Blueprint at Propaganda December 20

Has the Midwest become the new locus of underground hip-hop? Just take Minnesota's Twin Cities, an area that already boasts a long tradition focused on word-play-heavy lyricism absent of rap's usual macho swagger. These days, though, it seems to be spawning even more artists and labels — up-and-comers ranging from poppy "hippie-hop" artist Mod Sun to stables of moodier acts on labels such as Doomtree — all intent on pushing hip-hop's ongoing evolution into its next phase.

None of that would have happened, though, without the enormous influence of stalwart label Rhymesayers, which has produced highly skilled, backpacky artists such as the late Eyedea, who might be considered "backpacky" in some circles but unskilled by none. Another one of the label's offspring is Ohio native Blueprint, a onetime battle-circuit champion who has translated his nimble freestyling skills into carefully plotted narratives delivered in a breathy, deep, commanding flow.

The rapper arrives in Lake Worth as part of a quick Florida-only tour. He will be supported by a host of local acts familiar to fans of these frequent Rhymesayers shows at Propaganda, including Jabr Jaw and DJ Dee Dubbs. However, Protoman, the other usual SoFla support act, appears to be sitting this one out.

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