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When Oakland rapper, Fantastical Carpé compares himself to Cassius Clay, this isn't your standard M.C. bragging. It's a clever, sly, self-aware statement of intent. Like Muhammad Ali in his prime, never afraid, back against the ropes. He knew he'd come back in the 8th with a knockout. Carpé raps about his struggles, growing up in Oakland, and about striving to make it as a rapper. He is prepared. The hits glance off of him. "Seize the day," but Carpé knows you don't get to take whatever you want. You have to wait for it. You have to hustle for it. He tells his own story, knowing the end: he will make it. This is rap that knows how to rope-a-dope. And so, an hour into his spitfire set at Actual Café, his energy has lured a small group up front to dance. Carpé himself pauses to catch his breath like Ali between rounds or J. Brown between sets. He's still dancing, shuffling. If this actually were the early 70s, Mr. Brown might have to think twice before calling himself, The Hardest Working Man in Show Business. -Kyle Booten
19 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610
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Oakland's Next Big Rapper
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