Originally established in a recording studio at Webster University, Illphonics offers a refreshing take on alternative hip-hop. Frontman Larry "Fallout" Morris enthusiastically delivers his upbeat rhymes over the band's live instrumentation, which tends to draw its inspiration from a wide array of genres — including rock, funk and reggae. The resulting sound is surprisingly polished for a relatively young band, and its efforts are already paying off. Debut album Illphonics Presents Sound was among Vintage Vinyl's top-selling CDs of 2009, and the group followed up with last year's free five-track EP, Illusion. Having already opened for industry heavyweights such as Lupe Fiasco, Everclear and the Roots, Illphonics is regularly playing shows throughout the region, with its sights set firmly on breaking into the national spotlight. (CC)
9:30 p.m., Lola

40 'Til 5
40 'Til 5 has been holding it down in St. Louis since 2003. In addition to running the venerable local hip-hop showcase Loop Underground, the duo of emcee Ser Lesson and DJ/producer Urban One has cooked up three albums of traditionalist hip-hop. Ser Lesson likes to rap about destroying mics, smoking weed (40 'Til 5 = 4:20), stealing your girl and respecting hip-hop culture. It's nothing that hasn't been said before, but Lesson is clever in how he phrases his topics and flows directly on beat, ensuring that he gets his point across. It helps that Urban One is consistently on point with soulful, funky production that would make any rapper sound better. Something is working, at any rate: 40 'Til 5 has been a go-to St. Louis group to open for legends like Nas and LL Cool J. (BM)
1 a.m., Club Amnesia


Sleepy Kitty Arts

Location Info



500 N. 14th St.
St. Louis, MO 63103

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: St. Louis - Downtown

Lucas Park Grille

1234 Washington Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63103

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: St. Louis - Washington Avenue

Tech Supreme
Tech Supreme is known as both a member and cofounder of the massive local hip-hop collective the Force. He's also known for the production work he's done over the past few years; his crunchy Southern snares and space-age synths have made their way onto many local artists' projects. After heading up production on Tef Poe's last couple of albums, Tech enlisted many of his cohorts from the Force — along with a few outsiders — for the recently released Supremacy album. The sixteen-track mixtape includes appearances by Rockwell Knuckles, Tef Poe, Nato Caliph, Murphy Lee, Kyjuan and too many others to name. (CC)
7 p.m., RFT Outdoor Stage at 11th & Washington

StarStrukk Productions
Rick Tha Rula and Foxx StarStrukk scored big production credits on the Lonely Island's "Like a Boss" and "Shy Ronnie," both of which landed on Saturday Night Live and exposed the University City duo to millions of people. Still, the team's focus is local, for now: Recent St. Louis projects include tracks for Tef Poe and Rockwell Knuckles, Theresa Payne, Ms. Kriss, Bradd Young and Aloha. StarStrukk is also working on finding a place in the national scene; a deal for a "Shy Ronnie" sequel fell through owing to unsatisfactory agreements on both ends, but other distribution deals are in the works. (KM)

Trifeckta has become one of the most sought-after producers in St. Louis. He won the St. Louis Red Bull Big Tune contest last fall, beating mentor Tech Supreme in the process. His "Silly Human" is a standout on Rockwell Knuckles' spectacular You're Fucking Out, I'm Fucking In; the track samples Rick James' "Mary Jane," rendering the synth track apocalyptic and laying it over ticking cymbal and cavernous snare. That glorious feeling of doom pervades much of Trifeckta's work, notably on "Government Name" (which also got vocals from Rockwell Knuckles) and "Goddamn Right." (KM)

With well over a decade on the local scene, Nodzilla (DJ Needles' producer alias) has a résumé that speaks for itself — with a reputation to match. In addition to his on-air radio job at KDHX and various live gigs around town, Nodzilla manages to release a consistently solid string of remixes and original projects, while contributing his soulfully nostalgic instrumentals to St. Louis' ever-growing pool of talented artists. His sample-driven style lends itself well to the hip-hop and boom-bap-soul genres and brings to mind a Midwest equivalent of Gang Starr's DJ Premier. (CC)

Stoney Rock
Stoney Rock, a.k.a. Black Spade, has become a beast on the underground circuit. His unique brand of hip-hop possesses an undeniable charm that has earned him the title of Best Hip-Hop Artist for the last two years in a row in this paper's annual Best of St. Louis issue. One of the most impressive aspects of his talent is that he's as capable a producer as he is as a lyricist/singer. Utilizing unlikely samples and vintage synths, Stoney Rock's compositions often have a warm, familiar quality to them, while managing to keep a fresh and experimental feel. (CC)

Urban Legendz
Local duo Byron B. and Perry "6th Sense" Slater make up the production team now known as Urban Legendz. Although they've been working together since 2005, the pair started getting serious local exposure in late 2009 and is keeping momentum. Urban Legendz has already scored credits on Tef Poe's War Machine, Teresajenee's The Ecklectic and Vandaylzm's B!&^H Im'Mis Talented to name a few, as well as landing collaborations with NY/Chicago rappers the Paxtons. Reportedly planning to release its first EP in the near future, Urban Legendz is on the verge of having a breakout season. (CC)

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