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 >>
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 >>
Word came down recently that André 3000 of Outkast will be playing the highly influential Jimi Hendrix in a biopic called All Is By My Side, which centers on the iconic guitarist's early years. With inspired and estimable casting like this, it made us think about the other memorable biopics that ha ... More >>
VICEROY @ BAR STANDARD | 4/26/13 I arrived fashionably late for Viceroy's guest DJ gig at Denver Disco. The San Francisco based DJs appearance at Bar Standard was definitely one of the more anticipated events of the spring. The Viceroy vibe is "summer all the time," and that definitely comes across ... 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 >>
The 4/20 weekend this year is shaping up to be a massive, city-wide event. Not only is the traditional 4/20 political rally again taking at Denver's Civic Center Park, but the crew from High Times has claimed the Mile High as their city of choice for the first-ever Cannabis Cup on American soil. An ... 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 >>
Listen, before I breakdown rap's worst lyrics, you should know, I don't hate Lil' Wayne. No, really. I like him just fine. But even good rappers get caught slipping, as evidenced by the fact that Lil' Wayne makes several appearances on this list. And while picking low-hanging fruit is the nature of ... More >>
The hip-hop, as you know, doesn't stop. It's a new month, which means there's another fresh batch of dope shows for you. And trust: March has plenty of freshness on tap, from revered elder statesmen like De La Soul, Naughty By Nature and GZA to newer cats like Tech N9ne, French Montana and Kendrick ... 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 >>
Now and then, companies send us medical marijuana-related products ranging from vaporizers to board games to books. We showcase them in our quasi-regular product review section, Stoner MacGyver. This week, it's a Stoner Mac special: The top seven countdown to the best rolling papers.
As people who think about, talk about, write about, listen to and make music, it shouldn't be too surprising to find that the most common (and our mutually favorite) topic of conversation among all of us is the same: "What are you listening to right now?" Stick a quarter in us, and boy, wouldn't you ... More >>
The first weekend of Coachella was cold, damp and wet. The second weekend of Coachella was hot, sultry, and steamy. This weekend meant tributes, tributes, tributes. From Levon Helms to Biggie, everyone got a shout-out. In between all that, Jeff Mangum came to the aid of fan in distress and our West ... More >>
Today marks fifteen years since the Notorious B.I.G. was tragically gunned down in a murder that remains shrouded in opinion, mystery and haunting culture appeal. You probably remember exactly where you were on this day in 1997 when you heard the news that one of the game's greatest rappers had died ... More >>
Notorious B.I.G. died fifteen years ago this week, on March 9, 1997, at age 24, and Ready to Die is the only studio album released during his lifetime. (Life After Death was released fifteen days after his death, on March 25, 1997.) But Ready to Die album contained hits that were rap-wise, ahead of ... More >>
This week, we're celebrating the life of the late, great Christopher Wallace, aka the Notorious B.I.G., who died fifteen years ago this week. One of hip-hop's most important teachers, Biggie Smalls, as he was affectionately known, empowered corner boys everywhere to tell the story of their struggle ... 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 >>
Spoke In Wordz's latest effort, Beautiful Dead, comes at a time when celebrations of the dead are at their highest, split between Halloween and Día de los Muertos. Traditionally, this is the time when the spiritual veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Spoke chose to comme ... More >>
Can you guess which member of Team Backbeat bought this record?Do you remember the first album you bought with your own money? Of course you do! It's like the first person you kissed or the first one who broke your heart -- it's a monumental, life-changing moment in your life that's unforgett ... More >>
