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13

WEDNESDAY

Most rhymers treat the Neptunes’ beats like divine gifts, savoring every sonic quirk and bumping up their lyrics a notch to avoid being upstaged. But Clipse handles its Neptunes business with utter nonchalance: The Virginia Beach rap duo and the high-profile production team go way back, so their collaboration on Lord Willin’ works like an easygoing Sunday morning pickup game. The Clipse dudes—brothers Malice (Gene Thornton) and Pusha T (Terrence Thornton)—are deeply enamored of their adopted Virginny home (they moved from the Bronx in the ’80s), and their rhymes usually have a slow-rising Tidewater pace. But unlike many of the Dirty South’s denizens, Clipse aims for a less provincial party vibe. And the Neptunes give ’em wide latitude, from a few trunk-of-funk throwdowns to the sparse Space Age thump of “Grindin’,” one of the few hiphop singles this year that doesn’t sound like a formulaic slab of crap. Hear the difference when they open up for Nappy Roots at 7 p.m. at Nation, 1015 Half St. SE. $26. (202) 432-7328. (Joe Warminsky)