What with Danny Brown's recent appearance at the Olympia that I so regretfully missed, Earl Sweatshirt's sick gig in the Academy and DOOM hitting The Sugar Club the same week, we haven't been short on visiting rap talent of late. The summer however, promises to be an excellent one for hip-hop lovers in Ireland as a variety of superstars new and old hit the capital and beyond.
As always I'm here to provide a running commentary by laying out the best gigs for you to see this summer so sit back, check out the upcoming live music and stay tuned for coverage of them when they happen.
Big Daddy Kane (3rd May, The Sugar Club)
This summer is set to be steeped in heavyweight appearances from hip-hop legends and kicking off the party is Big Daddy Kane in The Sugar Club in under two weeks. One of the greatest rap artists of the 1980's and most influential people ever to step to a mic, Kane requires no introduction but another good reason to catch this performance is its intimate setting, with The Sugar Club having proved a wonderful venue for hip-hop artists of late. It's also very reasonably priced at just e22 a ticket.
Grandmaster Flash (4th May, The Village)
If you're craving a massive rap weekend in early May you are most definitely sorted with Grandmaster Flash following Big Daddy Kane in The Village on May 4th. A pioneer of hip-hop beats and one of the most celebrated DJ's in rap, Flash can be seen for a measly 15 quid. It'd be rude not to.
Schoolboy Q & Isaiah Rashad (27th May, Vicar Street)
Two of the biggest upcomers in rap music right now, Top Dawg Entertainment's Schoolboy Q and Isaiah Rashad both dropped albums this year to strong critical acclaim (one I agreed with, one I can't say the same about) and will be unmissable at what is sure to be an intense concert in Vicar Street come the end of May. Q's in-your-face braggadocio style rap will get the crowd rowdy while Rashad delivers the kind of contemplative think pieces that made his debut release such a pleasure this year. When you consider a price of just 26 euro for two of the hottest young rappers in the game, expect Vicar Street to be bouncing on May 27th.
Pusha T (9th June, Vicar Street)
Pusha's solo debut My Name Is My Name was one of the best rap albums of 2013 without doubt, and this is another well priced gig in the always beautifully atmospheric Vicar Street. Grab a ticket for e26 and thank me later as you witness one of the best MC's in the world right now take stage in Dublin this June.
Jurassic 5 (17th June, Vicar Street)
Another historically significant name in alternative rap, Jurassic 5 reformed last year following a break up in 2006 due to disputes among the group, and it's your duty as a self respecting hip-hop fan to see them while you can when they play the capital this summer. The band are also making plans to release a live album of their current tour so you never know, you could be part of the recording process. This is Vicar Street once again, however this time tickets are a little steeper at e36.
Kanye West & Pharrell Williams (2nd July, Marlay Park)
Alongside The Arcade Fire/Pixies set three days prior in the same place, Kanye and Pharrell are set to play the Irish gig of the summer on July 2nd. Kanye arrives as part of his spectactular Yeezus tour in the midst of recording a new album less than a year after what many (including myself) judged to be 2013's greatest record, while Pharrell is experiencing a massive career peak at the moment with the release of his second solo album G I R L and smash hit single ''Happy''. Shelling out e59.50 might seem a bit much but consider Drake/Watch The Throne's ludicrous 80 quid pricing in the O2 and count yourself lucky; it won't seem an awful lot on the night as you witness a modern music legend in all his glory.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis w. Danny Brown, Angel Haze & Ellie Goulding (10th July, Marlay Park)
Fresh off his huge Grammy win's for 2012's The Heist, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are still touring and they return to Dublin for a July show that also features the talents of one of my personal favourite artists Danny Brown, upcoming female rapper Angel Haze and the hugely successful Ellie Goulding. It's a bit of a mix and match when you look at the talent, but there's no denying this is an impressive line up and another stand out for Irish music fans.
Words by Andrew Lambert