Outside of rock-star beat makers like Pharrell and Timbaland, hip-hop producers tend to be reclusive studio rats rather than exhibitionist performer types. Recently New York-based producer Araabmuzik made the leap from semi-anonymity (he’s best known to rap geeks for his work with Harlem’s Dipset crew) into full-on front-man mode with his live performances, creating beats in real time on an Akai MPC sampler/sequencer (the single most important piece of technology in hip-hop history). These performances have helped elevate the MPC’s profile, transforming it from a piece of common studio gear into something that listeners are willing to take seriously as an instrument in its own right.

Araabmuzik will show off his skills on the drum pads on December 28 when Hennessy Black brings him to the Mid for a performance alongside locals Flosstradamus, Zebo, ProbCause, and Demchuk. Admission is free with RSVP.