Andre Benjamin

  • Blogs

    October 16, 2014

    The Ten Best Concerts of the Summer

    Red Rocks hosted the last concerts of its regular concert series a little over a week ago, signaling the official end of the summer concert season in Colorado. This week on the Backbeat blog, we're looking back at some of our favorite shows of 2014's warmest months. Note that we didn't include any f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 25, 2014

    Podcast: In The Equalizer, Denzel Kills, Summarizes Hemingway, Kills Again

    As Bob McCall in The Equalizer, Denzel Washington plays a regular Joe who turns into an eye-gouging, brain-drilling nightmare for Boston's Russian mob. At first Washington "toodles about a Home Depot-like store, helping customers, decked out in New Balance shoes and jeans so last-century you'll be l ... More >>

  • Film

    September 25, 2014
  • Blogs

    September 11, 2014

    Everything Outkast Is Cooler Than

    Outkast, now just a handful of shows away from what looks a lot like the end of its performing career, has made something of an art form out of cleverly describing its own level of "cool." Though the Atlanta duo is far from the first rap group to do so, Big Boi and Andre 3000 have certainly made a g ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 22, 2014

    The Eleven Best Concerts in Denver This Weekend

    It's a weekend of superlatives in Denver: The biggest reunion of the year (OutKast), the biggest drum set on the planet (Terry Bozzio), the king of Tex-Mex Guitar (Joe King Carrasco)...All great shows. There are more, including the annual Reggae on the Rocks and NedFest for the people who miss the o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 5, 2014

    The ten best summer music festivals in Colorado

    A Colorado summer can be short, but there are plenty of ways to make it sweet, especially if you pack it with as many festivals, road trips and patios as possible. We've picked out ten music festivals sure to give you the flavor of the state's musical offerings -- everything from the EDM of Global D ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 14, 2014

    Paul Westerberg was visibly annoyed at Coachella

    Paul Westerberg wasn't exactly thrilled to be in the Southern California desert last night. "Headed out to San Francisco, definitely not L.A.," he once sang. During his latest reunion show with The Replacements - at Coachella - he often mocked the audience, whom he quickly deemed insufficiently fami ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2013

    A.G. Flux of Black Mask and A.V.I.U.S. of Prime Element talk about their new EP, How Cliché

    Prime Element and Black Mask are two local hip-hop outfits making compelling music, and now members of the two acts are making music together. How Cliché, a new EP featuring A.V.I.U.S. from Prime Element and the multi-talented AG Flux from Black Mask, dropped today. In advance of the release party ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2013

    The ten best rap videos of all time

    There's nothing like a music video to bring out the character in a song. Unfortunately, these days, music videos tend to be mostly the same, especially rap videos. Needless to say, it's refreshing when a clip comes along that is different and creative enough to grab and hold your attention. With tha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 29, 2013

    The ten best all-star remixes in rap

    In music, the term "remix" can mean a lot of different things, even in rap. But one of the most celebrated traditions in the rap industry is collecting verses from the hottest names in the game for a second go-around on a tried-and-true instrumental. On the one hand, you can wind up with a collectio ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2013

    The ten best "yeahs" in recent music history

    Granted sometimes invoking a pithy "yeah" in song might seem like token verbalizing just to fill in the gaps when a singer can't think of anything else to say. No argument there. Sometimes, though, a forceful "yeah" can express all kinds of raw, unbridled emotions (see James Hetfield). Uh-huh. Yeah. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 1, 2013

    The ten best music biopics

    Word came down recently that André 3000 of Outkast will be playing the highly influential Jimi Hendrix in a biopic called All Is By My Side, which centers on the iconic guitarist's early years. With inspired and estimable casting like this, it made us think about the other memorable biopics that ha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2013

    Ten rap features that stole the show

    Features have a long history in hip-hop -- one that is now frequently used in other musical forms, as well. It can serve many purposes: A well-placed feature can present you to a whole new pocket of possible fans. It can also take advantage of another rapper's current popularity, or it can give the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 6, 2013

    The ten best concerts to see in Denver this week

    SHABAZZ PALACES @ LARIMER LOUNGE | MON, 5/6/13 In the first half of the '90s, Ishmael Butler went by the moniker "Butterfly" as part of the rap trio Digable Planets. After the outfit's 1995 split, the group performed one-off shows here and there, but since 2009, Butler has released music with Tendai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2013

    Ten best hip-hop shows in Denver this month

    FLOBOTS @ AGGIE THEATRE | FRI, 5/3/13 Half a decade after releasing the platinum single "Handlebars," which made rounds on radios across the country, the Flobots have grown significantly, both as a musical group and as a philanthropic force within the Denver community. Since parting ways with Univer ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 17, 2013

    For These Things Matter's first birthday, its hosts discuss their ten favorite episodes

