The options for music in New Orleans the week of April 18-24, 2019 include two Louisiana rappers with recent legal woes performing on the same night at venues two blocks apart.
10 p.m. (doors) Saturday, Republic NOLA, $40 general admission advance, $60 VIP
Boosie Badazz, the Baton Rouge rapper who was born Torrence Hatch Jr. and previously called himself Lil Boosie, released his latest album, "Badazz 3.5," on March 29; like its predecessors, it earned its "explicit content" warning label. But he's generated more headlines via his April 8, when he got pulled over in a rented Dodge Charger outside Atlanta. A search of the car turned up a loaded 9 mm handgun, several grams of marijuana and $20,000 in cash. Boosie and his bodyguard spent the night in jail before posting bond the next day. “Just a misunderstanding,” he explained to a TV crew awaiting his exit. “Ain’t nothing to see here.” Not due back in court until later this year, and likely looking at some significant legal bills, Boosie is free to go about his career. He released a video for the "Badazz 3.5" track "Bonnie & Clyde" last weekend, and is scheduled to perform at Republic NOLA on Saturday.
10 p.m. Saturday, Howlin’ Wolf, $30 general admission, $50 VIP
Mystikal, with his gruff, rapid-fire, funk-influenced flow, was one of New Orleans’ most distinctive and successful rappers of the late 1990s and early 2000s, notching million-selling No. 1 albums and collaborating with the likes of Mariah Carey. Both New Orleans second-line beats and the staccato cadences of James Brown are evident in such singles as “Bouncin’ Back (Bumpin’ Me Against the Wall)” and “Shake Ya Ass." But he's not released a full album of new material since 2001 thanks to a serious of legal issues, including a six-year prison stretch that concluded in 2010. In August 2017, he was jailed in Shreveport on a charge of first degree rape and kidnapping. He spent nearly 18 months at the Caddo Correctional Center before finally posting a $3 million bond in February. He maintains his innocence; a trial is tentatively slated for fall. Meanwhile, a judge gave Mystikal permission to travel out of state, provided he wears an ankle monitor and hires a security guard to accompany him. He’s at his hometown Howlin’ Wolf on Saturday.
Robert Earl Keen
8 p.m. Friday, House of Blues, $30-$75
Robert Earl Keen cut his teeth as an Americana country-folk singer-songwriter on the same Texas porches and in the same Texas halls as his buddy Lyle Lovett. Thirty years down the road, Keen is an icon of the Lone Star State. In November, Dualtone Records released a 25th anniversary blue vinyl edition of Keen’s classic album “A Bigger Piece of Sky.” Featuring Nashville stalwart Marty Stuart on mandolin and the E Street Band’s Garry Tallent on bass, the album includes such enduring Keen concert staples as “Corpus Christi Bay,” “Whenever Kindness Fails” and “Amarillo Highway.” Keen has called “A Bigger Piece of Sky” the “most thrilling, hair-pulling, penny-pinching, cliff-hanging, scariest record I’ve ever made. I love every song on it.” New Orleans-based singer/songwriter Esther Rose opens for Keen at the House of Blues on Friday.