Soul, Funk, R&B, & Hip-Hop

Ezale

When: Sat., Feb. 28, 9 p.m. 2015

Defying the rap game’s hyper-speed relevance cycle, Drug Funnie, the 2014 mixtape by local emcee Ezale, still holds up. Perhaps because the Cambodian rapper’s goofball-forward persona and throwback-sampling proclivities are sort of off-trend, tracks such as the anecdotal “Too High,” with its delightfully honest admission of overindulgence (Damn/Can’t lie/The pill just hit/I can’t drive), continue to warrant repeat listening. It helps that the video is incredible. He’s too responsible to drive in such a state, so the party follows him onto a city bus. At the height of Ezale’s public transportation bacchanal, he confidently beckons to a pretty girl: Bring all your friends. Except, the music stops, and Ezale is actually in an institutional vehicle, hands in the air, braids swinging, and wearing a hospital gown. Funny, but the point stands: Ezale’s music is intoxicating, vibrant, and ideal for going about as hard as possible — and then some. On Saturday, he headlines a stacked bill at Leo’s Music Club (5447 Telegraph Ave., Oakland), along with emissaries from the Nature World, Trill Team Six, and Sick Sad World crews.

Sam Lefebvre

Price: $10-$15

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