Lyrics Born

With his wife Joyo Velarde, Bay Area rapper Tom Shimura has recorded some of the more memorable rap songs that craft original funk from scratch rather than sample the classics, and he's proven one of the more commanding live-band acts in hip hop. He's also a great voice, warmly scratchy yet sure, and so exact in his rhythms and ambitious in his rhymes that his best music might be what he makes while seeming to take his ease—a rap performed as a phone conversation between him and the Gift of Gab, for instance. Last year's As U Were was a misfire—a concept album reaching for the '80s that seemed unaware Top 40 beat him to it. But live, he's a legend. With Keys N Krates and Shoeless Revolution. 18+. (Photo by Dylan Maddux)
Fri., Jan. 28, 8:30 p.m., 2011
 
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