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

Ludacris

When: Sun., Aug. 8, 9 p.m. 2010

Some rappers build their careers on florid, slang-laden verse, while others are known for their hard-driving rhythms. Ludacrisbelongs in the latter camp. He's tough and percussive, with a drawly voice and a natural swing. Known for besting other emcees with his salacious cameos, Ludacris has also produced some brilliant material of his own. While his topics don't vary too much -- he tends to fixate on the club and the after-party -- he always raps with machine-gun agility. More importantly, Ludacris can work at just about any tempo. He'll take an 80-90 BPM track and accelerate the verse on top, so the whole thing has a double-time feel. He'll pause for a quarter rest mid-rhyme to make the beat sound syncopated. He'll use nursery rhymes and old work songs as source material ("The Potion," from his 2004 album Red Light District, features "Pick a Bale of Cotton" on the breakdown). Such creativity might explain his vast commercial success. Lucadris makes a rare Bay Area appearance on Sunday, Aug. 8, at Slim's (333 11thSt., San Francisco). 9 p.m., $45. Slims-SF.com

Rachel Swan

Price: $45

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