MFTMC Nashville Scene Critics’ Pick

There are at least three milestones that you could reasonably argue mark the start of summer: the solstice, Memorial Day and the last day of school. That last one is closest to the feeling of Saturday’s installment of the Meant for the Milk Crate series, a showcase for local and regional hip-hop since 2012. You’ve got short-and-sweet sets from four choice acts. At the top of the bill is The Morning After Crew — a trio, something rare in Music City rap — and you’re going to want to get to know their 2018 album For My Friends. Maybe you already know local rap veterans Pow Shadowz and BeHoward, or rising champ Endre on Purpose (part of local label/collective It’s Like That Records), but if you don’t, don’t feel bad — come out and get familiar. As always, MFTMC co-founders AL-D and E.T. will be on hand to host (and hopefully spit a bar or two, because they are excellent rappers), DJ Vamp will man the 1s and 2s, and there will be an open-mic cypher after the show, where you can flex your rhyming abilities. 9:30 p.m. at The Cobra, 2511 Gallatin Ave. STEPHEN TRAGESER, Nashville Scene

Nashville Scene Critics’ Pick: Meant for the Milk Crate

AL-D and E.T. have been dauntless in doing their part to spotlight local and regional hip-hop with their Meant for the Milk Crate showcase series and their weekly Fringe Radio Show on community station WRFN-LPFM. Over Meant for the Milk Crate’s five-year run, your hosts have put dozens of rappers on the stage at conventional Nashville venues, an important feat in itself. But now AL-D is going one step further and dropping a mixtape featuring tracks from past guests. The track list wasn’t available at press time, but previous bills have featured top-shelf MCs like Brian Brown, Rashad tha Poet, Virghost, Tiara P. and BeHoward, so chances are it’s going to be rad. And why not throw a party to celebrate? A $10 cover at the door will get you a copy of the mix, plus admission to live sets from established local rappers Young Quael, Case Arnold and Foundation, as well as choice up-and-comer Daisha McBride. On top of all that, you can watch (or spit some bars in) open-mic cyphers before and after the show. STEPHEN TRAGESER, Nashville Scene

Nashville Scene Critics’ Pick: Meant for the Milk Crate

AL-D and E.T.’s Meant for the Milk Crate hip-hop showcase series is approaching its fifth anniversary, so it’s likely most Nashvillians know what’s up by now. But maybe you’re here on vacation, or just moving to town. First of all, welcome, and second, you really wanna check this out. Your hosts are two outstanding rappers who’ve been known to spit a rhyme or three during the course of the evening, and they’ve got DJ Vamp on the decks, who makes the art of keeping the beat look easy. Four choice MCs are the featured guests for this installment: Music City’s Brian Brown, who’s been building up his already-strong following with new tracks from his forthcoming full-length Journey; also-local duo Out Here Boys, aka Sofa Brown and Evan Blocker, who’ve released two volumes of their athletic Move or Get Moved EP series this year; Memphis’ Tyke T, who slides between styles and voices like a chameleon changes colors; and Weston, whose lack of an internet presence is all the more reason to see him in the flesh. Really want your mind blown? Come early or stay late for the Olympic-level verbal gymnastics on display during the open-mic cyphers before and after the main show. STEPHEN TRAGESER, Nashville Scene

Critics’ Pick: Meant for the Milk Crate

What’s better than a quarterly blowout party featuring lovingly curated top-shelf local and regional hip-hop performers and an open-mic cypher? How about one that goes down more often? Hosts AL-D and E.T. are slowly but surely building up the Meant for the Milk Crate party, and this will be the third time this year they’ve had it on an every-other-month basis — an exciting bit of news for a town bursting with rap talent but sorely in need of a place to show off. Representing the 615 on this particular bill are Seene P and his swinging flow; Finess, whose 2016 release Senior YR shows her dropping verses in a variety of contexts; and Magnetic Forces, a duo whose nerdier tendencies help them go deep into old-school territory on their 2017 full-length The Vision on Multiple Occasions. Supremely seasoned Memphis MC Jason Da Hater tops the bill. Some cool extras to note: There will be an additional cypher before the featured MCs take the mic, and there’s a screening of the damn funny lampoon-tastic horror-comedy Black Holler at 7:30 p.m. (And if you come out and pay the $5 to see that, you’ll get a discount on your admission to MFTMC.) STEPHEN TRAGESER, Nashville Scene

