Announcing the North Texas Hip-Hop Showcase, Presented by the Dallas Observer

It's always tough to know the significance of a moment in time as it's happening, so we wouldn't say where the current North Texas hip-hop scene rates. What we do know for sure is that the genre is represented by a powerful and diverse array of voices in the area. You can find commanding artists pushing new sounds and honing thoughtful lyrics on stages everywhere from houses in Denton and warehouses in Dallas to headlining spots on the growing local festival circuit.

In order to celebrate everything that's happening in this area's hip-hop scene, we got together with Granada Theater to put together a showcase featuring some of our favorite MCs. The big show is on Friday, January 10, and will feature Blue, The Misfit, Sam Lao, -topic, Lord Byron, Jaeson Green, AV the Great and, as you may have guessed, A.Dd+, with DJ Jay Clipp playing host. Tickets are $15 and on sale now.

Our headliner is one day removed from the long-awaited release of DiveHiFlyLo, which you can download here. The Dallas show celebrating the tape was back in January, also at the Granada. It was a triumph, but you don't have to take our word for it -- check out Poor Vida Productions' recap video:

But this is a lineup of equals. Lord Byron is a relative newcomer to the scene, but his Dark Arts II is by general consensus one of Dallas' most exciting 2013 releases in any genre. Sam Lao, also a fairly fresh face, is a captivating writer and presence.

It goes on: Blue, The Misfit is one of the leaders of the fiery Brain Gang collective. Denton's AV the Great is coming off a memorable performance at Rock Lottery. -topic is preparing a new album of his own, Be Good, Do Well, that is scheduled to be released on January 1. Jaeson Green's recent VICTORIOUS shows his strong ear for melody and cadence. You can hear them all on January 10.

There are, of course, more than seven artists currently doing interesting things in hip-hop around here. Several of them were nominated for last month's Dallas Observer Music Awards, in fact. This is one night, spotlighting a few of our favorites. But we'd need to keep doing these if we wanted to truly do justice to the talent out there. And we just might.

A quick note on motivation: No one from the Observer editorial staff has any financial stake in this show. We're working with the Granada to put this show together because we want to spotlight great music, but we do not stand to profit.

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