2011 is looking like being a great year for Hip Hop fans, with some serious West Coast, old-school and new-school action coming our way in the coming months.
All prices are exclusive of booking fees. For ticket availability, click on the images, below.
Arguably the most important voices in hip-hop at a time when the genre needed a kicking, continue to play occasional UK dates - ladies and gentlemen, we give you Public Enemy. Their new shows will see them perform "Fear of a Black Planet", their dark third album which features the classics: "Brother's Gonna Work It Out", "Can't Do Nuttin' For Ya Man" and "911 is a Joke" [not forgetting: "War at 33 1/3" and "Burn Hollywood Burn" - Ed]. Glasgow (6th Sep), Manchester (7th) and London (8th) cost £23.50 - £25.
Hugely-influential and always worth a bout of neck-snapping, the Wu returns with a massive Glastonbury appearance, a pair of headliners in London (two Forum nights 11th and 12th June) and shows in Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester. Tickets are £29.50 to £32.50.
One of the founding members of Wu-Tang Clan (see above) will be hitting up four cities next week - London (19th), Birmingham (20th), Liverpool (21st) and Manchester (22nd) all feature in the Genius' plans. Since we first mentioned these dates, tickets have sold out for Birmingham and Liverpool - the others are £17.50 / £18.
He's been doing it "Doggystyle" for a couple of decades now - hip-hop music with stoned-out gangsta leanings, seemed to strike a chord with many people during the '90s. Now he's back with a much publicised Lovebox appearance on 16th July, as well as headliners in London (17th May) and Manchester (15th July). Lovebox is £48.50 (for the Saturday), while the headline slots cost £35.
The uncompromising vision of Ice Cube's "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted" and "Death Certificate", heralded a new age of satirical and sharp-tongued observations from the ex-NWA rapper, continuing to drag the gangsta-rap genre, kicking and spitting into the '90s. With the respected Naughty By Nature in support, Cube will perform in Cardiff, London and Manchester during July - £25 - £29.50.
A true wordsmith of incredible dexterity and one half of Eric B & Rakim, the man who helped give us "Paid In Full" and "And The Rhyme Goes On", some two decades ago, returns with a brace of shows during May, including Bristol, Nottingham and Glasgow, before supporting Black Star (see below) and headlining a another Jazz Cafe slot on 2nd June. Support varies for all shows, as do the prices - £13 to £22.50.
Two premier wordsmiths for the price of one, what could be better? How about five of them? Yes the Hammersmith show for Black Star, starring Talib Kweli and Mos Def, plus De La Soul in support, represents true value for money. But face-value tickets sold out ages ago, although you can witness Black Star at Manchester's Apollo on 11th May for £30.
The Jungle Brothers
Along with De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, The Jungle Brothers were one of the forerunners of the more chilled-out style of hip-hop twenty years ago, typified by their "Straight Out The Jungle" debut in '88 and the follow-up "Done By The Forces Of Nature". Their first UK visit in 2 years will be on 16th June at Islington's Academy - £20.
M.1 and Sticman return to the UK with their brand of tough socialist and almost militant lyrics, not unlike Chuck D's PE. The duo have an aptly-named album due out entitled "Information Age", so you can expect cuts from it, plus their key debut "Let's Get Free". Tickets for the Garage in London on 25th May cost £16.50.
Our natural British aversion to any language uttered without the words 'innit', 'knowwhatimean' and 'yagitme' tacked onto the end of a sentence, rather like the tail on a donkey's butt, might have some of you avoiding the fabulous MC Solaar's two shows next week. But I reckon the French-man is well worth checking out at the Jazz Cafe on 22nd / 23rd April, esp at £20 a pop.
Budding turntablists and hip-hop fans tend to agree on this statement - he IS the Grandmaster and possibly the catalyst for the entire genre. To experience some adventures with his wheels of steel (we don't think he's succumbed to iPods just yet), head to Bridport - yes, Bridport in Dorset) - to catch him at the town's Electric Palace on 10th June - £17.50.
Mr Josh Davis also has a lot to answer for, perhaps taking hip-hop to a new level with his unerring skill with samples and beats and being the forerunner of the Mo Wax scene of the '90s. He has a brace of festival shows planned for the spring and summer (including Brighton's Great Escape on 12th May - sold out) as well as a couple of headliners for Middlesbrough (11th June) and Norwich (23rd). Both shows are £17.50.
DMC World DJ Championships
The ultimate DJ-skillz convention and competition culminates with a return to the IndigO2 in October. After several months of fighting it out around the globe, the very best turntablists budding to be the next Grandmaster or Shadow, will commence battle for supremacy on the 6th and 7th with tickets costing £15 once again.
Vauxhall UK Beatbox Championships
This is something that Beardyman will know plenty about - he's already been the UK Beatbox Champion twice over. If you fancy being the 2011 champion, you're too late - various heats have already been held, paving the way for the big one, the final. 11th June is the date to remember and it's a tenner to watch the masters at work.