There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Elephant Man is not your father’s wailing reggae star. He’s not your big brother’s bubbly singsong-couplet-issuing Shaggy wannabe. Nope, the sound of young Jamaica comes from a guy with Dumbo ears who spits DSL-fast patois over minimal programmed beats. His most recent effort, Higher Level, is packed with 23 cuts, and though there are some hits, many of the tracks are indistinguishable. Most of the tunes seem to use his oft-garbled interjections for rhythm rather than storytellinganother bottom-shaking percussive tool that fits well with doorbell chimes, cell-phone rings, and synth claps. Elephant Man’s shouted, abruptly phrased rapping blends right in with his state-of-the-art dancehall-meets-Timbaland rhythms, but the man hailed as the “Energy God” also surprises with a few tracks that snag pop sensibility from the likes of Nena and R. Kelly. See which Elephant Man shows up at 10:30 p.m. at Crossroads, 4103 Baltimore Ave., Bladensburg. $20 (before 11 p.m.). (301) 927-1056. (Steve Kiviat)