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


When: Fri., Nov. 28, 8 p.m. 2008

Few rappers have the writerly qualities of New York City titan Nas, whose songs not only convey drama and intrigue (i.e., the image of a man so paranoid he takes his gun in the shower in "No Idea's Original"), but often have fully realized narratives. Even when he devolves into braggadocio, Nas' language has an elegance that's unmatched in hip-hop. His raps are good enough, in fact, that he can get away with dispensing sex ed tips (Rock a Rough Ryder, whenever you inside her/Your local bodega is your supplier) name-checking 20th-century novelists (the Donald Goines reference in "Escobar"),  and using romantic imagery to describe the dissolute lives of rappers. Best of all, he'll depict the scene of a crime with such visceral details, you can almost smell blood on the concrete. Nas performs this Fri., Nov. 28 at the Warfield (982 Market St., San Francisco), alongside the fabulously talented Oakland singer Goapele. 8 p.m., $36.50-$52.50.

Rachel Swan

Price: $39-$55

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