Mos Def

  • 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 1, 2013

    The ten best hip-hop shows in Denver in August

    AMERICA'S MOST WANTED FESTIVAL @ FIDDLER'S GREEN | FRI, 8/23/13 The America's Most Wanted Festival features some of the most talented and successful artists to come out of the South in a long time, including Lil Wayne, whose name speaks for itself and whose March album I Am Not a Human Being II has ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2013

    New Shows: Mos Def, Random Rab, The Werks, Salt N Pepa

    Yasiin Bey, formerly Mos Def, is returning to Denver at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom on Friday, November 15 to headline another night, but this time with Justin Bua providing a lecture and some live painting. Returning as a part of the Winter Shredded Beats series, Cervantes will open both sides ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 10, 2013

    Ten musicians who have taken a political stand

    It's one thing to be a political musician, to point out the inherent wrongs of our social and political constructs from afar. Admirable as it is, it takes a truly special person to take a personal stake in perceived injustice and do something that goes beyond music. A couple days ago, Yasiin Bey ( ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 5, 2013

    Which hip-hop crew is the dopest?

    Whether it's been b-boys clashing, graf artists battling or MCs matching wits, hip-hop has always been competitive. These days, the MC has taken preeminence, and the crews are more commercial. Often, they manifest as labels, but sometimes they exist less formally as collectives, such as Wu-Tang or O ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 5, 2013

    Here's what we're all listening to right now: What's on your playlist this week?

    Music is life -- or at least it is for us. When we're not writing about it, we're thinking about it, talking about it or listening to it. These are the things that were in heavy rotation for us this week. What are you listening to? What should we be listening to? C'mon now. Sharing is caring. Don't ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 18, 2013

    The fifty greatest rap groups of all time: 50-26

    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 28, 2013

    The ten best hip-hop shows in Denver this April

    SAGE FRANCIS @ FOX THEATRE | THU, 4/18 When evaluating an artist like Sage Francis, the question inevitably arises: Should a musician be cherished for the values they hold and their loyalty to said values or their ability to make enjoyable and listenable music? If it's the former, then Sage Francis ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2013

    The best concerts in Denver this weekend

    YO GABBA GABBA! @ PARAMOUNT THEATRE | SUN, 2/24/13 Sesame Street couldn't handle mixing kids' programming with Katy Perry cleavage, but Yo Gabba Gabba! gets it right every time. Perhaps it's because one of the show's creators, Christian Jacobs, is MC Bat Commander of the Aquabats. After becoming a f ... 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

    October 19, 2012

    Flying Lotus at the Ogden Theatre, 10/18/12

    FLYING LOTUS @ OGDEN THEATRE | 2/4/12 The Ogden Theatre was hit last night with the bowel-shaking earthquake that is Flying Lotus, who opening his set with a sample from Lil Wayne's "I feel like dying." While we didn't check with every single person, we're pretty sure the bass-emitting frequencies ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2012

    The ten best green rooms in Denver and Boulder

    See Also: - Denver's ten biggest hipster bars - Boulder's five biggest hipster bars - Five best midsize venues in LoDo and Ballpark - Denver's ten best karaoke bars The green room is a mythical place to a lot of people, and rightly so: It's a closely guarded inner sanctum of sorts where artists chi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2012

    #ShitRappersSay on stage in Denver

    The next few days kick off what will no doubt be a summer of hip-hop shows to remember in the Mile High City: Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and Talib Kweli (as Black Star) will be swooping through the town this weekend, as will Drake on his Club Paradise Tour, featuring J.Cole, Waka Flocka, 2Chainz, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2012

    Gil Scott-Heron, a bluesologist, cultural anthropologist and black icon

    Gil Scot-Heron is the modern day god-father of rap, although he held the title with ambivalence while he was still alive, insisting he was rather, a "bluesologist," someone who is concerned with the origin of the blues. Regardless, hip-hop, soul, funk and acid jazz were all influenced by the reality ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 4, 2011

    Pandas teach us how to Dougie and four more weird dance videos

    Ah, animals humping stuff. Other than people falling down, this might be our favorite genre of YouTube clip at the moment. Today, under its "cute as balls" video section. Videogum shared with the world this masterpiece of time-wasting -- the simple pairing of Cali Swag District's "Teach Me How To Do ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 18, 2011

    Day Job: Kevin Kain promoter by night, law school student by day

    ​Kevin Kain (aka Kevin Henderson) can typically be found posted up in the VIP area of the hottest clubs on any given weekend night, and occasionally a Thursday appearance at Club Vinyl's Reggae on the Roof.

  • Music

    February 17, 2011
  • Blogs

    February 9, 2011

    Nyke Nitti on hustling CDs in the time of tapes, making it in the game and Louis Armstrong

    ​ Nyke Nitti (aka Nate Johnson and formerly known as Nyke Loc) is a veteran in the Denver hip-hop game. With over eight years of rap lore under his belt, he has watched the rise of some of the best who have helped shape the city's scene. From Innerstate Ike, whom Nitti has known since he was ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2011

    Reader: It's hard to be Jason Sheehan

    Jason, not Julie.​Jason Sheehan has been gone from Westword for a year, but he is far from forgotten, as evidenced by yesterday's missive from Still Reading in response to the Julia & Julia characterization of Laura Shunk's Sachi Sushi review: It's hard to be Jason Sheehan. Probably not as ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2010

    Kanye West's SNL performance and a collection of everything else he's been up to

    Kanye West has been busy the past couple of months making everyone else in music look lazy. Not only did he perform on Saturday Night Live over the weekend with two of the best musical performances we've seen in a while, but he's also been dropping free MP3s in a series called "G.O.O.D. Fridays." ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2010

