Los Angeles rapper Abstract Rude is all about blunts, but not bitches and money. He rhymes about real things, which makes his clever delivery that much easier to embrace. Whether he's rapping about smoking herb (it's for his arthritis, he says) or our screwed up political system, he spits with heartfelt honesty and a soulful cadence. He also offers tight narratives that stick in your head, like on "Sadly Ever After," a track about a depressed mother, her abusive alcoholic husband and her emotionally distant son. It paints the perfect picture—albeit a dark one—of the ultimate dysfunctional family.
Ab Rude, a longtime vet of the SoCal indie hip-hop scene, is as impressively dope as his rhyme schemes. Besides having a slew of releases on notable indie rap labels, he also helped form Project Blowed, a collective of MCs and producers that includes underground legends like Aceyalone and Myka 9. If you like conscious rap with a strong dose of realism and no sign of shallowness, you won't want to sleep on seeing this wordy wizard in action.
Abstract Rude plays The Palace Sat., Jan. 14, with Shames Worthy, Winstrong, DJ Zole and Zoo Effort. $7/$5 advance at Ear Candy, with a $5 surcharge for those 18-20.