MERCED — This year is shaping up to be a remarkable time for fans of hip-hop music in Merced.
Case in point, just last month, hip hop pioneer KRS-One blessed the microphone for a sold-out crowd at The Partisan. Many consider KRS-One the most prolific rap artist to visit the city in recent memory.
On Saturday, hip-hop aficionados will be treated to a performance by another well-known rapper in the hip-hop pantheon, as the Gift of Gab, one half of the duo Blackalicious, takes the stage at the Partisan.
Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show's scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are $10 and can be purchased at The Partisan or Strawberry Alarm Clock.
The opening acts include Atlantis Rizing and Defiant Strike Crew.
Gift of Gab, otherwise known as Timothy Parker, is known for his versatile rhyming skills and cerebral lyrical content. He gained worldwide acclaim during the late 1990s and early 2000s as part of Blackalicious, a duo from Sacramento which includes himself and DJ-producer Chief Xcel (born Xavier Mosley), according to the All Music Guide.
In the tradition of earlier hip-hop groups such as De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, Blackalicious is regarded in the hip hop community as a "conscious" rap group, with lyrics that are positive and encouraging, as opposed to the sexist or violent content that some mainstream rappers are known for.
James Deans, promoter of Saturday's concert and an area hip-hop artist who performs with Atlantis Rizing, said bringing Gift of Gab to The Partisan is part of his dream of having "the biggest of the big" hip hop acts in Merced.
"The Gift of Gab, his lyrics alone, he's hand's down one of the top 10 rappers to ever grab a microphone," Deans said.
Live hip-hop music will return to The Partisan next month. Hip-hop artists Luckiam, Aesop and Scarub from the Living Legends crew are scheduled to perform at The Partisan, 432 W. Main St., at 8 p.m. on April 20.
City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.