Sat June 19
The Sea
318 SW 3rd

Feeling retarded? Blame the NBA and ESPN, who chose Black Eyed Peas as the official voice of The Finals 2004--the sole atrocity marring a near-perfect playoffs, which includes four BEP promo spots and the flaccid, yuppie-funk campfire singalong "Let's Get it Started" (nee "Let's Get Retarded"). I've seen folks get more retarded photocopying their resumes. Meanwhile, I'm gunning for M.O.P. as the NBA's true inspirational godheads.

The sentiment Black Eyed Peas attempt to convey--that of balls-out rowdiness--is the same one Brownsville street champs M.O.P. live every day. Immortalized so effortlessly on their 2000 brick-tosser "Ante Up," rappers Lil' Fame and Billy Danze sound like they ate the glass off a broken window and spit it right back out. "Ante Up," the REAL playoff anthem of 2004, matches the Pistons' narrative, a rap song about ghetto underdogs ("I'm 999 thou short of a mil") gazing upon privileged playboys ("them thugs you know ain't friendly/those jewels you rock make 'em envy") and swiping treasure ("ANTE UP! YAP THAT FOOL! ANTE UP! KIDNAP THAT FOOL!").

On this tour and their latest record (Mash Out Posse, a precursor to their Roc-a-Fella debut this fall), M.O.P. posses up with Shiner Massive, a Brooklyn rock band, for an aggressive, gravelly hybrid, lit off with an intro to the tune of "Iron Man." M.O.P. has always combined lyrics basted in gritty survivalism with thudding guitars and bass hits like a broken tranny on blacktop. Even in their more soulful, redemptive moments, they still hork the crap out of a grimy rhyme, all adrenalin and sprays of sweat and spittle, run by sheer force of their delivery and savvy street sportif.

On the Roc-a-Fella webpage, Billy Danze says with Rasheed-like determination, "We want niggas to bang they fucking head. Everybody knows that. Even motherfuckas that don't like M.O.P. know what to expect from M.O.P. and we ain't going to change that." Let's get it started.