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A3C 2013's don't-miss list

From Questlove to Da Mafia 6ix, 18 picks that you don't want to miss

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Rich Homie Quan

Last spring, a cardboard cutout of Rich Homie Quan appeared downtown, but few knew who he was. By summer, even Drake recognized his image. A student of Lil Wayne's earliest and most eager cuts, and Andre 3000's understated cool, Quan struck a balance between influences in his mixtape-sleeper-turned-Billboard hit "Type of Way." To hear a crowd sing along with "I know you feel some type of way-aa-ay" is to know that he won't apologize for his success. As the Boondocks would say: Game recognize game, and Quan thinks you lookin' kind of unfamiliar. Wed., Oct. 2, 11 p.m. The Basement, 1245 Glenwood Ave. 404-622-8686. www.basementatl.com. — Christina Lee

Cannibal Ox

Starting with 2001's breakout debut, The Cold Vein, Cannibal Ox has worked its way up from unassuming lo-fi beginnings to the top tier of underground hip-hop. Under the careful supervision and cultivation of Def Jux-founder and former Company Flow-member El-P, the Harlem duo of Vast Aire and Vordul Mega create a pummeling but uplifting mix of gutter anxiety and inspired wordplay similar to such hip-hop classics as Nas' Illmatic and Wu-Tang's 36 Chambers. Although the duo took time away from the project to work on their respective solo albums, Cannibal Ox returned in full force with the "Gotham" 12-inch, a three-track dose of its signature weighted intensity. Wed., Oct. 2, 12:25 a.m. 529, 529 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-228-6769. www.529atl.com. — Bobby Power

Too $hort

When Too $hort posed on his black Cadillac for 1987's Born to Mack, he sat far from the camera's gaze, making his face difficult to discern. "[T]hat little dark-skinned dude could be anybody," he told hip-hop blog Cocaine Blunts in 2009. The Oakland rapper anticipated gangsta rap's pimp perspective then forged a decades-long career of winding through one sexually explicit encounter after another to dizzying effect. For a good indication of what to expect from his A3C performance, bump Born to Mack's nine-minute "Freaky Tales." Whether the song encompasses a year, a month or a week's worth of promiscuity, it's hard to tell even 25 years later. Wed., Oct, 2 12:30 a.m. QUAD, 714 Spring St. 404-870-0040. www.quadatlanta.com. — CL

Boog Brown

BOOG BROWN: Atlanta's favorite daughter plays the Man Bites Dog showcase on Fri., Oct. 4 at Space2. - COURTESY BOOG BROWN
  • Courtesy Boog Brown
  • BOOG BROWN: Atlanta's favorite daughter plays the Man Bites Dog showcase on Fri., Oct. 4 at Space2.

One of Atlanta-by-way-of Detroit's finest remains a must-see. All she needs is a DJ and a mic as a rare MC who can rock with little accompaniment. With her newest release, The Late Bloom, Brown demonstrates strength in vulnerability in a taut collection of tracks that speak to the depth of struggles, love, and relationships in her life — both romantic to familial. At her shows, she rhymes with equal intensity on the large stages like past A3C appearances, to intimate gatherings like her August album release at East Atlanta's 529, where the audience hangs on every word. Thurs., Oct. 3, 7 p.m. Music Room, 327 Edgewood Ave. 404-343-0111. www.facebook.com/TheMusicRoomATL. — Shannon Barbour

Left Field Experiment ft. Edan & Paten Locke

"Mind-altering beats and psychedelic hip-hop" is the theme for this monthly ATL ritual that's being put on blast for A3C this year. New Yorker Edan and Jacksonville, Fla.'s Paten Locke take the stage together, headlining a bill that's filled out by a grip of artists that all make their own beats. Dillon's doing a beat set alongside performances by the likes of Willie Evans Jr., Threepeeoh, and 10th Letter vs. Deku. There's gonna be a whole bunch of DJs stepping up to the turntables throughout the night as well. Thurs. Oct. 3, 8 p.m. 529, 529 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-228-6769. www.529atl.com. — Chad Radford

Perrion

On the heels of his fifth mixtape, From Perry With Love, New York MC Perrion has high hopes for the future. Although he may call Harlem home, he splits his time between the Big Apple and Atlanta — something that has shaped and defined his sound. Perrion discovered his own lane in hip-hop after friends turned him on to chillwave and electronic artists such as Bibio and Washed Out. Since then, he's rapped over those instrumentals for his Circuit Breaker mixtape before hooking up with Myth Syzer, among other producers. Features in XXL and Spin magazine have only added to the steady buzz building around him, making his show one of A3C's must-see performances. Thurs., Oct. 3, 8:10 p.m. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. — Bryce Kervin

Peanut Butter Wolf

PEANUT BUTTER WOLF: Stones Throw Records’ MVP headlines at Space2 on Thurs., Oct. 3. - COURTESY PITCHBLEND PR
  • Courtesy Pitchblend PR
  • PEANUT BUTTER WOLF: Stones Throw Records’ MVP headlines at Space2 on Thurs., Oct. 3.

Chris Manak's Peanut Butter Wolf alter ego has left an indelible mark on the hip-hop world since he got started in the late '80s as a duo with rapper Charizma, and continued throughout the '90s producing tracks for eccentric MCs like Kool Keith and Deltron 3030. Peanut Butter Wolf's 1999 debut, My Vinyl Weighs a Ton, is a free-form survey of sample-happy, throwback hip-hop featuring a slew of relatively unknown MCs and collaborators who are now household names, including Madlib, Cut Chemist, Z-Trip, and Kid Koala, just to name a few. As founder of seminal leftfield hip-hop label Stones Throw, Manak has curated some of the most celebrated underground hip-hop releases of the last two decades. Thurs., Oct. 3., 11 p.m. Space2, 482 Edgewood Ave. 404-835-2534. www.thesoundtable.com. — Bobby Power

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