When: Tue., Aug. 20, 9 p.m. 2013
Fifteen years into defining alternative hip-hop, Jel and his collective/record label Anticon are still challenging listeners. Jel’s political lyrics and production style — clearly influenced by funk and experimental rock — sound more “alt” today than ever, as party rap dominates mainstream hip-hop. And that’s exactly why Jel (né Jeffrey Logan) deserves your attention. The Chicago-bred, Berkeley-based artist is a master of minimal, conceptual rap that sneaks big ideas into your consciousness; it’s atmospheric and unsettling, but never boring. On “La Resolve,” the first single off his new album, Late Pass, Jel calmly raps about mortality while backed by an eerie, slightly distorted melody, which builds into a booming chorus and driving, scratched beats. On the album’s release date, Jel will celebrate with a show at The New Parish (579 18th St. Oakland), joined by fellow Anticon founding members Doseone and Odd Nosdam, plus Oakland rap duo Main Attrakionz.
Price: $10, $12