EPMD, DJ Scratch, DJ Tone B. Nimble, DJ PNS Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Fri., Jan. 23, 9 p.m. 2015

EPMD are the Black Sabbath of hip-hop. First and foremost, both groups’ four initial albums—whose crude, almost primal sound belied the musicians’ training and expertise—are genre masterpieces that massively influenced the artists to follow. And upon close inspection, EPMD’s lyrics make them sound like students of Ozzy Osbourne’s writing: the 1988 single “You Gots to Chill” includes the lines “Take control of your body and soul”; “But every now and then a sucker MC gets courageous / And like an epidemic it becomes contagious”; and “So if you’re thinking about battling, you better come prepared / Come with your shield and your armor geared.” Finally, after coming out of the gate with those four-blockbuster runs, both acts released two pretty good albums before calling it quits; their members pursued more-or-less ignominious solo careers, then reunited to cash in on their past successes. EPMD haven’t put out a record in seven years, but if the original lineup of Black Sabbath came to town, you’d consider going, right? ­—Tal Rosenberg

Price: $15-$20

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