I can't hear the name G. Love and Special Sauce and not think '80s cheese pop. Special Sauce? Sounds skanky. Or Flavor Flav-ish. It's neither. G. Love channels soulful '70s funk as well as incorporates twangy guitar, front-porch harmonica, goosebump-inducing harmonies and a little gospel organ into his sometimes crockpot-slow hip-hop.
The Philadelphia native has an urban vibe that is appealing to listeners beyond a city-dwelling 14- to 18-year-old demographic who might be drawn to street music. G. Love combines the forms of hip-hop with the lyrical expansiveness often expressed by singer-songwriters. In the titular track "The Hustle" off of his debut solo release, he waxes lazily on how "runnin' is a hustle / livin' is a hustle / everythin's a hustle / but loooooove." One listen, and it's easy to love G. Love. Maybe it is all in the name.
Saturday, Feb. 27, with Redeye Empire, 8:30 p.m., $20-$39. Knitting Factory, 416 S. Ninth St., bo.knittingfactory.org.