Arts Desk

DMV, Prepare for a Beatdown

I typically wouldn't promote literal (or figurative) violence, but this Sunday's showcase at U Street Music Hall just might be the best ass whoopin' you'll receive all weekend.

The local InnerLoop record label returns with its 23rd edition of the popular "Beatdown" series, which allows local and national producers to display both exclusive and well-known tracks for the audience.

As organizer J-Scrilla explains it, The Beatdown showcase used to be an avenue strictly for local producers to demonstrate their sonic abilities, but that eventually ran its course. The showcase on Sunday will feature 88 Keys, who has crafted beats for Kanye West and Kid Cudi; Bink!, who's worked with Jay-Z and Rick Ross; DJ Spinna, of Pharoahe Monch fame; and Landover's own Kev Brown, a producer for Busta Rhymes and De La Soul.

During the show, each producer will be lined up along the stage and asked to play beats that coincide with certain themes, Scrilla says. For instance, organizers could ask the DJs to rock a beat with a stirring soul sample, then ask them to play a track that could fit in an adult movie. As Scrilla puts it, the themes will depend on the crowd's energy.

The Beatdown, beginning at 10 p.m., will begin with live performances from RA the MC and SM City. The producer showcase is set for 11 p.m. Tickets are $10 now, and $15 at the door. U Street Music Hall is located at 1115A U St. NW.

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