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 -- undoubtedly the most prolific rap artist to visit the city in recent memory.
This 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/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 like "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 a local 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.
Even more live hip hip 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 at 8 p.m. on April 20.
The Partisan is located at 432 W Main St. in Merced.
City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.