Gangsta rap, where have you gone? About 20 years ago at this time, we were in the middle of an unprecedented run of gangsta rap greatness, with Death Row, Bad Boy, Ruthless, Rap-A-Lot and others all functioning at high levels. And while the songs and albums from this era continue to get sh ... More >>
Lily Fangz bounces on the balls of her feet, looking out on the crowd from the stage at Red Rocks. Her long hair flows past her shoulders. She raises the mic. It's time to go. Fangz, aka Lileana Krenza, is a rapper and hip-hop artist, and she's diving into reggae work. Her "merch" is made up of draw ... More >>
The shoe is black and has a four-inch heel. It entered Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom on Friday for the SnowBall After Party as a piece of clothing. Late in the night, it became a weapon. And soon, it will return to Cervantes' covered in paint, thanks to Nerf gun artist and passionate music fan Wil ... More >>
In his weekly column, award-winning goofball Shea Serrano, whose recent exploits include Bun B's Rapper Coloring and Activity Book, writes about his life and times. Earlier this week, I went to the funeral of a person that I cared about. While I am of course happy that he will get to spend the re ... More >>
Though it's a human-rights movement with roots in gay-liberation activism, the fight for rights for sex workers is much less recognized, says Melinda Chateauvert. Her new book,Sex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement From Stonewall to SlutWalk aims to change that, chronicling the the movement fr ... More >>
Rap is not the homogeneous radio-whoring genre that people make it out to be -- most of the time. But the rest of the time, you have to admit rap can be just as formulaic and predictable as its detractors claim. If you're looking to find a new appreciation of one of America's greatest musical creati ... More >>
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 >>
"REGULATORZZZZ! Mount up!" There. Now try getting that song out of your head for the next five days. You're welcome. I don't think I'm alone among folks in their thirties who have every line of Warren G's 1994 mega-hit "Regulate" memorized, but a quick sit-down with the lyrics leaves you with more ... More >>
Dressed in a slinky black cocktail dress and spunky Beatle-boots, Natasha Leggero strutted with sarcasm and sass during the first show in her four-night run at Comedy Works last night. Delivering her characteristic bitter commentary on politics and low-brow culture (sweetened by an Audrey Hepburn fo ... More >>
Backbeat is continuing to count down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today: We take a look back at the time DJ Quik's early '90s show at Mammoth Events Center, which turned into a bit of a melee. "But still my story ain't over cause I got one more to tell/And the people of ... More >>
In recent days, members of Colorado's general assembly have been battling over legislation intended to outlaw the death penalty in Colorado. Yesterday, however, the proposal failed in the House Judiciary Committee. This development distressed the Colorado ACLU; see the group's statement below. But ... More >>
A revered hip-hop producer who got his start with Phonte and Big Pooh in the North Carolina-based group Little Brother, 9th Wonder has worked an array of top shelf artists from Jay-Z and Destiny's Child to Mary J. Blige and Ludacris, among many others. Known as one of the best samplers in hip-hop, w ... More >>
As people who think about, talk about, write about, listen to and make music, it shouldn't be surprising to find that the most common (and mutually favorite) topic of conversation among us is the same: "What are you listening to right now?" Stick a quarter in us, and, boy, wouldn't you know it, off ... More >>
Here's what's good in the Mile High City this week: In concert news, TV on the Radio is slated to perform two nights at the Ogden in September, Furthur is making its way back to Colorado for three nights at Red Rocks and blink-182 and My Chemical Romance headline KTCL's Big Gig in September. On lo ... More >>
Here's what the area's local-centric specialty radio shows were spinning this week. We're currently tracking the playlists from a number of different shows, including KTCL's Locals Only, Radio 1190's Local Shakedown, 99.5 the Mountain's Homegrown Show*, The Colorado Sound, which originates at ... More >>
Welcome to In the Weeds. Kyle will be right with you -- most likely to complain about something. Usually he is pleasant, but this is his place to blow off some steam. Don't take it personally; he just needs to vent because he's been doing this for about thirteen years. Enjoy your meal. Most ... More >>
Here what the area's local-centric specialty radio shows were spinning this week. We're currently tracking the playlists a number of different shows, including Radio 1190's Local Shakedown, KTCL's Locals Only, 99.5 the Mountain's Homegrown Show*, the Colorado Sound, which originates at KRFC and i ... More >>
Much has been written about the Game's dysfunctional past. He grew up in a Santana Blocc Crip neighborhood in Compton, and his mother was affiliated with the Crips. After his sister accused his father of sexually molesting her, the family was split up, and Game spent time in foster homes. After he r ... More >>
The Dems' first lady. Dear Billy Compton, You are hereby directed to come in to the Shmuck headquarters and explain your comments and why you would like to censor and intimidate a national delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in light of these comments. Sincerely, Shmuck of the W ... More >>
LOCALS ONLY When former Sony exec Adelio Lombardi moved back to Denver several years ago, he had a vision of launching a state-of-the-art recording studio in the metro area for local and national acts. Lombardi officially opened Side 3 Studios last year, and has already seen visits from Bow Wow, Om ... More >>
Joe Thunder isn’t known for his skills behind the mic. He isn’t known for creating hot beats either. He’s more likely to just listen to records than mix and scratch them. And you’ll catch him nodding his head before he’d bust out in a backspin. So what does Joe Thunder really do? He’s a ... More >>
Locals Only: It’s been about a year since former executive director of the Colorado Hip-Hop Coalition, Apostle, aka Jeff Campbell, left Colorado to focus solely on his music career with his group Heavyweight Dub Champions. But the impact the Colorado Hip-Hop Coalition had in the late '90’s and e ... More >>
Justin Martinez was raised in the school of hard knocks, but Life Skills is his last hope for a diploma.
Who knew Shakespeare was so good at rehabilitation?
The rest of the planet generated some good CDs this year, too.
Saturday, August 27, Ogden Theatre, 303-831-2525.
Original Soundtrack, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Interscope)
Best of Video Game Music: Hits Vol. 1 (Artemis)
If you weren't at this landmark blues concert, Lightning in a Bottle will do.
From the week of August 26, 2004
Ice Cube's words now ring hollow for one of his students.
The Rock In' Freak Fest was all that -- and more.
Body Kiss (T-Neck/Dreamworks)
White and bright, Sole emerges as independent hip-hop's newest anti-hero.
Drummer Donnie Eden wants to make a difference in the lives of young people, one note at a time.
Four discs trace the development of the original gangstas.
A Boulder student cares more about the life of hip-hop than the deaths of Biggie and Tupac.
Backbeat writers weigh in on local CDs
'Tis the season to rate another avalanche of holiday discs.
The Bay Area's Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel make hip-hop that's magically Blackalicious.
Primus, The Go, At the Drive In, Method Man/Redman
Styles of Beyond takes underground hip-hop back to the future.
Ice Cube on child-rearing and Family Values.
HOW DO YOU GO FROM BEING A JUNKIE TO A RAP STAR? COOLIO KNOWS.