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9 p.m. Friday, November 17. Blueberry Hill's Duck Room (6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City).

CunningLynguists' first two albums were among the best to drop during underground rap's post-millennial explosion. With Kno's fierce loops behind a barrage of crazy punch lines and concepts from Deacon the Villain — along with a smattering of big-name guests — both 2001's Will Rap for Food and 2003's Southernunderground stand tall as best-case scenarios for progressive hip-hop. But with two solid albums of rowdy fun behind them, this year's A Piece of Strange is a melancholy departure. A loosely organized morality play of a concept album, Strange is less fun than previous efforts, but Deacon's adept lyricism and Kno's beats still shine. Still, it's a good bet they'll leave the heavy shit at home when they rock the Duck Room this Friday.

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