Mac Lethal at Atomic Cowboy Tonight, Thursday, April 17

(photo courtesy Jason Harper)

KC hip-hop phenom Mac Lethal is performing sorta-last minute at Atomic Cowboy tonight, April 17. The Rhymesayers artist is stopping by in support of his recent album, 11:11. Show starts at 10 p.m. it's 21-plus, tickets are $5 and DJ Sku and Spark1Duh? are also on the bill. Here's an excerpt of what our sista paper down I-70, the Pitch (and specifically, Dan LeRoy) says about him. Also, there are tunez. After the jump.

MP3: Mac Lethal, "Make Out Bandit"

MP3: Mac Lethal, "Pound That Beer"

It might be the best one-two punch on a hip-hop album this year, but Mac Lethal is more than a little modest — and un-PC — about his twin killers. "They're pretty much polar opposites," he says of "Pound That Beer" and "The Make-Out Bandit," the first singles from his new album, 11.11. "One's totally abrasive, and the other one's totally gay."

If you substitute "melodic and a potential mainstream hit" for "gay," then you'd have to agree with Mac about "Make-Out Bandit," just as you'd have to admit that the tongue-twisting, marching-band chant "Pound That Beer" is indeed raw — and catchy as hell. But whatever your choice of adjectives, the two songs are emblematic of what makes 11.11 well worth the long wait. The Kansas City rapper's Rhymesayers debut steers clear of the indie-itis that afflicts so many of his underground rap brethren. It is tightly focused and fully cognizant of the bass-bumping pleasures of the mainstream, which you'll understand long before Mac boasts, This ain't no indie-rap beat!

Like so much great pop music, 11.11 sugars its deeper thoughts with a sweet coating, which was a conscious decision. "Truth be told, I decided — and [Rhymesayers] agreed — that I might as well take my shot," he says. "I don't understand this idea that you make music only for yourself. I wanna make a weird pop record like Gnarls Barkley and see if it catches on."

-- Annie Zaleski