Arts Desk

The Breaks: This Week in DMV Hip-Hop

This week, the Breaks places a few leftover projects from Nike Nando and Chris Barz in the spotlight. Plus, all the kids should be excited because Young Thug is in town tomorrow night—finally.

The Return of Chris Barz
After an extended hiatus, P.G. County’s Chris Barz is putting out music again, releasing his Goddess project earlier this month. At 31 minutes, the seven-track EP is brief, but it’s a reminder of why Barz was heralded as one of the local talents to be reckoned with towards the end of the last decade. Produced in its entirety by Barz himself, Goddess shows off his versatility. He has a real penchant for creating trance-like beats that make you feel like you're dreaming—or floating—when you listen to his them  (check "French Inhale"). From the Isley Brothers nod on "Lose Control" to the subtle, Dream-like falsetto on "Woman Crush Everyday," the R&B influence on the project is heavy. If you’re not into that, cool. Just know that this project sounds a lot different at midnight than it does at noon. Welcome back, Chris.

Because he does it all , Barz also directed this video for "All The Above On Me." Take heed of the epilepsy warning at the beginning.


Crowning the Lord of the Flyy
Last week, Nike Nando released his latest, ICON: Lord of the Flyy. Beginning with the opening track, "Kingdom," (which the wrestling fan peppers with tirades from Stone Cold Steve Austin and Ric Flair), the rapper lets listeners know his focus is as fierce as ever. "Super Nike Nando II" has a playful bounce, while "Majin Vegeta" has heavy 808s to go with its Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story sample. Aside from the wrestling audio, there are other references to ‘90s pop culture lore ("Starbucks" and "Hilfiger"), and the 15-track project builds nicely to its final chapter, "Story of My Life." Nando puts 100 percent of himself into his music, and it shows on Lord of the Flyy, particularly the production. There are a lot of entertaining tricks and samples, but they don’t cheapen his sound at all.

Thugger, Thugger
More than a month after his original Howard Theatre date got the axe, Atlanta’s Young Thug will finally perform on Saturday night. This means you still have a little more than a day to try and learn as many new "Danny Glover" lyrics as you can before the lanky rapper brings the house down. The show starts at 10 p.m. and tickets are $20 to $40.

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