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Freeway and Jake One

Thursday, July 22, Bluebird Theater, 303-830-8497.

Ten years ago, it would have been just about impossible to fathom a successful collaboration between Rhymesayers, the Minneapolis-based, backpacker-fed label, and a former Cash Money and Roc-a-Fella rap star. But that's exactly what's happening here with Jake One, an indie veteran who can be considered hip-hop's golden child, with production credits ranging from 50 Cent to De La Soul, and Freeway, an MC who has rapped alongside Jay-Z, Nelly and his bearded-twin-by-appearance, Rick Ross. Earlier this year, the two artists from different end of the hip-hop spectrum teamed to create Stimulus Package, an album that featured guest spots from Beanie Sigel, Raekwon and Birdman. And the package actually ended up being, well, stimulating, with Freeway's lyrics dancing harmoniously around the flames of Jake One's soulful melodies and razor-sharp bass lines. The album, crowned one of the best of 2010 so far by Complex magazine, forces even the most critical hip-hop head to nod in agreement.

 
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