by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out


On one hand, this year’s 102 JAMZ Superjam — happening Friday at the Greensboro Coliseum — has arguably its best lineup since Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and Outkast performed in its inaugural year way back in 1997. On the other hand, there’s a rapper on the bill whose former hip-hop handle was derived from the fact that he was breast-fed to an age that had the kid on the Time magazine cover shaking his head. But that’s classic Superjam for you: a sophisticated mix of the cerebral stuff for the hiphop geeks and stupid, fruity swag from rappers that most will have forgotten even exist a year later. It just so happens that this year leans more toward the former than in the past with Rick Ross, J. Cole and Wale spraying heady verbal ammo, but 2 Chainz (formerly the infamous Tity Boi) and Ca$h Out, a rapper whose most important work to date references his own name in the title. There aren’t many better ways to spend $10, however, than to see North Carolina’s native son J. Cole tear it up live, even if he’s been almost completely silent in terms of new music since releasing his ridiculously anticipated debut nine months ago. That hasn’t been a problem for Rawse, whose Rich Forever mixtape still stands up as one of the best rap releases of the year. As for Wale, he’s like the Danzig of rap: When he’s on he’s great, when he’s off he’s really off, and he’ll never be likable under any circumstance. There’s always the alternative of setting up a lawn chair on High Point Rad and counting the butts out of the passenger windows, but it’s not a bad way to spend $10. Tickets can also be had for up to $35, and the music starts at 7:30 p.m.


Eric Benet fans don’t need to worry about their favorite crooner making an embarrassing foray in raunchy, R. Kellyon-a-Viagra-binge-style R&B; the closest the King of the Five O’clock Shadow has ever come to writing songs with titles that can’t be printed here (see McKnight’s two latest releases) was his Lil Wayne pairing “Redbone,” and even then he sounded uncomfortable. Benet is currently touring with another PGrated R&B star in BGTY tour headliner Ledisi, which will come to the Greensboro Coliseum’s White Oak Amphitheatre this Saturday. Ledisi is not only Prince-approved, having dueted with the Purple One at several spots last year, but a favorite of the Obamas, having performed for them three times in their tenure. They’re joined on the tour by Chrisette Michele, whose fourth studio album Better is soon forthcoming. The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets range from $35 to $90.