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Higher Learning Vol. 1 w/ Luca Brazi, Tanner Wayne, GDP, Nell Burna, Stereoloud 

When: Fri., March 29 2013
Price: $5
LUCA BRAZI Taking his name from The Godfather saga’s brute enforcer, Luca Brazi couldn’t be farther from the thuggery of much commercial hip-hop. Despite his raspy voice and dirty South style, Brazi’s multisyllabic meter hews closer to socially conscious MCs like fellow N.C. rapper J. Cole. Like a lot of positive rap, Brazi’s wordplay can get preachy, especially when he decries the faux hard-assery and real misogyny prevalent in hip-hop. Still, Brazi’s rhymes are original and clever. On “360” he dissects the dizzying geometry of fractured relationships, and the sparkling “Smile” breezes past put-downs of fly guys to deliver an undeniably uplifting message. Over jazzy beats, bright electro washes and earworm pop samples that include ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky,” Brazi delivers a dispatch both political and personal. Noting that the socio-economic shell game only works if we accept the terms that trap us, Brazi doesn’t wallow in the Stockholm syndrome, preferring to search for a way ahead. Perhaps unconventional concerns have kept Brazi bubbling under, but two mixtapes, a solid EP and a featured spot with David Banner on Mississippi MC Skipp Coon’s “4.28.1967 Pt. 2” may soon change all that.
— Pat Moran

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