Benefit concerts are a lovely way to raise money for your cause, but they can be pretty hit or miss when it comes to entertainment value, mainly because you can't always recruit top talent when you're asking them to play for free.

Benefit concerts are a lovely way to raise money for your cause, but they can be pretty hit or miss when it comes to entertainment value, mainly because you can't always recruit top talent when you're asking them to play for free.

Last Thursday's children's charity hip-hop benefit at Carabar was on the more impressive end of the spectrum. Though figures like J. Rawls, the Catalyst and Dominique LaRue aren't exactly elusive, they're genuine talents who'll make your head bob proudly for this city. And it's not every day a founding figure of hip-hop culture a la Mix Master Ice mans the decks.

I came to see Khil, though.

The 27-year-old Indian MC born Nikhil Datta has been racking up the accolades this year. Besides winning Power 107.5's "Are You Radio Ready?" contest, he shot music videos in Miami, played shows all over the eastern U.S. and recorded a forthcoming mixtape, "Lights On," featuring seriously prominent names like Dead Prez, Freeway, Project Pat and Machine Gun Kelly.

A resume like that demands attention, but plenty of whack MCs have benefited from the right people taking a liking to them. (CyHi the Prynce is nodding bashfully right now.) Thursday's show was a chance for Khil to validate the hype.

Backed by DJ Prospect, he took the stage around 12:30 a.m. to the sounds of a sampled cosign from Dead Prez rapper M1, who appears on "Seein' Life," one of the many singles Khil has launched into cyberspace this year.

What followed was a flurry of machine-gun verbiage that positioned Khil as a more aggressive counterpart to Alabama trailer-park skate rat Yelawolf. Syllables unfurled rapid-fire; I remember what he said a lot less than how he said it.

I did pick up enough to hear him at once living up to stereotypes (rappers rap about typical rap stuff) and shattering others (Indians don't). The most prominent South Asian in rap, Das Racist's Himanshu Suri, spins intellectual pretzels that fit with my preconceptions of a hyper-educated Indian culture. This was a lot more straightforward - and for most listeners, probably a lot more inviting.

Khil delivered his boasts with an unpracticed charisma. He looked comfortable up there, and whether he was wilding out or locking into focus for more lyrical acrobatics, his performance merited at least a portion of the props.