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 >>
Red Rocks hosted the last concerts of its regular concert series a little over a week ago, signaling the official end of the summer concert season in Colorado. This week on the Backbeat blog, we're looking back at some of our favorite shows of 2014's warmest months. Note that we didn't include any f ... More >>
About twenty minutes before Jack White took the stage at Red Rocks, a hard rain started falling and lightning flashed to the east. Fog machines on the stage were fired up and the wind was blowing the haze, tinted hues of blue from the stage lights, around. For a moment it looked the Do Lung Bridge s ... More >>
Denver's hip-hop scene is ripe with talent, especially in terms of the great DJs fans have access too. You could walk into dozens of clubs, bars, patios, pool parties or even corporate events that just happens to be hosted by one of the town's best. The competition is stiff, and a following here can ... More >>
The eleven alternative weeklies of Voice Media Group are responsible for a tremendous amount of music writing: This year, we produced thousands of pages of printed stories and tens of thousands of blog posts. We're proud to present the very best of that work in the second annual Voice Media Group Mu ... 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 >>
TUES | FLATBUSH ZOMBIEZ at CERVANTES' OTHER SIDE | 10/22/13 As if torn out of the pages of a graphic novel, Flatbush Zombies are intense and ultra-stylized to an extent that is at once cartoonish and darkly gritty. Sometimes, in the case of very exciting music such as theirs, substance takes a back ... More >>
Although lot of rap these days is riddled with violence, misogyny and profanity, there's still plenty of clean rhymes out there to be rocked by the entire family, should you be so inclined. And it all comes worry-free of the ill-effect it might have on impressionable minds, and some of it even ranks ... More >>
TUES | FLATBUSH ZOMBIES at CERVANTES OTHER SIDE | 10/22/13 As if they tore themselves out of the pages of a graphic novel, Flatbush Zombies are intense and ultra-stylized to an extent that is at once cartoonish and darkly gritty. Sometimes, in the case of very exciting music like theirs, substance t ... 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
In this very special edition of Heavy Rotation, you not only get a through-the-keyhole view of our musical proclivities, but you also get a few words from us on our top pick of the week. Keep reading to find out what Mark Sanders considers musical comfort food, why Kelsey Whipple can't think of Spac ... More >>
DJ PREMIER & PETE ROCK @ CERVANTES' | 9/22/12 At the end of their set last night at Cervantes', DJ Premier's Houston Astro's hat was dripping with sweat, while Pete Rock appeared to have barely broken one. Over the course of their set, though, the two matched wits furiously playing through the genr ... More >>
Hola, amigo! Welcome to the weekend! A massive amount of musical goodness awaits you this weekend, the first of this fall season. Whatever you feel like getting into, there are a ton of shows to choose from, whether you're looking for metal, rock, hip-hop or just want to party down like there's no s ... More >>
See also: - Alanis Morissette, State Radio, Adventure Club and more - Bruce Springsteen, Waka Flocka Flame, Chevelle and more - Gov't Mule two nights in September, Primus in November and more - The Who, New Order, the Script, Minus the Bear, Cursive and more - Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Odd Future ... 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 >>
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 >>
David Lang / Red Bull PhotofilesBoonie Mayfield (top) and Xperiment BeatsThe term "producer" has very different connotations in the worlds of rock and hip-hop. Although they're both instrumental in shaping the sound, they serve very different functions. Generally speaking, in rock, a produc ... More >>
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 >>
Just to be perfectly clear from the get-go: I'd heard of Showbiz and A.G. before finding this record, but had always had a difficult time tracking down their albums, which I'll attribute the fact the majority of their catalog has been in and out of print for a long time. One day, however ... More >>
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 >>
Things slowed down a bit this week with concert announcements, especially compared to the past few weeks, but we did the get the word on some noteworthy shows including Sonic Youth Friday, July 31 at the Ogden Theater, Yes and Asia at the Paramount Theatre Sunday, July 12 and a pair of Avett Brother ... More >>
Last year, the World Famous Wake Up Show connected with UrSession.com to host a hip-hop contest called the 100K Battle. This battle consisted of well-known hip-hop producers like DJ Muggs, 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, Alchemist and others, donating beats to any rapper who wanted to spit a rhyme. The beats ... More >>
Buffalo, New York-based DeepThinka Records just released Rebel Radio 45: The Free Double Mixtape mixed by DJ Anubus, DJ Optimus Prime and Billy Drease Williams. Why do we care? Well, mostly because it's a dope mixtape that's free, but also because Denver's own ManeLine is featured on the project nex ... More >>
Locals Only DJ Low Key is doing big things in Denver right now. The last year was a big one for the Basementalism Radio Show alum and 2008 is looking to be just as big. He ended 2007 having his mixtape Medianâ€™s Relief in the Making (hosted by 9th Wonder) on several critical year-end lists and he ... More >>
This hip-hop hybrid is no longer on a major label, and it couldn’t be happier.
The mini-profile of Northern State that appears in the November 1 issue of Westword springs from the following maxi-Q&A with Julie Potash, one of three MCs in the sprightly hip-hop act. Itâ€™s her second interview with the paper, but the first one to actually appear in print; a previous article inte ... More >>
The Death of Frequent Flyer (Rhymesayers Entertainment)
Thursday, July 13, Fox Theatre, Boulder, 303-443-3399.
Be there or be square!
5 Sparrows for 2 Cents (Rawkus Records/Basementalism)
10th Avenue Freakout (Lex)
The Procussions take their homegrown hip-hop to the West Coast.
The year's best local music becomes the soundtrack of our lives.
The Road Less Traveled (RSP/www.roadsideprofits.com)
Electric Circus (MCA)
Raekwon and Ghostface Killah stay tied to the Wu-Tang Clan as they invent their own legacy.
By refusing to follow the flock, Ugly Duckling has emerged as a wholly individual hip-hop creature.
The People Under the Stairs question hip-hop's answers.
Putting the season's major releases to the test.
Run-D.M.C. has seen the light--and wants to show it to you.