Wednesday, June 17

“Oprah—lemme deep throat ya,” Esham raps on “DSL,” from his epic, 27-track ’08 release, Sacrificial Lambz. Not his finest lyrical moment, true, but it gives you an idea of where this Detroit troublemaker is coming from: an X-rated house of horrors built of bones, not unlike his fellow Motor City denizens Twiztid and ICP. But, unlike those groups of painted ghouls—who, love ‘em or hate ‘em, fill a vital, if creatively bereft, niche—Esham seems to be about more than shock an d awe. Since the ’90s, for example, the prolific MC attempted to blend rock with hip-hop in ways that were only later made popular by the likes of Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock. Also, as he showed on ’99’s Mail Dominance, he isn’t afraid to move beyond scare tactics and try something a little more subdued (though the title still has a sadomasochistic refrain). Don’t like the legions of kids playing dress-up, or Eminem songs about murder and mayhem? Blame Esham—he started “acid rap.” With Natas, Project Born, Daniel Jordan, KaGaH with Cheap Meat Suits, Neema, Jay Barz, Partners in Crhyme, DJ Butter. All ages.

Wed., June 17, 7 p.m., 2009

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