When the Lyricist Lounge first started, it was merely an open-mike spot where aspiring emcees in New York could come together and get their feet wet in the rap game. It was a showcase for new talent generally hosted by a hip-hop hero like Guru from Gangstarr or Pos from De La Soul. Artists like Nas, Foxy Brown and Eminem got to kick-start their careers in front of kids from their corners, rappers from their record collection, and music industry types who were interested in finding something new. That casual open mike night eventually became a MTV series, a record label, and for all intents and purposes, a brand of its own. This year they are taking the show on the road for the fourth time and have assembled a stellar lineup of diverse artists that you might not expect to see on tour together. Scarface headlines alongside old school legend Erick Sermon, making the ticket price more than worth it; these two vets are two of the livest performers the genre has ever seen. Also on the bill is the transient rapper Poverty -- whose bio makes Eminem's look like a diary from a trip to Disneyland. He hails from just about any city with a homeless shelter, and comes with a perspective on the struggle to survive sorely lacking elsewhere in hip-hop. Killah Priest, Bless the Nation and Graph open.
Check out this week's featured ad for Entertainment