Prime Element began as 3 the Hardway, three hip-hop heads -- an MC, a producer and a DJ -- devoted to celebrating a culture they love through positivity, hard work and great music. Their name has obviously since changed, as has their label affiliation since Set in Stone, their last release, but what ... More >>
TUES | THE NATIONAL/LOCAL NATIVES at RED ROCKS | 9/17/13 After finishing their tour in support of 2010's High Violet, the members of the National didn't have any immediate plans to record again. But guitarist Aaron Dessner, whose daughter had just been born, ended up with a lot of time on his hands. ... More >>
Over the last decade or so, mixtapes have revolutionized the rap game and altered how marketing in general is approached. Not only have the rappers received substantial acclaim, but the DJs have realized just as much stardom. Although there are numerous DJs -- guys like Statik Selektah, Trap-A-Holic ... More >>
Even though rappers and producers share a symbiotic dependence on one another, there's been an ongoing debate in rap music about who plays the most pivotal role: the one providing the words or the one providing the music. While the MCs obviously get the most shine, would Guru's words been as impactf ... More >>
Time and distance provide prospective -- isn't that what they say? Sure enough, the further removed we are from the recent Boston Marathon bombing, the more the picture appears to be coming into focus of the two brothers alleged to have conducted the terror plot. From analyzing their online presen ... More >>
The Midwest is the bastard child of the American rap scene at large -- unsung and independent, with a massive chip on its shoulder. The most talented artists from the Midwest have succeeded each with their own unique style and flavor, regardless of what was making money elsewhere in the country at a ... 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 >>
Another week, another batch of fresh hip-hop from the Mile High City. Pries draws all eyes to him with The Lonely Kid Show, the tireless SP double shows his proficiency on "The Mission Statement," Myke Charles, FL and the ReMINDers take on some G.O.O.D. music in "The Mourning," Black Mask member AGF ... More >>
Before he gained notoriety as an MC with his 2011 studio debut Dr. Lecter, he was well respected as a New York chef (his lyrics are still garnished with references to foods of all sorts). But while he shares a profession with Raekown, another well known New York Chef, the Wu-Tang member he most freq ... More >>
Wu-Tang has been immersed in kung-fu for so long, it was inevitable that one member of the Clan would make a major appearance in a martial arts movie at some point. The RZA appeared briefly in Ghost Dog in 1999, but only for a passing moment, though he did produce the soundtrack. In The Man with the ... More >>
New Year's Eve is shaping up to be an epic night of shows, with the String Cheese Incident pulling into 1STBANK Center for a three-night NYE run (tickets on sale this Saturday, September 29), STS9 plays three shows at the Fillmore (tickets on sale Friday, September 28), and the Motet's Beginning of ... More >>
Quote/Unquote is our periodic feature in which we hunt down noteworthy lyrics, examine the best lines and then get the story behind the song. This week, we got some insight from Logistixx of the rap-fusion group Drop Switch to find out what he had in mind while he was crafting his music. In most of ... More >>
See Also: â€¢ Tax Evasion: How to live like a rock star -- and pay taxes like one, too. As the saying goes: There are only two things that are certain and unavoidable in this life -- death and taxes. And while both might be causing folks to lose sleep these days (you didn't forget tax time is upon ... More >>
The last few days, Village Voice Media's indefatigable music staff has been regaling you with stories of the best from SXSW 2012. In the midst of these discoveries, we've been culling another list: the worst shit. The acts that ranged from huge bore-fests to downright lame. Below, you'll find our cr ... More >>
"What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area." -- Tommy Lee Jones, The Fugitive You don't have to spend much time at South By Southwest to know that all of the above building ... More >>
Black History Month 2012 has been a doozy. Beginning with the tragic and shocking death of Don Cornelius to dealing with equally troubling news of Whitney Houston's passing as the month wore on. Most interesting about this time is the ways in which the music healed us. When Whitney died, DJs played ... More >>
This past Sunday during his acceptance speech on behalf of his band the Foo Fighters for Best Rock Performance at the 54th Annual Grammy awards, Dave Grohl made some comments that stirred the ire of some folks. Lauding the fact that Wasting Light, the album in question, had been recorded in his gara ... More >>
Autumn De WildeIn the middle to later half of the 1990s, John Vanderslice (due tonight at the hi-dive with Damien Jurado) was a member of the respected Bay Area alternative rock band, MK Ultra. When the band split in 1999, Vanderslice took the delicate intensity and experimental edge he had b ... More >>
Tonight when the clock strikes midnight, you should expect calamity, destruction, and famine to sweep the nation, because word on the street says the government is shutting down. Word to Chicken Little: A bunch of awful things are supposed to happen...we think. They don't pay us the big bucks ... More >>
Ah, Christopher Wallace, aka the Notorious B.I.G. There hasn't been -- and as long as hip-hop is a genre, won't be -- a quiet passing of March 9. Similar to when Buddy Holly took the fateful flight that inspired a nation to observe the day the music died, the day Biggie Smalls was slain is fo ... More >>
Today marks the anniversary of the day that the world lost the greatest rapper of all time. Christopher Wallace's untimely death on March 9, 1997, had a significant impact on the rap game. If Biggie had lived, for instance, his presence would have essentially erased the need for Jay-Z. Unstop ... More >>
Though his debut album, Boy Meets World, came out in 2009, rapper Fashawn has flourished more within the realm of the mixtape, a format he's been using since 2006. Among his many mixtape releases came Ode to Illmatic, a track-by-track take on the classic Nas album that showcased Fashawn's unc ... More >>
The IRS loves leaning on rich people for tax evasion. Case in point, reports have surfaced that Lil' Jon (whose house was just foreclosed on in August) is on the hook for $638,000. It's certainly not easy to do taxes if you're a musician -- or any type of entertainer for that matter -- which ... More >>
Michael Franti & Spearhead's The Sound of Sunshine , released last week on Capitol, grabbed the top spot at Albums on the Hill and checked in at number three at Twist & Shout for the week ending September 26. Santana's new Arista release, Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All T ... More >>
As we all prepare to take time out from our hurried lives to remember the brave men and women of the armed forces who fought (and continue to fight) to keep us all free to live our lives as we please, we came up with a list of ten tunes to cue up this Memorial Day as you fire up the grill. ... More >>
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 >>
Back to Black
Thursday, February 8, Mount Vernon Country Club, Golden, 303-526-0616.
In Scarface, slinging yayo is the name of the game.
Fast reviews of recent releases
Don't call Aesop Rock the savior of hip-hop. He's just trying to be original.
Backbeat writers sound off on a few of their favorite musical things from 2002.
Olu Dora mixes his musical styles easily.
Three urban luminaries make Lucy Pearl an R&B trio with star -- and staying -- power.