The Knux

The last couple years have seen a noticeable upswing in the popularity of "hipster rap" -- or, in layman's terms, "rap that doesn't sound like it's from 1994, so it's probably all fake and shit". But while I'm leery of the notion of a bunch of entitled dirtbag punk-rock preppies bringing a Vice aesthetic to the greatest popular art form of the last three decades, rest assured that Los Angeles duo the Knux aren't perpetrating anything that loathsome. Sure, they love TV on the Radio, they name-check Elvis Costello, and their album Remind Me in 3 Days has more than its share of new-new-wave guitar riffs. But brothers Krispy Kream and Rah Al Millio, who moved to L.A. from New Orleans after Katrina hit, have strong hints of that same earthy yet quick-witted Southern swagger heard in those great mid '90s OutKast and Goodie Mob records, combined with the inventive cross-genre weirdness that Andre 3000 and Cee-Lo started honing by the early 2000s. Like most transplants to the City of Angels, they're staggered by the excess and flash of their new surroundings, and they depict it with debauched but reflective lyrics and a self-produced, modern style-hopping eclecticism that's rare in debut albums. With Shwayze; Krista. 16+.
Thu., Dec. 18, 7 p.m., 2008

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