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Slug lines

204_5_1.jpgThe MC known as Slug to hip-hop fans and Sean Daly to his divorced parents is as hard and real as they come, but the Minneapolis rapper isn't into fortifying his macho prerogatives. If anything, Slug's songs recreate an adolescence devoid of confidence and self-esteem. What's hard and real is life, especially love. Atmosphere, as his rap group is known, is mainly famous for three recordings called the Lucy Ford EPs, which document the pain Slug felt after breaking up with the love of his life. "You remind me of me," he rapped, "and that's not a compliment."

As a hip-hop draw, Slug has a ways to go in Japan, but the small contingent of fans who showed up showed love as well, so much so that the eternally self-deprecating rapper was at a loss as to how to express his appreciation. "You people are just too nice," he said with all honesty and awe. "Usually at our shows people throw shit at us."

And there was a lot to love, especially in the wicked counterpoint achieved by Slug and his give-and-take man, the equally adept Brother Ali. Generous with the gestures, the pair, backed by simple, potent beats, were as visually compelling as their words were aurally fascinating. The two even learned some Japanese: "hidari, migi," they chanted as the crowd waved their hands in accord.

The love was returned two-fold. "You're ready to party this weekend," Slug asked. "Everybody, put a smile on your face and a party in your heart." It sounds like the hope of a kid who never got invited to parties. In the second half of the set, Brother Ali left and Slug brought out a full band. The music was gentler but no less poignant and pointed, especially during the hip-hop symphony "God Loves Ugly." Before his last song he urged the audience "to have sex tonight, OK." He wasn't being hard at all.


Much love - much love for this. Can't but help remind me of my fave rapper Mickey Factz who's raps is off da hook!

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