Blackalicous, Lifesavas, Fatlip, Pigeon John

With a deep appreciation for legends of jazz, soul and funk as well as a keen eye for contemporary talent, Timothy Parker (aka Gift of Gab) and partner Chief Xcel have incorporated into their brainy Blackalicious mix talents as diverse as Gil-Scott Heron, George Clinton, ?uestlove and Zack de la Rocha. The group's recent The Craft is a carefully constructed paean to optimism, a bold statement of intelligence that never sacrifices the funk for the message.

Along for the ride are Portland's Lifesavas, another crafty duo who skillfully name-drop everyone from Pat Benatar to Jimmy Cliff while actually out-funking this evening's headliner. Pigeon John and the former leader of Pharcyde, Fatlip, are also on the bill, making this one of the best national hip-hop showcases to come through Dallas in ages.