May 13: Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson at Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel. If nothing else, Aesop Rock knows how to have fun with his music, whether he’s providing his friends with his dense, electronic beats or playing the role of musical kidnapper.
May 24: SmCity presents Cyhi Da Prynce and Stalley at U Street Music Hall. SmCity has quickly made a name for himself as a business-minded MC and savvy concert promoter. Sm continues his impressive string of monthly Indie Life concerts, this time with Kanye West protégé Cyhi Da Prynce and Ohio/Brooklyn hybrid Stalley.
June 1: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at the State Theater. You remember Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, the Cleveland MC quartet who ushered in hip-hop’s era of melodic yet incomprehensible rhymes. They’ve reunited, and rest assured this first-of-the-month show will feature the 1995 hit “1st of the Month.”
June 10: Skillz and Fort Knox Five at U Street Music Hall. The veteran Fort Knox Five quartet has held down the D.C. hip-hop scene before there was a local scene to speak of. The music hall’s grand sound system is as celebrated as the venue itself—but between the raucous electronica of Fort Knox and Skillz, its speakers will surely be tested.
July 2: Kid Cudi at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Say what you will about Kid Cudi’s hazy, drug-obsessed lyrics, the man certainly has a niche among the adolescent hipster crowd. Just beware the contact high.