Maryland-raised rapper Sugg Savage says she wears special-effect contact lenses during her performances so the people in the crowd will focus more on the music than on her. (Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson)

For most rappers, keeping it real sounds like tedious business, but not for Sugg Savage, whose bubbliest single, "Party Dawg," was really, truly inspired by an afternoon the Maryland-raised rapper spent palling around with various species. "I was hanging out with my producer," Sugg says, "and he was working on that beat, and I was dog-sitting for my friend at the time, just dancing with the dog, singing to it, so yeah, that's where 'Party Dawg' came from." Then, perhaps realizing how terrific this story is, she bursts into laughter.

In Sugg's reality, there is room for pets, laughs, family, friends and everything else she squeezes into "Party Dawg," a song where she rhymes in stylish deadpan, then harmonizes in gorgeous curlicues, then shouts-out an entire cast of area rappers — Kelow LaTesha, GoldLink, Sir E.U, Cal Rips, Mike of Doom and many more. If it sounds as if Sugg is trying to get the most from her four minutes on the microphone, she is.

"Each track that I make, I feel very connected to," she says. "I don't like putting out everything at once. One song here and one song there." Which means that she has posted only a handful of tracks online, refusing to adopt the typical flood-the-market approach that oversaturates today's rapscape.

Sugg's other big act of defiance? Look her in the eye. She says she likes to wear special-effect contact lenses whenever she performs because it helps the crowd open their ears. "I never liked the idea of being this cute, sex-symbol-rapper type of girl. I want to look crazy and do crazy things," Sugg says. "Most of the time [my contact lenses] really put people off, which I really enjoy. It makes it less about 'She looks good.' It makes people listen."

Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. at Touche Supper Club, 1123 H St. NE. $15.

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