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Tre Hardson & Fuqawi

Friday, December 2, Round Midnight, Boulder, 303-442-2176; Sunday, December 4, Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 303-297-1772.

Hip-hop history brims with gifted solo artists, but there are far fewer great bands -- groups whose shows were every bit as memorable as their best recordings. The Pharcyde earned a spot in this second category as a result of a relentlessly funky sound and members with oversized personalities, including Derrick "Fatlip" Stewart, Imani Wilcox, Romye "Bootie Brown" Robinson and Tre "Slimkid" Hardson. These four were already touring hard in the early '90s, and even when CD sales dipped, their live reputation kept them afloat long after many of their contemporaries had sunk to the bottom. Today, Wilcox and Robinson continue to perform under the Pharcyde name, while Fatlip and Hardson maintain solo careers funded largely by ticket receipts. Granted, Hardson has plenty of other projects going, including appearances in a couple of independent films and a new CD, Slimkid3's Cafe, that's expected in stores early next year. Yet he remains a devoted road warrior, which is why he's playing multiple dates in Colorado in the company of Fuqawi, his live crew, plus Heiruspecs and Pocket Dwellers. As a result, he's still making hip-hop history instead of being history.

 
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