Kid Cudi

Long a frontrunner in the brooding emo-rap that Kanye West tried out via 808s and Heartbreak and Drake spent 2010 tempering to make it big, Mr. Solo Dolo concerned himself even less with pop sensibilities when crafting last fall’s Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager—by far his most ominous work. More than ever, Cudi manages to leave distinctly desolate air in his wake, an intoxicating view of the dark side of yourself you just can't forget clouded by kush smoke. With both a rap mixtape (the follow-up to 2008’s A Kid Named Cudi tentatively titled A Man Named Scott) as well as a rock project (Wizards) on the horizon, it's a curious task to pin down legacy—but for the time being, there are few who continue to do existentialist hip-hop better. With Chip Tha Ripper. NICK FELDMAN

Fri., June 17, 8 p.m., 2011

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