The Best St. Louis Hip-Hop Shows: May 2014

Categories: Hip-Hop

Nappy Roots with DJ Needles at The Gramophone
May 17
8 p.m. / $15

Hailing from Bowling Green, Kentucky, Nappy Roots isn't your typical Southern rap group. The quartet definitely falls on the alternative end of the hip-hop spectrum, incorporating instruments like guitars and strings into their sound. After signing to Atlantic Records in 1998, the group's 2002 album Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz went multi-platinum. However, the group soon severed ties with Atlantic and went independent, starting its own label, Nappy Roots Entertainment Group, in 2003. Arrive on time to catch the opener for these Southern-alt-hip-hop OGs, none other than St. Louis' DJ Needles.

Illphonics with The Native Sun, The Phantastics at Plush
May 23
9 p.m. / $5

Illphonics is ready to bring the heat back to St. Louis with Indianapolis' the Native Sun and Kansas City's the Phantastics. A St. Louis institution since 2006, the band has successfully been able to blend rap vocals with live music instrumentals, such as guitar, bass, drums and horns. Since the release of 2013's self-titled sophomore album, Illphonics took to the West Coast -- California in particular -- to spread their brand of hip-hop fusion. Get there early to catch the openers as well.

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