Grandmaster Flash

  • Blogs

    September 3, 2014

    The Three Owners of Cold Crush Have Big Plans for the Future

    On a recent Wednesday evening at Cold Crush, a customer sits on a high bar stool, eating a shrimp po' boy. The bar is half filled with twenty- and thirty-somethings, talking and sipping cocktails. Original art hangs on the red-brick walls. There are about twenty people in the building, but it's only ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2014

    Hip-Hop Did Not Start the Way You Think it Did

    To hear most people tell it, the history of rap goes like this: MCs were originally rapping primarily to showcase their DJs. That is, until Sugar Hill Gang put out "Rapper's Delight" in 1979. It was the second rap record of all time and an enormous hit, proving there was a market for rapping on wax. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2014

    The sixteen stupidest hats worn by musicians

    Recently, my enemies have been accusing me of having a problem with hats. Maybe it's because I am (predictably) a bald, pale music critic, and wearing a hat makes me look like a Nosferatu vampire-creature. But personally, I think someone's choice of headwear can tell a lot about a person -- usually ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2013

    The best concerts in Denver this weekend

    FRI | ONEREPUBLIC'S DENVER ACOUSTIC CHRISTMAS at OGDEN | 12/20 Over the last few years OneRepublic has made its acoustic Christmas shows an annual event that helps local charities. This year's show, which also features Gungor, is a benefit for Colorado flood relief. VIP ticket includes ticket to the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2013

    The fifty greatest rap groups of all time

    There's something great about a hip-hop group. From the beginning, it was never intended to be a solo endeavor; rap began in cyphers at block parties, and the first established rappers were components of a collective centered around the more important DJ. Even now that the rapper is the star, it's n ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 14, 2013

    The 50 best rap lyrics of all time: Complete list

    Last week, we took a look at the fifty worst rap lyrics of all time. Going through all the dreck and drivel to get to the crème de la crème of crappiness was tedious and rather exhausting. This week, we even things out by taking a look at the other end of the spectrum and examining rap lyrics to f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2013

    Gateway acts: How Beck opened up a whole new world to an evangelical boy from the Midwest

    Gateway acts is a new ongoing series on Backbeat in which we examine the music that served as an entry point for our burgeoning musical obsessions, a gateway drug that tuned us in and turned us on. Today, Josiah Hesse gives up the goods on his Beck jones. There is no way to listen to the music of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2012

    MC Lyte questions the current state of hip-hop

    Last night at Auraria, MC Lyte shared her views on the current state of hip-hop, a broad range of topics ranging from the diminishing role of females to the dwindling voice of hip-hop overall and its lackluster effectiveness to her personal triumphs and downfalls. With style and grace, she left many ... More >>

  • Music

    September 1, 2011

    Sander Kleinenberg

    Saturday, September 3, Beta, 303-383-1909.

  • Blogs

    December 7, 2010

    The Anthology of Rap co-editor Adam Bradley on his background and compiling the book

    ​Making connections between Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Wonder Mike isn't such a stretch for Adam Bradley. As one of the editors of The Anthology of Rap, a newly released collection from Yale University Press, as well as the author of 2009's Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip-Hop, Bradley has ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 7, 2010

    The Anthology of Rap's alleged errors and Adam Bradley's subsequent explaination to

    ​Last month, Yale University Press released The Anthology of Rap, an exhaustive compendium of rap lyrics edited by CU professor Adam Bradley and his colleague Andrew DuBois. Although the book has been praised by some admitted outsiders, it has also been subjected to scrutiny by various hip-h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2010

    Aloe Blacc, Harry Nilsson, Kid Cudi fill our playlists this week

    ​As people who think about, talk about, listen to and make music, the most common question we encounter is, "What are you listening to right now?" Whether you're looking for recommendations, trying to get a feel for our individual sensibilities, or are just curious, we've compiled a list of al ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 13, 2010

    Hank Williams wins Pulitzer Prize and helps redefine the award

    The above clip probably offers a better introduction to this article than we ever could: "(Hank Williams) is a feller that writes just as many songs as most anybody in the country, and sings them just as well, when it comes to the country style on singing." Oh, right, and all that country singing ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 18, 2010

    Last night: Put Yo Money Where Ya Mouth Is preliminary

    The art of freestyle can be ugly and difficult for even the most seasoned rappers. A necessary evil for street cred, if not lyrical exercise, it's the easiest way to separate the the Pros from the Joes. The battle that took place last night at the Walnut Room emphasized the ugly, the difficult and ... More >>

  • Music

    December 17, 2009

    James Pants

    Wednesday, December 23, Larimer Lounge, 303-291-1007.

