Live preview: Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire

This talented eccentric might just be the bona fide savior of NYC rap.

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Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire Photograph: Lee Shaner/Knocksteady

In no universe except Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire's does the word vodka rhyme with Czechoslovakia. Then again, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire's universe doesn't make a whole lot of sense: He is perhaps the first rapper in the history of recorded thought to film a music video in which he finger-paints on a girl's, er, behind. "I thought it would be cool," says Mr. eXquire in a phone interview. "It wasn't some philosophical, Basquiat stuff. I just wanted to finger-paint on an ass. It was fun."

Mr. eXquire comes across as a malted milk ball of eccentricity: hard on the outside and borderline sweet on the inside, with the voice and imagination of Ol' Dirty Bastard, the technical skills of Jay-Z and the fatalism of Tyler, the Creator. It's a compelling combination bolstered by star wattage—every time eXqo's on camera, it's like he's reaching into your soul with his eyes, then pouring in a 40-ounce of Steel Reserve.

Perhaps what separates Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire from the cadre of rappers the media has paraded as potential saviors of New York hip-hop (Papoose, we're looking at you) is his sense of context: "Drunk driving on a Wednesdaaaaay," he bellows in a jubilant, off-kilter warble on "Huzzah," the song that essentially served as his coming-out party. Yes, drunk driving is terrible. But place yourself in a Mazda MPV, and you're on your way to a Hemingwayesque character study, or better yet, a modern-day Hunter S. Thompson novel. Either way, it's a hell of an entrance—maybe even more striking than ass finger-painting.

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