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One way to get people to listen to your lyrics: Rap about weed, to the point where people call you a “weed rapper.” Then, if somebody asks if you mind being a called a weed rapper, note that your songs cover many topics, not just weed. The mild controversy will make you seem rounded, and weed rap’s core constituents won’t care. They will smoke to your music anyway, because you will continue to rhyme over reliably weed-friendly beats. That’s the context for Year No. 2 of The Smoker’s Club, which introduced New Orleans’ Curren$y, Mississippi’s Big K.R.I.T., and Harlem’s Smoke DZA to bigger audiences in 2010. Those three are back for “Part Deaux,” which offers Method Man in the top slot and a few lesser-known acts (Fiend, The Pricks, Corner Boy P) on the undercard. Meth’s participation is a reminder that weed-oriented rap was once a much more bugged-out proposition; over the last 15 years, he’s mellowed considerably, but old-school street paranoia still pervades his output. By comparison, Curren$y, K.R.I.T., and DZA are totally soul men. The Smoker’s Club Tour Part Deaux 2011 begins at 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club. $35. (Joe Warminsky)
English ska heroes The English Beat—-or some version of it!—-is at State Theatre. I hope they play lots of General Public. 8:30 p.m. $25.
Mannequin Men—-a boozey garage band that features Miles Raymer, the music critic of our sister paper Chicago Reader, on bass—-is at Black Cat Backstage. 8 p.m. $10.
The AFI Silver’s European Union showcase wraps up tonight with a screening of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the feature-length adaptation of the John Le Carre novel. It’s sold out, but there’s a red-carpet event beforehand, where you can tell Gary Oldman how much you loved him in Basquiat. 6:30 p.m.