Harmful If Swallowed


New York and Los Angeles have churned out boatloads of hip hop superstars, while Chicago has recently been experiencing a hip hop revolution of sorts. Yet, no one seems to talk about smaller Midwestern cities like Kansas City. Perhaps that's why it may be a surprise to some that heartland America has also produced notable hip hop talent over the years. Minneapolis-based label Rhymesayers (of Atmosphere fame) has taken notice long ago, showcasing talented Midwesterners such as Brother Ali and Mac Lethal. The latter, also known as David McCleary Sheldon, hails from Kansas City and should be on every hip hop fan's iPod.

Look no further than Mac Lethal if you're craving some underground hip hop this Christmas season--you won't be disappointed. His sound ranges from aggressive anger-fueled rhymes where he threatens to "whoop your mother's ass," to slower harmonica-backed melodies that will get the crowd square dancing and clapping their hands in no time. Versatility seems to be in ample supply in his bag of tricks. It wouldn't be surprising one bit if Mac Lethal moonlighted as a comedian or folk singer in his free time. Just when you think you're beginning to get a feel for Mac Lethal's style, he unloads a fierce Twista-inspired machine gun flow that crashes into your eardrums like a grizzly bear driving a garbage truck. The lyrics are also often impressive, showcasing memorable lines such as "fuck veganism, give me some General Tso's chicken," and "Wilco is great and Ice-T is clever, but no matter what it's Wu-Tang forever!"

Mac Lethal will be performing on Monday, December 8th along with Grieves, Soulcrate Music, and DJ Sku. Where, you ask? Abbey Pub, of course. It's only one of Chicago's premiere hip hop venues. 3420 W. Grace. Tickets are $12 online and $14 at the door. Call 773.478.4408 for more info.

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