rap shows no sign of divorce, moving on together in More Than Lights, a live-hip-hop funk band that doesn't suck, with their own The Electric Prescription for All Your Funky Illz released last year. All of the above join Heiruspecs, Carnage, Aphrill (featuring Nomi and Toki Wright), Unknown Prophets, and a dozen others for a free, family-friendly daytime hip-hop event at the Normandale Lake Bandshell in Bloomington, celebrating 15 years of Kanser. Where you can't have stardom, you have family. All ages.
Sat., July 17, 2:30 p.m., 2010