Sign up for our free newsletter

Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.

SATURDAY

Though the “sophomore jinx” has claimed the career of many a lesser band, A Tribe Called Quest’s second album almost single-handedly changed the course of hiphop. Low End Theory not only elevated the group’s status but also, for better or worse, helped create a subgenre of underground “alternative” rap. And though the album did cause a brief mainstream upswing in jazzy hiphop (from the likes of Digable Planets), it more notably informed the mellow, abstract styles of conscious rappers such as hiphoppers Unspoken Heard and the Poem-Cees. Tonight, some of those local underground children of Tribe will pay homage to the album’s spare tracks and abstract, topical lyrics by performing the work in its entirety. Backed by the Poem-Cees’ band, Storm the Unpredictable (pictured), Priest da Nomad, Asheru of Unspoken Heard, the Poem-Cees themselves, and others will attempt to re-create live the groundbreaking meld of jazz and hiphop sensibilities that Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad so artfully mastered on tape 11 years ago. “A Tribute to A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End Theory” begins at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $10. (202) 667-7960. (Rion Scott)