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Wallpaper 

When: Fri., Feb. 22, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $16-$18

Hip-hop has become a genre synonymous with braggadocio and constant one-upmanship -- which is why the East Bay's own Wallpaper. is such a blast of fresh air. Granted, he's not a rapper, but Wallpaper. (aka Ricky Reed) blends a hip-hop aesthetic with funk, electronic, and pop. However, it's his lyrics -- self-effacing, observationally humorous, and clever without being smug, even as he covers the usual party/drinking/girls topics -- that elevate his material beyond just mindless party tunes (although they're enjoyable on that level as well). Reed got signed to Epic last year and is prepping to release his first major label debut, which will "mix elements of rock and roll with guitars over ... heavy 808s and hip-hop style production," according to his manager. No word yet on a release date; in the meantime, catch him at Slim's (333 11th St., San Francisco) on Friday, Feb. 22, with Con Bro Chill. 9 p.m., $16. SlimsPresents.com

— Kathleen Richards

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