Lyrics Born, Pigeon John, Tahiti

If respect was platinum and creativity diamonds, San Francisco's Lyrics Born would be iced out like a Master P video shoot. Instead, the underground rapper continues to hustle just as hard as he did more than a decade ago when he formed hip-hop collective Solesides (later to be known as Quanuum) with fellow critics' darlings DJ Shadow and Blackalicious. But last April's Same [email protected]#$ Different Day, a remix album that actually improves on previously released singles and songs from his '03 solo debut, Later That Day, may propel him to the stardom his funk beats and half-sung/half-rapped rhymes deserve. In a rap world where artists spend their time making up new ways to brag about wheels and jewelry, Lyrics Born is the polar opposite. In fact, Later has a skit where he calls the bank to find out if a check cleared and is told by an extremely insulting automated teller that he has "no fucking money." Further distinguishing him on this tour is a five-piece live band playing behind him and his wife, singer Joyo Velarde. Opener Pigeon John, whose "Identity Crisis" admits his own insecurities about being told he "walks black and acts white" and lashes out at the pigeonholing music industry, makes this a can't-miss show for heads and backpackers.