    Beside Rick Ross and Big Boi, we're all listening to completely different stuff 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?" So 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 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 16, 2010

    Q&A with Robert Glasper

    ​Robert Glasper's latest Blue Note effort, Double Booked, shows just how well the pianist straddles the jazz and hip-hop worlds. While he flexes his jazz chops within the confines of an acoustic trio setting during the first half of the disc, he delves into more forward thinking hip-hop territ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 16, 2010

    The ReMINDers rock the Apollo

    Aside from Red Rocks, there's only a handful of stages that merit inclusion on any performer's bucket list. We're talking about places that are so revered they're considered hallowed ground, the type of places in which artists dream of performing at for their entire lives. CBGB's before it became a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 4, 2010

    Q&A: Meet Bianca Mikahn of Paradox

    Which came first, the poet or the MC? Broaching the philosophical debate implies the two are not one in the same. History shows us otherwise, whether the funky notes of blues rattled off the tongue of greats like Billie Holiday, or, more recently, the appearance of the Last Poets on Nas's [Untitled] ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 8, 2009

    Tom Waits top seller at Twist and Shout

    ​Apparently there was a bit of a fight between Tom Waits' Glitter & Doom Live and Susan Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream last week at Twist & Shout, and fortunately, Waits, who turned sixty yesterday, was the victor. Blakroc, the Black Keys' new hip-hop project, came in third, while Them Crooked ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 3, 2009

    Tom Waits top seller at Wax Trax

    ​Tom Waits' Glitter and Doom Live, which includes tracks from last year's Glitter and Doom tour, grabbed the top spot at Wax Trax for the week ending November 29. The Black Keys' hip-hop project Blakroc, which features rappers like Raekwon, RZA and Mos Def, came in second with their self-titled de ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 24, 2009

    The blog shortcut, August 24 edition

    Photo by Doug BeamBat For Lashes' Natasha Khan.​Lash-ing out. Today in Backbeat Online: • Over the Weekend: Bat for Lashes at the Bluebird Theater. • Over the Weekend: The Avett Brothers at the Ogden Theatre. • Over the Weekend: The Flaming Lips at Red Rocks. • Over the Weekend: Mos D ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 7, 2009

    Last Night: Rock the Bells at Red Rocks

    Aaron Thackeray​Rock the Bells 2009 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Thursday, August 6, 2009 Better than: ringtone rap, anything associated with Auto-Tune or listening to the self-proclaimed newly anointed "King of Pop," Kanye West, talk about himself endlessly. Since 2003, Rock the Bells has been the pre ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2009

    Built to Spill, Brother Ali, Colbie Caillat shows announced

    ​Built to Spill, who headlined this year's Westword Music Showcase, will come through town again, this time with Disco Doom at the Bluebird Sunday, September 20. Minneapolis-based rapper Brother Ali makes stops at the Ogden Theatre Tuesday September 29 and the Fox Theatre on Wednesday, September 3 ... More >>

  • Music

    June 4, 2009
  • Calendar

    January 22, 2009


    A new book helps urban warriors seek inner peace.

  • Film

    December 4, 2008

    Cadillac Records

    Cadillac Records can't handle the truth

  • Blogs

    October 31, 2008

    The Friday Rap-Up: Ice Cube, Phife, 50 Cent, Jam Master Jay

    Ice Cube signs up for NBC cop show Ice Cube sure has come a long way from his jheri curl days in NWA. He’s got platinum albums and hit movies, and now he’s going to take another shot at television. According to rapper has signed on to write and produce a cop comedy for NBC. "As we cont ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 6, 2008
  • Blogs

    May 2, 2008

    Friday Rap-Up: Side 3 Studios, Kanye West, Common, Rappers on Sean Bell verdict

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    March 24, 2008
  • Music

    February 14, 2008


    The best in legitimate, artist-approved downloads.

  • Music

    January 31, 2008

    Talib Kweli

    Friday, February 1, Gothic Theatre, 303-830-8497.

  • Music

    January 4, 2007

    Rap Sheet

    Comeback kids, rhymin' Limeys and songs about partying defined Hip-Hop Nation in 2006.

  • Music

    August 3, 2006

    DJ Logic

    Friday, August 4, and Saturday, August 5, Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 1-866-455-2264.

  • Film

    November 10, 2005

    Bum Rap

    50 Cent wants to be an actorbut he's not.

  • Calendar

    June 2, 2005

    Shadow Gets a Plum

    Topdog/Underdog grapples with inner-city grit.

  • Music

    April 7, 2005

    The Beatdown

    Low Budget Soul makes local hip-hop sound like a million bucks.

  • Calendar

    October 21, 2004

    Seers for Years

    Dylan, McGuinn keep the fires burning

  • Music

    July 3, 2003

    All in the Family

    Hip-hop revivalists the Family Tree put the paddles to a dying art.

  • Music

    June 12, 2003

    Mercy Mercy Me

    MURS is already a legend. Now if he can just get folks to stop thinking of him as the new guy.

  • Film

    February 7, 2002

    Banging Bigotry

    A racist Billy Bob gets funky in Monster's Ball.

  • Music

    December 30, 1999

    Judgment Day

    Backbeat contributors offer up their favorite recordings of 1999.

  • Film

    November 18, 1999

    To Market, To Market

    Where's Marlowe? is on the trail of a clueless detective.

  • Music

    November 11, 1999


    Primus, The Go, At the Drive In, Method Man/Redman

  • More >>