The rap crew has always been a pillar of the hip-hop genre.
From the Wu-Tang Clan and Hieroglyphics to Black Hippy and the Northwest’s own Sandpeople collective, MCs and DJs have long leaned on strength in numbers and the synergy that happens among a group of talented and like-minded musicians.
Tonight, two of the West Coast’s seminal rap crews will have representatives in Bend to co-headline a show at Liquid Lounge that will also feature a few local and eclectic openers. Here’s an overview of the bill:
• Pigeon John has been hustling solo for years, but his roots are in the indie-rap group LA Symphony, as well as Los Angeles’ fruitful and influential Good Life Cafe scene. Known for his unconventional perspective and sense of humor, Pigeon John has followed up his excellent early hip-hop albums with a more recent turn toward a modern fusion of soul, pop, rock and rap, a la Janelle Monae and Cee Lo Green, and that shift has landed him on the verge of breakout success ... or at least in a Volkswagen commercial.
• Sunspot Jonz is a Living Legend, with capital Ls. A founding member of the independent, California-based hip-hop collective, he specializes in laid-back beats, tight flow and thought-provoking lyrics, much like his fellow Legends, including Murs, Eligh, Scarub and Luckyiam.
• Opening tonight’s show will be local funk-hop fave Mosley Wotta and local MC Northorn Lights, plus The Hard Chords, a newish electro-blues-hop collaboration between Bend singer-songwriter Leif James and MC Gainon.
Pigeon John and Sunspot Jonz, with Mosley Wotta, The Hard Chords and Northorn Lights; 9 tonight; free; Liquid Lounge, 70 N.W. Newport Ave., Bend; www.liquid club.net or 541-389-6999.