Rap up the season with rhymes
Get your oversized pants, your shiny jewelry, and your brand new, overpriced sneaks out and prepare to feel the bass booming in your chest. It's time for what might be summer's last rap extravaganza. Drive over in your new whip, bring some friends you cool with, and check out the Labor Day Weekend Hip-Hop Explosion featuring Twista, right, and Jadakiss, two rappers who have been in the game for a while but are both riding new waves of popularity.
Chicago's Twista has been known in hip-hop circles for a while as the go-to man for tongue-tripping, high-speed rhymes. He's only now getting the props he deserves with the success of Kamikaze, the album that spawned "Like a 24," "Overnight Celebrity," and the inescapable, Kanye West-produced über-hit "Slow Jamz" that successfully introduced the current MTV generation to R&B legends Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, and Ready For the World.
New York's Jadakiss started out in 1994 with The Lox, became a member of the Ruff Ryders five years later, and still works with both groups. The man behind "Ryde or Die Bitch," featuring Eve, "We Gonna Make It," and "Knock Yourself Out" adds some social commentary to the mix with his most recent album, Kiss of Death. His latest track "Why?" combines hard-hitting lyrics questioning everything from the corruption of the record industry to the American prison system to President Bush's purported involvement in September 11th, with the toe-tapping singalong chorus you'd expect from a radio-friendly rap jam.
As a prelude to the heavily anticipated annual UM versus Florida State football game, the University of Miami Convocation Center (1245 Walsh Ave., Coral Gables) will host these chart-topping rappers, along with D.O.D., plus Chicago's own V. Sconey and C.O.S.T.A.L. The fun begins at 7:00 p.m. Tickets range from $27 to $54 and are on sale through the UM Convocation Center's box office. Call 305-284-8686. -Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Faith, fortitude, and friends: They're the very things that allow you to fly and keep you grounded -- in a good way, of course -- says local singer/songwriter Amy Carol Webb. A fixture in South Florida folk circles, Webb burst on the scene in 1998 with her first studio release, Songweaver. The surprisingly slick self-produced effort featured the Carly Simonesque-voiced musician playing guitar and unleashing ten outstanding eclectic tunes that veered from torch to twang to pop. Punctuating the mix was her anthemic ode to girl power "I Come from Women." Such virtuosic versatility left many scratching their heads and wondering if Webb truly did fit into the folk category. Six years later, her fifth album, which Webb named in honor of the aforementioned 3 F's, leaves little doubt. The 11 songs bear the indelible folk hallmarks and are more confessional, spiritual, and socially conscious than any of her previous work. Hear them and many others during a celebration of the CD's release this evening at 8:00 at the Main Street Cafe, 128 N. Krome Ave., Homestead. Tickets cost $15. Call 305-245-7575 to reserve. -- Nina Korman
Argie musician carves out niche
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Charly Garcia is an Argentine institution. Since making his mark in the late '60s/early '70s as the country's answer to John Lennon, Garcia has been at the forefront of the music scene. Refusing to rest on his laurels and willing to take up new styles -- almost like a gaucho version of Spinal Tap -- Garcia remained relevant to pop music both sonically and lyrically whether in the folksy duo Sui Generis, the prog rock Seru Giran or as a successful solo artist in his own right. His latest American release Rock & Roll Yo continues Garcia's exploration of pop without venturing too far from his Lennonesque roots. Expect delicate piano riffs accompanied by the occasional hardrocking experimentation at tonight's show, 8:00 p.m. at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Tickets range from $25 to $59, and those already purchased for the postponed July 9 show will be honored. Call 305-673-7300.-Margaret Griffis
In today's hip-hop/bubblegum musical climate, a big band singer's gotta make a buck. So we'll cut crooner Walt Andrus some slack for playing what we hope was a gig with a hefty payday: George W. Bush's inaugural ball. The way polls look, it's unlikely the voice of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra since 1988 will get that opportunity again. Andrus, who was on the hip lounge lizard tip long before anyone gained new appreciation for the martini and all its ersatz variations, gets away from crowded venues like the Stardust in Vegas and the Rainbow Room in Manhattan and makes his yearly sojourn to the intimate Van Dyke Cafe (846 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Sure he's a little early (usually he visits at Christmas), but we wouldn't mind hearing his Sinatra-like baritone on tunes from The Great American Songbook year-round. Tonight through Saturday, September 4, catch sets with the Don Wilner Trio at 10:00, 11:30 p.m., and 1:00 a.m. Music charge is $5 and $10. Call 305-534-3600. -- Nina Korman