By Ian S. Port One rhyme in particular crystallizes the genius of Nas' 1994 classic, Illmatic. It comes in the song "One Love," which takes the form of a letter to a friend in prison: "Congratulations, you know you got a son," Nas raps. "I heard he looks like ya, why don't your lady write ya?" Di ... More >>
There's an insanely eclectic array of shows this weekend. Swallow Hill is celebrating its 35th Anniversary at the Paramount Theatre with Josh Ritter, Brett Dennen and Elle King. Nas performs his classic album, Illmatic at the Paramount. There's also the New Pornographers, Felice Brothers, the Hot Sa ... More >>
Some say October is the month when the veil between the dead and the living vanishes. For movie lovers, this is no rare thing: We're used to the shadows of the past flickering before our eyes and yesterday's voices flooding our ears. And not just in horror films; after all, every movie -- even scien ... More >>
Editor's note: There was a shooting after last night's concert at Red Rocks. Early reports suggest Schoolboy Q was targeted on his way out of the venue. Three people were injured, none seriously. There was also a concert, though, and by all accounts it was a good one. We'll have some more reports on ... More >>
The progression of music will always be weighed down by periods of stagnation. Although new rap acts are presented into the mainstream every year, the actual newness of the music is generally overstated. The prime exception to this rule is the so-called "golden ages," pockets of time where innovatio ... More >>
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 >>
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 >>
JRebelZ is steadily making a name for herself in the local hip-hop scene. Known otherwise as Jaqueline Rodriguez, JRebelZ came to Denver from El Paso more than a decade ago, and says Nas is the one who sparked her passion for rhyming. We recently caught up with the MC, who just dropped a video for h ... More >>
Since hip-hop's genesis, beef has been as integral a driving force to the art as bravado. There's been some titanic tangles over the years, from Canibus facing off with LL Cool J to Jay-Z and Nas locking horns with one other, all of which have resulted in some relentless and incendiary rhymes being ... More >>
The East Coast, particularly New York, is the mecca of hip-hop. It's birthplace and still the most reliable source for pure, uncut, unadulterated rap music. Chronicling the great MCs from the region would result in a list of hundreds. Ranking the top ten proves somewhat limiting, but it's also an en ... More >>
What contributes to a rapper's underrated status? Is it the unwillingness to compromise? The inability to compromise? An early demise? Bad promotion? Possibly all of these things and more? Whatever the case, with these rappers, it's certainly not for a lack of talent. We put together a list of the t ... More >>
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 >>
We've almost reached the end of our countdown of rap's most dreadful lyrics. Think you can stomach ten more? Good. Purely by coincidence, today's selections feature some of hip-hop's most memorable scientific and mathematical gaffes. And we're not talking anything complicated, here; we mean basic ma ... More >>
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 >>
Friday, November 16, Fillmore Auditorium, 303-830-8497.
Welcome to another week! Plenty of goodness awaits you. As always, we've got all of this week's shows listed in our concert calendar if you'd prefer to get a full view of what's going on. Otherwise, we've narrowed it all down and picked out the best shows that are the most worth checking out this we ... More >>
If you thought last week's new show announcements were killer, brace yourself. This week's show is just as killer, er make that Killers. After being missing in action for the past couple of years, the Las Vegas quartet is making its triumphant return this November at the 1STBANK Center in support of ... More >>
So, we come to it: the end of all things. Four days of madness, Doritos, Skrillex and finally, St. Patrick's Day. Before we bid SXSW 2012 farewell, allow us to share our favorite moments from SXSW day four. Later, we'll let you know which shows weren't so hot. Find our favorites below, and if there ... More >>
Sean Daley helped launch an empire when he co-founded Rhymesayers Entertainment, home to P.O.S., Brother Ali and, of course, his outfit, Atmosphere.The rapper otherwise known as Slug is an unstoppable force with endless vision and nonstop determination, which has helped make Rhymesayers one o ... More >>
This week in rap, the beat makers are holding it down. We've got Nofrendo, with his KMD drum-and-bass remixed track featuring a Gil Scott Heron sample that's most appropriate with the poet laureate's passing. Mass Prod from Food Chain shows a bit of his Donald Byrd/Roy Ayers influence with hi ... More >>
Bruno MedinaDelicous religious cleavage. We live for releases of controversial and eye-opening videos that cause a stir. And we're personally offended when one comes out that claims to be groundbreaking but just rips someone else off. We know it's hard for these new popstresses to come up wit ... More >>
We're all familiar with Ozzy Osbourne's infamous unprovoked attack on a bat in the early '80s, but rarely do you hear stories about animals attacking musicians. Until now, that is. Earlier this week, Bloc Party and Ash guitarist Russell Lissack was reportedly attacked by a lion cub while visi ... More >>
Aaron ThackerayThe Samples.Boulder alumnus the Samples packed the area in front of the Wolf stage with their bluesy, funky jams with heavy dance hall/world influence. They played "Did You Ever Look So Nice" and the segued into "Giants," with Blues Traveler's John Popper jumping in on harmonic ... More >>
Aaron ThackerayDamian Marley (left) and Nas on the Kyocera main stage.My first set of the day was Nas and Damian Marley, mostly because I walked in and that was who was playing the main stage. Normally, straight-up reggae is a little boring to me, and to be sure: The reggae crowd was out.
