Though frequently compared with labelmate Kendrick Lamar, Los Angeles' Schoolboy Q is beginning to make some big noise of his own. His latest album, Habits and Contradictions, is grittier and more rough around the edges than those of his counterparts in the Black Hippy collective (Lamar, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock). Pulling from his gang-affiliated past, Q crafts songs about drug-slinging and street violence, but it's his unpredictable charisma that sets him apart from traditional West Coast gangsta rap. His flow cuts sharply between smooth styling to unhinged mania at any given moment. He can zoom in to deal with the intensely personal or zoom out to reveal the bigger picture. This rare Minneapolis appearance stands to be a live rap highlight of the year. With the Tribe and Big Cats! and Audio Perm. 18+.
Sat., Feb. 18, 9 p.m., 2012