Nipsey Hussle

The latest in a legendary line of South Central LA-bred gangsta rappers, Nipsey Hussle sets himself apart from his predecessors to a certain extent by embracing the indie aesthetic. After a series of stellar mixtapes (Bullets Ain’t Got No Name Volumes 1-3), Hussle signed a deal with Epic Records, but ended up spending two years feuding with the label over the delayed release of his debut LP South Central State of Mind (it still hasn't been released). He dropped his latest mixtape, The Marathon, in late December and called it a “declaration of independence” from the mainstream. And while it’s hard to imagine any of his forefathers in NWA rapping over a remix of MGMT’s “Electric Feel,” as Hussle does on Marathon, he manages to pull it off and still sound hood-as-hell, recounting with Snoop Dogg-smooth rhymes the grim glories of a life spent dope-slangin’, gang-bangin’ and blunt-smokin’ in the California sun. With Knowmads, Real Rodgers. KEEGAN HAMILTON

Tue., April 19, 8 p.m., 2011

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