Stocked with the distinct brand of emo-kid rhymes and distorted guitars made popular by Def Jux rappers Cage Kennylz and El-P, By the Throat, the third full release from Rhymesayers duo Eyedea & Abilities, takes the rock-rap formula to its Zoloft-fueled zenith. The result isn’t dance music, and it’s certainly not poppy enough for a party. High-pitched and frenetic raps about failure—from relationships gone rotten to suicide—move at breakneck speed over molasses-slow synth beats and discomfiting background noise. “Burn Fetish,” “Time Flies When You Have a Gun,” and the title track will inspire you to bawl, not move. But Eyedea & Abilities have also made music that’s contemplative and relatable this time around, something bling-obsessed commercial rappers haven’t been able to say about their output in a long time. Still: It’s advisable to bring tissues to tonight’s show.
EYEDEA & ABILITIES PERFORM AT 9 P.M. AT THE ROCK & ROLL HOTEL, 1353 H ST. NE. $12. (202) 388-7625.