When: Fri., June 20 2014
alternative, hip-hop, 7 p.m.
Atlanta emcee Quanstar grew up in Compton, Calif. immersed in hip-hop’s elements, from breaking to tagging and rapping. He credits Krush Groove with inspiring him early. He switched coasts to attend Clark Atlanta University, and while there, hooked up with fellow emcee Evaready RAW to start their own label, First Team Music. In the decade or more since, Quanstar has released 10 albums. Despite his West Coast pedigree, he sounds most indebted to East Coast golden age groups like Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, as well as Atlanta icons, Outkast. A lot of his material is very conscious, like the jazzy-soul “On My Brain,” with its complaints about the Tea Party and cronyism, or last year’s obligatory carpe diem anthem, “Get It Get It.” Quanstar has a pleasant baritone and effortless flow that recalls Talib Kweli a bit. At his best, he taps a lively funk-soul vibe (see “Kna Knows,” which evokes the heady party-starting sizzle of Digable Planets). His tracks are rich and full — there’s nothing cut-rate about the production. Quanstar also seems up to indie hip-hop’s endless hustle. Aside from the albums, he’s also filmed a documentary/bio-flick, written a book, and posted cooking videos. —Chris Parker FRIDAY