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When I saw Los Angeles underground rapper Busdriver would make his only San Diego appearance on January 21 at Escondido's Metaphor Café, I decided to go.

I'd never heard of the Metaphor Café, and its website was down, so I decided to call. The guy on the phone told me doors opened at 8 p.m. and that performances started at 9 p.m. There were three other rap groups on the bill, and I wasn't sure if it was an L.A.-style show (where the headliners play early), so I got there at 9:00.

Performances didn't start until after 10 p.m. An amateur DJ spun in the meantime, but I got bored. When the first opener hit the stage and played only two songs, I stopped people-watching and got back into the show. Then the L.I.E. Crew took the stage...and wouldn't get off. After being told three times they were done by either the show's organizer or someone from the venue, L.I.E.'s main MC relinquished the microphone...but not before he delivered a "freestyle" to an empty room -- nearly everyone had cleared out for more beer at the bar or cigarettes on the patio.

Busdriver, who had been checking his watch throughout the night, had to wait while another group played for 20 more minutes. When he did hit the stage, he killed.

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