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saturday

“This shit is wack.” That’s what critics are really saying when they use the words “alternative,” “underground,” or “intelligent” to describe an MC. For some prodigious hip-hop talents, such stock descriptions can prematurely trigger the beginning of the end of their street cred. Lyrical virtuoso Aceyalone, on the other hand, has survived those labels and more—all the while proudly carrying the torch for an urban music far removed from bleak gangsta soundscapes. Since his innovative work with the L.A.-based Freestyle Fellowship in the ’90s, Aceyalone’s solo records—and recent collaboration with überproducer RJD2, Magnificent City—have shown a continuing commitment to making hip-hop that’s as groundbreaking as it is ass-shaking. After all, it was the Fellowship that called for “the birth of a new generation of blackness” more than a decade ago. In a genre whose practitioners are sometimes more interested in bling than beats, it’s refreshing to hear one MC still answering that call. Aceyalone performs with Ugly Duckling, the Procussions, Diverse, and Mayday & Wrekonize at 9 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $15. (202) 667-7960. (Justin Moyer)