Though he’s had a modest hit or two of his own over the years thanks to the nudging of his OutKast and Goodie Mob associations, been-around-a-minute Killer Mike has never really had the opportunity to stand in his own shoes. Until now: The hip-hop world is doing battered-and-fried backflips over R.A.P. Music (Williams Street), his lush, ominous, focused and singular collaboration with El-P. It’s a late-career bust-out for the Atlanta native son, sure to become an ATLiens-style benchmark for those just dipping into Southern rap. Riffing on nostalgia, politics and the requisite southernplayalistic topicality with the controlled acrimony of a young Ice Cube, Killer really just raps his ass off, center-staging his sullen-yet-introspective worldview and permanently re-establishing his voice. In other words, he knows exactly how good he is, and that’s a good thing for us.
Sat., July 14, 8 p.m., $20, with El-P, Asher Roth and Despot, Trocadero, 1003 Arch St., 215-922-6888, thetroc.com.