E-40, Maniac Lok, Yo-X, J-Phenom

When: Fri., Jan. 25, 8 p.m. 2013

I made a bet with a friend from the Bay Area almost a decade ago and it was a bad one. He predicted hyphy, both as an adjective and its corresponding rap sub-genre—as pioneered by E-40—would soon permeate Portland's popular culture. I lost. I should've known better than to bet against a legend. Now closer to 50 than 40, the Vallejo progenitor remains as relevant as ever. Last year, 40 released a whopping five records: a three-part suite and a pair of collaborations with Too Short. Tracks like "Function," from the Block Brochure collection, and 2011's "My Shit Bang" go head to head with the bounciest strip-club bangers of today as well as yesterday. But lest we write off Earl Stevens as slobbering or single-minded, E-40—who's family first, forever funky, always repping his city, uncompromised, and unrelenting—is a man in every sense of the word. And certainly not one you should bet against. ANDREW R TONRY

Price: $25

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