  • Music

    September 24, 2009

    Red Wire Black Wire

    Sunday, September 27, Larimer Lounge, 303-291-1007.

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2009

    Denver greats pay tribute to hip-hop's greats at Get Down Wednesdays

    Gotta love Denver, man. At the risk of sounding like a homer, the creativity here is invigorating. It seems cats are constantly striving to come up with compelling ways to put on shows, Stand By Your Band at the hi-dive, Denver Does Denver and now Hip-Hop Bites Back, an idea whose time has truly com ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 17, 2009

    The Jukebox Effect

    I deejayed a Valentine's Day party at the Horseshoe Lounge on Saturday. The bar had a great vibe, as always, and the ample crowd was in the mood for a good party. It was the first time I ever had to play music for four and a half straight hours, and I was initially worried that I would: a) run out o ... More >>

  • Calendar

    July 3, 2008

    And It Don't Stop

    A hip-hop film series does more than scratch the surface.

  • Blogs

    June 13, 2008

    Friday Rap-Up: Showcase Hip-Hop History, Grandmaster Flash, Nas, Eminem and LL Cool J

    LOCALS ONLY With Westword’s Music Showcase going down this weekend, let’s take a quick look at what the last five hip-hop winners have been up to the last five years: The Pirate Signal (Yonnas and DJ A-What) who won in 2007, has just released its new mixtape The PS Pt. II: Of Gods and Gangster ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 18, 2008

    Friday Rap-Up: D.O. The Fabulous Drifter, 50 Cent, Grandmaster Flash, Foxy Brown

    LOCALS ONLY Veteran Denver emcee D.O. The Fabulous Drifter is still putting the finishing touches on his new album D.irector of O.perations while working overtime for a collaborative venture. He connected with Canadian songbird JaQe for a project called His and Hers, a combination of hip-hop and so ... More >>

  • Music

    August 30, 2007

    Junior Senior

    Hey Hey My My Yo Yo

  • Music

    January 25, 2007

    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

    Who will be inducted next? Gaze into our crystal ball.

  • Music

    November 9, 2006

    Dream Team

    Gil Mantera's Party Dream

  • Music

    April 20, 2006

    Rock's Off

    The American Badass pulls out the stops on his latest tour.

  • Music

    February 17, 2005

    The Hustler

    DJ Clinton Sparks has become a rising star by working harder than anyone else.

  • Music

    April 22, 2004


    DJ Shadow's brooding sound structure is still Quannum leaps ahead.

  • Calendar

    November 6, 2003
  • Music

    November 28, 2002

    Let's Clash

    Old and new collide to create the next wave of electronica.

  • Music

    October 31, 2002

    Attitude Check

    Four discs trace the development of the original gangstas.

  • Music

    February 28, 2002


    XX (Universal/Filthy Hands)

  • Music

    February 7, 2002


    Whats a little competition between friends? Local turntablists get ready to battle it out in Boulder.

  • Music

    October 19, 2000

    Join the Club

    Any Dick or Harry can get funky with the Tom Tom Club's first recording in eight years.

  • Music

    May 18, 2000

    Postivly Negativ

    Sampling ad infinitum with America's sonic outlaws.

  • Music

    January 13, 2000

    Like a Record, Baby

    QBert and the Invisibl Skratch Piklz put a new spin on the DJ craft.

  • Music

    November 25, 1999

    And You Don't Stop

    These student DJs are hip-hop professors.

  • Music

    April 15, 1999
  • Music

    January 28, 1999

    Long Live the King

    DJ King Britt is making Boulder part of his royal domain.

  • Music

    December 24, 1998

    Year-End Close-Out

    We've got 1998's best albums in stock, but they're going fast.

  • Music

    October 15, 1998
  • Music

    September 3, 1998


    Jam X was a turntablist before turntabling was cool.

  • Music

    February 12, 1998

    Kingdom Comes

    Denver rapper Kingdom hopes he has the golden touch.

  • Music

    October 2, 1997

    Rap Gets Puffy

    Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs fathers a return to hip-hop pop.

  • Music

    July 17, 1997

    Rooting Interest

    The Roots make rap for both your hips and your head.

  • Music

    June 5, 1997

    The Closing of the American Ear

    We have more musical choices than ever before. So why are so few of us taking advantage of them?

  • Music

    December 5, 1996
  • Calendar

    April 26, 1995
  • Music

    April 19, 1995
  • Music

    February 22, 1995
  • Music

    November 9, 1994
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