Less than a month left until this year's Mile High Music Festival. Figured out your itinerary yet? We have. Well, sorta. My Morning Jacket, Weezer, Phoenix, Drive-By Truckers, Ozomatli, Damian Marley & Nas are on our shortlist so far. The full schedule was just released a few moments ago, and ... More >>
[via Flickr]Last week, it was revealed the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) spent $16 million to recover $391,000 from lawsuits involving peer-to-peer file sharing. No, we didn't print that backwards; you don't need to adjust your screen -- they really did waste that much mone ... More >>
Aaron ThackerayRock 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 >>
Shawn KeithBoon DocAfter rocking with folks like Nas, Reflection Eternal, Damian Marley and a host of other legendary hip-hop artists at the Rock the Bells concert tonight, be sure to make a stop at Mario's Double Daughter Salotto (1632 Market Street) for the Beat Cave, an event showcasing the st ... More >>
If you're available tonight around 8 p.m., Beta Nightclub (1909 Blake St) will be hosting the Red Bull Big Tune Beat Battle, a hip-hop producer head-to-head competition. The event, which is a premier national hip-hop event, will be hosted by well-renowned rapper/producers Exile and Black Milk.Twelve ... More >>
Nowadays, alternative rock station 93.3 KTCL is showing more and more love to hip-hop music on the air. First it was the Flobots being added to daily rotation last year, then it was the addition of Judgemental (of Basementalism) to Ralphie's First Trax show on Saturday mornings (6 a.m.-10 a.m.) that ... More >>
Kanye's new single should be out soon. LOCALS ONLY Two years ago, Ray Maestas and Eppie Deleon of the famed b-boy crew GWT came together to form a new crew called BreakEFX. Enlising the kids they taught at Boulder’s Motion Underground Dance Studio, the crew has been on a tear in the local hip-h ... More >>
50 Cent suing Taco Bell Last month a letter from Taco Bell addressed to 50 Cent went out to various media outlets asking 50 to change his name to 79 Cent, 89 Cent or 99 Cent, to help promote their menu and “Why Pay More” ad campaign. But ironically, the letter never went directly to 50, real na ... More >>
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 >>
It’s time once again for a trip to the past – the recent past, when every boy, man and elderly dude doddering toward the grave was singing about Kelis Rogers’ breasts. In the following Q&A, conducted for a March 4, 2004 profile, Kelis proved to be bright and blunt. She chalked up the success ... More >>
Foxy Brown out of the hole When you get locked up, no matter how much of a cool cat you are, you have to show the other inmates you’re not the one to be messed with. Foxy Brown, who is serving a year at Rikers Island for violating her probation, went a little overboard and tried to show and prove ... More >>
Rock the Bells @ Red Rocks Wednesday, August 22 Red Rocks Better than: Ninety percent of the hip-hop you see on television and hear on the radio. This acts on this bill hardly get any radio or video play anymore. It’s been almost ten years since a quality hip-hop festival played at Red Rocks. ... More >>
Wednesday, April 25, Fillmore Auditorium, 303-830-8497.
Your guide to deep thoughts.
Street's Disciple (Sony Urban Music/Columbia)
Kelis gives thanks to more than her mammaries.
God's Son (Columbia)
Going back to his roots, Scratch gives lip service to the lost art of beatboxing.
Rapper Nas steps back into the ring, fists flying.
Exploring the endless variety of today's hip-hop.