February is hip-hop month at Beauty Bar. It starts on February 7 with the J Dilla Changed My Life tribute and birthday celebration. The late Detroit producer and rapper is hailed as one of the most influential of the genre. He’s your favorite artist’s favorite producer. Kanye, Pharrell and even Drake cite him as an influence. A founder of Slum Village and a member of the Soulquarians with Questlove and D’Angelo, Dilla produced hits for A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu, Common and countless others, along with instrumental classics such as Donuts, which dropped three days before he died from a rare blood disease in 2006.
Hip-hop heads around the world celebrate Dilla’s life, and it’s being done right at Beauty Bar with a Dilla-inspired art auction, cutouts for photo-ops, free doughnuts and Dilla’s music being spun all night by DJs Edoc, 5’8 and Kev P. Cover is a $5 minimum donation with all proceeds benefiting the J Dilla Foundation.
Taking a sharp turn, the venue hosts Dirt Nasty on February 10. If you’re old enough, you might know him by his real name Simon Rex. As Rex, he was an MTV VJ in the ’90s, had roles in some of the Scary Movie flicks and was on obscure TV shows such as Jack & Jill. As Dirt Nasty, he’s a drugged out, average-sized penis-swinging (he raps about it a lot) ridiculous rhymer known for his cocaine anthem “1980,” his guest verse on Mickey Avalon’s “My Dick” and being a member of Three Loco with Riff Raff and Andy Milonakis. Needless to say, this should be a fun show. Plus, it’s Nickel F—n Beer Night. $10 cover.
Underground heads should especially take note of February 15. The Academy Beat League returns to the Fremont Street bar with the Cali Vegas Beat Battle IV. Four Golden State producers will take on some of our best for a $400 prize, with a rap battle between heavyweights Cali Smoov and Vegas’ Nov as the main event.
While I’m all for supporting local events, rising East Coast star Logic touches down, oddly enough, at Drai’s for a full concert the same night. He dropped his debut, Under Pressure, in October. Executive produced by Kanye mentor No I.D., the album takes the Kendrick approach: It’s autobiographical with sharp, vivid storytelling about the madness around him. There are absolutely no party joints on the album. I don’t know how well that’s going to sit with the rooftop club’s crowd, but it’s enough to finally get me to step foot into the venue.