    Not everyone can relate to the idea of defining yourself through popular culture, but anyone who gets it, really gets it. And for the last year Denver has been blessed with a sonic sanctuary for these poor souls: the These Things Matter podcast. This week TTM hosts Taylor Gonda and comedian Kevin O' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 25, 2013

    The ten greatest southern rappers of all time

    It took a long time for the south to be recognized as a major player in the hip-hop scene, and it still has a ways to go to be held in the same regard as the East and West Coasts, but with the emergence of a new breed of countrified rappers such as Big K.R.I.T., Future, Yelawolf and 2 Chainz (and ev ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2013

    Ten acts that helped make hip-hop more accessible to mainstream audiences

    Hip-hop is a world unto itself. Its rich tradition of spoken word poetry, self-referential subject matter and electronic and sample-based production make it, in many ways, a difficult musical form to adapt to, especially if you come from a more traditional background. These ten acts helped make rap ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 8, 2013

    The ten best concerts in Denver this weekend

    Welcome to the weekend! Another work week is almost in the books. Time to cut loose. If it's live music you seek, you've come to the right place. Tons of great music on tap this weekend, a diverse array of options whatever your flavor, everything from jazz and jam to hip-hop and hardcore to industri ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 5, 2013

    Ten best hip-hop shows in Denver this month

    February is already off to a good start for hip-hop with a pair of great shows this past weekend, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at Icelantic's Winter on the Rocks and Brother Ali with Prof, Danny Brown and Evidence at Cervantes'. Even excluding those shows, the rest of the month looks to be just as enti ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2013

    The ten best storytellers in hip-hop

    The art of storytelling has existed since before recorded history, so it's somewhat surprising that the practice didn't take off in hip-hop, an originally oral tradition, until the late '80s. Since rappers discovered just how captivating a well-told story could be, the storytelling track has become ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 4, 2013

    The ten best hip-hop lyrics of 2012

    1. 2 Chainz - Birthday Song "She got a big booty, so I call her Big Booty." Don't freak. We're just kidding. Every year, people say hip-hop is dead, but every year it keeps expanding -- commercially, sonically. thematically -- pretty much in every way imaginable. Although the radio may lead you to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 17, 2012

    T.I. at 1STBANK Center, 12/15/12

    T.I. / KS-107.5 JINGLE JAM @ 1STBANK CENTER | 12/15/12 After a bit of a wait, the lights dimmed. Screams of delight filled the 1STBANK Center, fighting for preeminence in a veritable bass-made earthquake. A booming, overpowering voice delivered a fiery sermon as the man of the evening finally took ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 19, 2012

    The ten best concerts this weekend: Oct. 19-21

    Ah, yes, welcome to the weekend! And what a glorious weekend it's going to be. Have you seen the forcast? What's more, the Broncos have a bye-week this week, which means there's no reason at not to get out in the sunshine during the day and then treat yourself to some shows at night. As always, we'v ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 7, 2012

    Backbeat's five most listened-to songs and albums, week of September 5, 2012

    As people who think about, talk about, write about, listen to and make music, it shouldn't be too surprising to find that the most common (and our mutually favorite) topic of conversation among all of us is the same: "What are you listening to right now?" Stick a quarter in us, and boy, wouldn't you ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 19, 2012

    Big K.R.I.T. at the Bluebird, 7/18/19

    BIG K.R.I.T. @ BLUEBIRD THEATER | 7.18.19 See Also: - Big K.R.I.T. at the Marquis, 10/21/10 - Mr. Midas and Big K.R.I.T. collab on "Back On" Big K.R.I.T. calls himself the King Remembered In Time, an appropriate name, because he truly is timeless. When the big king stepped on stage, all stern-face ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 17, 2012

    A comprehensive guide to Record Store Day 2012 activities

    Whoever says the music industry is dead obviously hasn't observed Record Store Day. While file sharing has certainly dampened CD sales -- removing the casual music listener from the economic equation -- a contingency of hardcore record geeks can still be found thumbing through the bins most weekends ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 20, 2012

    Outkast is one of hip-hop's most successful and creative groups

    ​Outkast is easily one of the most noted and respected hip-hop groups in the game. Big Boi and Andre 3000 met in the East Point section of Atlanta when they were sixteen. The outfit combined funk, soul, jazz and blues influences with hip-hop lyrics on its 1994 debut, Southernplayalisticadillac ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2012

    The 54th Grammys: who will win (Adele) and who won't (Lady Gaga)

    From power pop to power ballads, rock anthems to rap staples, the nominees of the 54th Grammy Awards, which airs this Sunday night, sees no dearth of great music. There's little doubt that it will be Adele's night, but others, like Kanye West and Mumford & Sons, could win big too. Continue reading f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 6, 2012

