July 10: The Mob Figaz at the Phoenix Theater

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The Bay Area MCs Rydah J. Klyde, the Husalah and the Jacka have blazed successful trails in the rap world, but to truly understand their art, one’s gotta go back . . . we’re talkin’ pre-hyphy back. The Mob Figaz, with fellow rappers AP.9 and Fed Ex, might not have the long-term backpacker appeal of Souls of Mischief or Del tha Funkee Homosapien, but to deny their influence is to ignore a vital chapter in Bay Area hip-hop. Rife with the usual tales of thug life, the Figaz also weren’t afraid to explore Muslim tradition before it was a given in hip-hop (“New Beginning”) or the sadder, more poignant side of the streets (“Hustlin’ in the Rain”). A thousand asphalt-scraping trunks have boomed testament to the group’s legacy, and their occasional reformations are always cause for buggin’ out. It’s real on Saturday, July 10, at the Phoenix Theater. 201 E. Washington St., Petaluma. 8pm. $25. 707.762.3565.

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