Oh, MTV. There has been no greater platform for fuckery's finest and the brilliance of unfiltered musician craziness than Music Television's many segments. Whether drunken freestyles, acceptance speech interruptions, or classic moments in live performance, hip-hop rightfully lived and thrived ... More >>
Forming in the early '90s, Bone Thugs N Harmony (performing tonight with FoodChain, Input and Fresh Breath Committee at the Gothic Theatre) has roots that run deep in rap's history. Mentored by Eazy-E, the Cleveland dudes also collaborated with 2pac and Notorious B.I.G., and picked up a Grammy along ... More >>
Often imitated but never duplicated, Too $hort (performing tonight with DJX, Shade Loc G, Hypnautic, King Tef, Johny Rocketz, 20:12, Nominee, Mya Rose, Spoke n Wordz, Playalitical and Felisa Latin Soul at Casselman's) has been making records for almost thirty years, helping to establish Oakland, Ca ... More >>
NECA is gearing up to release a topless, Skeletor-esque Iggy Pop action figure onto unsuspecting fans this coming June, a fact that might seem a bit odd for those who aren't familiar with rock stars' long and illustrious history with action figure manufactures. Over time we've seen plenty of ... 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 >>
A NEW YEAR UNDERGROUND With Hence * Eli D * BeeKay * Travis Press * Uriah West * Brick Lee 12.31.10 | Theory Practice The only sign that the Theory Practice gallery, 738 Santa Fe Drive, was hosting an epic New Year's Eve party was the pounding bass audible from the streets as passersby b ... More >>
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 >>
Lori Midson Clint Wangsnes Zengo 1610 Little Raven Street 720-904-0965 www.richardsandoval.com/zengodenver This is part two of Lori Midson's interview with Clint Wangsnes, chef of Zengo. Read part one of that Q&A. Rules of conduct in your kitchen: I have high expectations of all of my staf ... More >>
School's back in session! Which means, for at least some of you, that right now you should probably be doing your homework instead of looking at music blogs. But don't worry -- we've got you covered. Today, you can enjoy all the bloggy goodness of Backbeat and get your learn on, thanks to "Fe ... More >>
Today is the anniversary of Elvis's death in 1977, and last week, an auction of possibly the most gruesome memorabilia of all time was planned to capitalize on the King's untimely demise. The very same autopsy/embalming tools used to prep the King's final appearance, plus the toe tag identify ... More >>
Every Friday we spotlight the hottest cats (and kittens) behind the decks in the MHC, grilling them to gain some insight on what it takes, exactly, to get the party rocking, to find out about their most treasured crate digging experiences and what they really think when we stumble up to them half co ... More >>
Photo: Maria Romero My favorite song at the moment, hip-hop or otherwise, is "Reach for the Stars," by 3 the Hardway. Everything about the track, from the hook -- which is built around a sample of "I Just Wanna Be the One in Your Life," a cover by the Manhattans of a song first recorded by Barry Ma ... More >>
(hed) p.e.'s concets in Denver and Colorado Springs last week must've fueled sales of the band's latest album, New World Orphans, which was released January 13, on Suburban Noize Records. Kanye West and Ludacris also made strong showings, as did the Notorious soundtrack, which features cuts by Jay-Z ... More >>
Photo: Lucia De Giovanni Last night, I had the honor and privilege of guest deejaying at Matt Fecher's New Music Mondays at the Larimer Lounge, playing music from my collection next to the incandescent DJ Ginger and firestarter DJ Hot to Death. Ginger played a couple of body-rocking sets, including ... More >>
Searching for gems in the flood of seasonal discs.
The First Lady (Capitol)
DJ Clinton Sparks has become a rising star by working harder than anyone else.
God's Son (Columbia)
A Boulder student cares more about the life of hip-hop than the deaths of Biggie and Tupac.
Faithfully (Bad Boy)
Tell 'em Why U Madd
(Crazy Cat Catalogue/Columbia)
Still I Rise
The Notorious B.I.G.
We have more musical choices than ever before. So why are so few of us taking advantage of them?
THEN CHECK OUT JODECI, WHOSE MEMBERS WANT TO BE WITH YOU.
NINE AND DA BUSH BABEES ARE TRYING TO PRODUCE A RAP TO REMEMBER.