Nashville Scene Critics’ Pick: Black Holler at The Belcourt

In the wake of films like Scream and Cabin in the Woods, you’d think more stock characters in horror flicks would have some idea of the peril their behavior puts them in. But where would the fun be in that? The all-local crew behind Black Holler is hip to this quandary, and the film revels in the campiness of familiar situations for maximum comedic effect. To wit, the plot features a bunch of cheese-addled horn-dog students who go traipsing into the woods like so much machete fodder, and it’s up to Laquita Johnson (played by the outstanding Tamiko Robinson Steele, who recently starred in Nashville Rep’s production of A Raisin in the Sun opposite Eddie George) to save them from the terrors that await. You’ve got your choice of screenings for the film’s world premiere on Monday: Come early for the Fancy Screening, complete with (bloody) red carpet, photo ops and a talkback, or come late for the Rowdy Screening, which promises Rocky Horror-style audience participation. STEPHEN TRAGESER, Nashville Scene

Nashville Scene Critics Pick: Meant for the Milk Crate

Spring is in the air (when the snow isn’t falling, anyway), and AL-D and E.T.’s quarterly hip-hop showcase is bringing some bands into the mix to keep the action fresh. This time out, half of the bill is dedicated to purveyors of soulful and funky instrumental sounds ripe for rapping — check out Magic in Threes from the G.E.D. Soul family, who spent 2016 writing and recording one new song every week, and Street Band Clan, who stir elevated jazz into the pot. Expect some excellent live-band hip-hop action, since the MCs on deck have experience working with these particular groups. The last time we saw the masterful Rashad tha Poet work a room, Street Band Clan was backing him up, and Wally Clark, known for his sample sorcery, actually graced some of last year’s Magic in Threes tracks with his deceptively laid-back drawl. DJ Vamp will tend to the 1s and 2s, and your gracious hosts will lay down a few bars between sets. As always, the night concludes with an open-mic cypher. If you can’t stick around, word to the wise: AL-D also hosts a weekly cypher every Tuesday at Bearded Iris Brewing in Germantown. STEPHEN TRAGESER, Nashville Scene

Nashville Scene’s Best of Nashville 2016: Fringe Radio Show


“Best Place to Hear Local Hip-Hop on the Airwaves”

The caliber of Nashville’s hip-hop artists is on par with our singer-songwriters and rock bands, but you wouldn’t know it from scanning the radio dial or walking into your corner bar. Besides being an outstanding MC duo, AL-D and E.T. are being the change they want to see in their scene. They do their damndest to make local hip-hop easier for the casual fan to stumble onto through the Fringe Radio Show; they alternate hosting duties on the show each Monday night on Radio Free Nashville. On air, they shine a spotlight on top talent from around the region with interviews and a heap of tracks, and then they bring it to you in the flesh, organizing quarterly showcase concerts under the moniker Meant for the Milk Crate. STEPHEN TRAGESER

Nashville Scene: Meant for the Milk Crate Critics’ Pick

MFTMC Critics Pick

One thing Nashville’s music scene needs to work on is being as inclusive and supportive of its hip-hop artists as it is of its singer-songwriters and rock bands. There’s a ton of top-shelf rap going on, but much of it happens in house-show cyphers you won’t hear about unless you know a guy who knows a guy. Besides being an outstanding MC duo, AL-D and E.T. do their damnedest to make local hip-hop easier for the casual fan to find — through the Fringe Radio Show, for which they alternate hosting duties each Monday night on Radio Free Nashville, as well as their quarterly Meant for the Milk Crate showcases. You may not know locals Foundation, BeHoward and K-DA, or Kentucky rapper Allen Poe (all of whom play Friday’s show alongside a four-deck turntable blitz featuring MFTMC regular DJ Vamp and The Boom Bap’s DJ Bowls), but their recent releases are all very much worth your time. Check out previews of each in an archive of the Aug. 15 Fringe Radio Show broadcast. As always, there’ll be an open-mic cypher to shut the night down, but save up some hype for Saturday night, too: At Charlie Bob’s, Spitball Productions puts on its first hip-hop show with a stout lineup featuring full sets from S-Wrap, Ra Noise, Trane Spitta and AL-D himself. —STEPHEN TRAGESER