Arts Desk

DMV Beats: Pacman and Peso, Youngin, Yung Gleesh, Prinz-D, Knox Hill, Wale, and a Must-See Fillmore Show

Escape to North Korea

Where to begin with this one? Earlier this week, DCist ran a story about two local rappers Pacman and Peso—from Congress Heights and Landover, Md., respectively—who want to broaden their horizons by filming a video in North Korea. With the assistance of Forest Hills Tenleytown Music Group label co-founder Ramsey Aburdene and friend and Army vet Michael Basset, Pacman and Peso now have a Kickstarter campaign for the project with a goal of $6,000. If they reach it, they'll fly to North Korea to film the video aboard a "karaoke party bus in Pyongyang." News like this brings Murphy's Law to mind.

Although the Kickstarter page insists the group "[in] no way endorses any government, policy, ideology, etc." and strongly opposes human rights violations, Pacman and Peso's aversion to North Korea's, er, problematic human rights record seems like a secondary issue.

So far the group has raised $870 for Pacman and Peso's big trip, putting them just $5,130 away from their target. Look, seeing the world is a great idea, and I encourage the duo to pursue the kind of artistic growth it may bring. But unless Ambassador Dennis Rodman plans to pack them in his luggage on his next trip to the dictatorship, they may want to consider the friendlier soils just south in Seoul.—Julian Kimble

DMV Onstage

Tonight's show at the Fillmore Silver Spring makes sense on paper: Rappers Gods'Illa, Laelo, Awthentik, and Violet Rocker have all worked together in some capacity, and they share many of the same fans. They're all technically gifted lyricists and specialize in straightforward rhymes that discuss gentrification, wack MCs, and smoking weed. Add guest appearances from Lyriciss, Phil Da Phuture, Gordo Brega and Uptown XO into the mix, and tonight's show should be full of dope bars from some of the city's notable lyricists. See all the details on the Fillmore's site. —Marcus J. Moore

"Homicidal" Youngin

"I woulda did it to the 'Control' beat, but I'm a dope-ass producer," says D.C.'s Youngin at the outset of "Lyrical Homicide (Tha Response)," which so far is one of the few musical DMV reactions to the infamous Kendrick Lamar verse. The all-original approach is best at this point, anyway, considering that "Control" came out like three weeks ago (i.e. "an eternity" in hip-hop). Above 4/4 handclaps and a neatly syncopated bass pattern, Youngin takes a couple of minutes to truly get revved up, slyly toeing the line between hot rhetoric and total bullshit. At about the 1:58 mark, Eminem is offered as a strictly hypothetical target, and then Youngin spells out exactly where he sees himself on the food chain: "Flame on, if you ain't Cole, Kendrick or Wale, Lupe or SlaughterHouse/You couldn't see me on my worst day." The lyrics are already up on Rap Genius.—Joe Warminsky

Someone Please Assist Yung Gleesh

Thank you, Yung Gleesh, for the comedy. The D.C. rapper just dropped a video for "Please," from his recently released album, Ain’t Shit Changed. Will Hoopes directed the visual Zaytoven produced song, which is yet another drug dealer's ode to the hustle. "Please! Serve me some lean!" Gleesh screams on the hook. Indeed, a cup remains glued to Gleesh's for most of the video, inadvertently turning "Please" into an anti-drug PSA.—JK

More Videos

For his latest vid, "You Were My Everything," Prinz-D returns to a favorite topic, jealousy, but the subtext is that the self-styled First Deaf Rapper does whatever he wants: sing, play the guitar, dance. Why not, right? Also bubbling up: Maryland's Knox Hill, with a Chinatown-oriented video, "Four In." (He's the one with the pizza box; the first half of the track features Bowie's John the Unlimited. —JW

Wale Twitter Update

Wale has been harshly criticized for his Twitter behavior, which has ranged from bad to excruciatingly terrible at times. This week, he used his account for the better, soliciting recommendations for the best unsigned female rapper:


Continuing to spread the love around, he tweeted part of the hook to Ras Nebyu's "Futuristic Black Man." Young Ras seemed overwhelmed with gratitude:


It's encouraging to see Wale using his Twitter powers for good. —JK

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