    Sounds of Blackness: Jimi Hendrix

    Jimi Hendrix is widely considered to be the greatest electric guitarist in history. Before being gifted with a guitar at the age of fifteen, Hendrix used a broom stick in place of the instrument that would later become his most beloved method of communication. Born Johnny Allen Hendrix in November 1 ... More >>

  • Music

    December 29, 2011
  • Blogs

    December 22, 2011

    Michael Buble's Christmas raises the bar for all holiday tracks, plus a breakdown of the charts

    It's going to be a holly, jolly Christmas with Michael Buble's new collection of holiday classics.​Michael Buble put out a killer Christmas record, and it could not have come at a better time. While the charts are currently flooded with dance-pop beats, synthesizers-laden hooks and auto-tuned ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 1, 2011

    2012 Grammy Nominations: Kanye West and Adele clean up, Katy Perry earns pair of nods

    Grammy nominations for 2012 were announced last night during the Grammys Nomination Concert -- which was, oddly, just that: a concert, not a nominations show. Nominations in four major categories were announced, plus performances by major players in mainstream music like Lady Gaga, who performed twi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 2, 2011

    Beyoncé's "Party" will make you forget B's last video, plus a breakdown of this week's charts

    Forget "Countdown" -- Beyoncé is here to party.​What do you do if you release a music video and get slammed with plagiarism accusations? If you're Beyoncé, you release another video. And then another. First Beyoncé released a video for "Countdown," her third official single (after "Run The ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 11, 2011

    John Legend on the resurgence of soul, touring with Sade and the foibles and fortunes of fame

    Catch John Legend tonight at the Pepsi Center with Sade​John Legend considers everything, especially when he's being interviewed. He pauses long enough for you to imagine him considering several inferior answers and tossing them before choosing one that sounds just right. Back in the fall of 2 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 29, 2011

    Janelle Monae on Big Boi and what it takes to become an agent of change in the community

    Janelle Monáe (due Sunday, May 29 at 1STBANK Center with Bruno Mars and Mayer Hawthorne), like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, grew up in Kansas, and like that character, Monáe left home to go on something of a fantastic journey. But instead of Oz, Monáe landed in Atlanta, Georgia, where she met u ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2011

    Five rap albums to take on the mothership when the government shuts down at midnight

    ​Tonight when the clock strikes midnight, you should expect calamity, destruction, and famine to sweep the nation, because word on the street says the government is shutting down. Word to Chicken Little: A bunch of awful things are supposed to happen...we think. They don't pay us the big bucks ... More >>

  • Music

    February 17, 2011
  • Blogs

    January 28, 2011

    Big Boi at the Ogden: Two different perspectives informed by two different backgrounds

    ​TonightBig Boi comes to Denver for the first time in forever to play at the Ogden Theatre. We're sending two writers to cover the show, as opposed to our usual one, because they come from very different yet very important sections of hip-hop's audience. To provide some context for the review, ... More >>

  • Articles

    January 27, 2011
  • Music

    December 30, 2010
  • Blogs

    November 18, 2010

    Anatomy of a hip-hop song: Local producers weigh in on what it takes to make a great track

    David Lang / Red Bull PhotofilesBoonie Mayfield (top) and Xperiment Beats​The term "producer" has very different connotations in the worlds of rock and hip-hop. Although they're both instrumental in shaping the sound, they serve very different functions. Generally speaking, in rock, a produc ... More >>

  • Music

    October 7, 2010
  • Blogs

    October 7, 2010

    Lenny Lenn on Twitter, making bold statements and continually having to prove himself

    ​Lenny Lenn has an opinion, and he's not afraid to express it. He frequently makes big, bold statements about seemingly everything. One moment he's speaking in a quiet, humble tone about his technical training in post-production, for instance, and the next he's comparing himself to Andre 300 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 12, 2010

    Big Boi hits the nail on the head with Sir Lucious Left Foot

    ​Since Speakerboxxx/The Love Below showcased Outkast's individual talents, André 3000 has generally been regarded as the auteur of the duo. And while that might be true -- André 3000 does tend to be weirder than his colleague Big Boi -- there's something to be said for consistency, as the la ... More >>

  • Music

    April 22, 2010


    Thursday, April 29, Ogden Theatre, 303-830-8497.

  • Blogs

    September 24, 2008

    Live Review: Common, N.E.R.D. and Chester French at Fillmore Auditorium

    Common, N.E.R.D. and Chester French Tuesday, September 23, 2008 Fillmore Auditorium Better Than: Most hip-hop/soul shows you’ll see this year. The Roots included. At about 7:30pm, with the Fillmore not even half full, retro pop/rock/soul act Chester French took the stage. The band, who recently i ... More >>

  • Calendar

    May 1, 2008

    Give 'em the Boots

    Fresh City Life fashion faces West.