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King Gordy 

Tuesday, July 8, at the Bottom Line.

Consider this a travel tip: If you stumble into the dark heart of Detroit's East Side and look up to see yourself at the crossroads of VanDyke and Harper, count your blessings if burgeoning hip-hop powerhouse King Gordy is your tour guide. It's a neighborhood that would send most people running home to Mommy, riddled with real-life crack dealers, bullet-pocked buildings, and long looks from the locals.

Perhaps the next best thing to this dicey urban exploration is a spin of King Gordy's latest, The Entity. Set to the theatrical thump and grind of the Bass Brothers (a production team on loan from Marshall himself), every line spat is filled with the violent fury and gory details of Gordy's would-be kingdom. But for all of The Entity's chilling realities of East Detroit street life, seeing Gordy in person is more of a slightly surrealistic carnival ride. Weighing in at a solid 250, he rarely leaves home without sporting his signature devil-horn braids, a half-crazed, lazy-eyed stare, and suspiciously stinky hand-rolled cigars. He takes to the mic with screaming intensity, bringing to life nightmarish stories that can make DMX sound like MC Betty Crocker.

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