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 >>
Winter is officially in the books. Spring is finally here, and we've got a whole new batch of shows to look forward to. Before we forge ahead, we thought we take a look back at all the shows we made it out to in the past few months and single out the best moments. Turns out, there were a quite a few ... More >>
Sometimes there are figures in music whose mysterious and inscrutable magnetism transcends the music they make. More than musicians, they become cultural figures whose every move is analyzed every which way in an effort to figure out what's going on in that great gray matter, as Frank Ocean puts it. ... More >>
As much of a stronghold as our town is for EDM, Denver is also a hotbed of hip-hop. Although we've always held true to the assertion, and such a declaration would seem perfectly reasonable to even casual observers, the point was never driven home more definitively than when we took a look back at th ... More >>
Even though most of our moms aren't rock stars, some of them sure as hell seem like it. With their busy schedules and insane ability to multi-task, they deserve screaming fans and scads of cash. We know it's hard being just a suburban mom trying to juggle work and a family, so we got to think ... More >>
This week's cover story, "Word," tells the extraordinary tale behind The Anthology of Rap, released last year to high praise and a bit of heated debate. The Westword story focuses on Anthology co-editor and CU-Boulder professor Adam Bradley, a hip-hop academic whose own narrative is as compel ... More >>
Misogyny, as a concept and as a behavior, is a major issue in hip-hop. Women are frequently marginalized and suffer the extreme sexist treatment at the hands of men in the business. As I began to examine the pronounced gender bias in the hip-hop community for this week's feature, I interviewe ... More >>
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 >>
Make room on the Amy Winehouse bandwagon.
Cee-Lo breaks from the Mob in a solo quest to save hip-hop.
Rapper Nas steps back into the ring, fists flying.
With an album full of freedom, pain and poetry, rapper Mystic proves that girls don't just want to have fun.
Cultural awareness, positivity and groove are all part of the Common cause.
Femi Kuti represents the next generation of Afrobeat.
Backbeat contributors offer up their favorite recordings of 1999.
Chant Down Babylon
This year's holiday CDs alternately inspire joy, nausea and terror. Which would you prefer?
DJ Garth delivers a blast from the Eighties past.
Ice Cube on child-rearing and Family Values.