Concert preview: Hip-hop legend Slick Rick still as crafty as ever

Andy Downing, Columbus Alive

The hip-hop legend has a magma-like, sing-song cadence that he employs to stunning effect on classics like "Children's Story." It's a lilting flow sometimes imitated - Boots Riley of the Coup, for one, successfully adapted it for the group's fiery 2006 anthem "We Are the Ones" - but never quite duplicated. Beyond his obvious technical prowess, the MC remains an expert storyteller, packing his innovative rhymes with a novel's worth of conflicted, sometimes morally ambiguous characters. The evening also includes music from Mix Master Ice, DJ Dru and DJ Lil Man, who I sincerely hope adapted his name from the Marlon/Shawn Wayans vehicle "Little Man." As a heads-up, attendance is restricted to those 25 and older, and a dress code is being strictly enforced.

The Xclusive Elite Entertainment Center

5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22

1921 Channingway Center Dr., East Side