MANKATO -- When Al Trahms was invited to perform alongside a pair of Minnesota hip-hop heavy-hitters, he cleared his schedule.
Though the self-produced, self-promoting Mankato rapper who performs under the name Professor Fresh has a social network with Twin Cities hip-hop artists that goes back to his days as a member of the Loonatix Productions team, he wasn't about to miss a chance to share billing with Carnage the Executioner and Desdamona on Saturday at the What's Up Lounge.
"Absolutely not," he said. "There were a few other shows I chose not to take on because of this."
Carnage and Desdamona are the highly regarded duo that form Ill Chemistry, a collaborative showcase for Carnage's blistering lyrical dexterity and beatboxing skills and Desdamona's award-winning spoken word and emceeing talents. Fresh off the Welcome to Minnesota tour with Atmosphere, Carnage is partnering with Desdamona for a promotional tour of their double EP release "Double Dysfunction."
Professor Fresh, along with T.Ly , Prymary Others, Phenom and Luminati round out the lineup.
In 2011, Fresh released "From MN, w/ Love," a 14-track tour of his intelligently self-assured rhymes. He said he's currently working on a follow-up effort that will build on the stylistic changes he displayed on his last release.
"It will be new in a sense," he said. "The last full-length album represented a big change. This is the evolution."
Performances begin at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 at the door, and the show is limited to ages 21-plus. The What's Up Lounge is located at 701 N. Riverfront Drive.
- Tanner Kent