TUES | WU YEAR'S EVE at CERVANTES | 12/31/13 More than just creating a free-associative style that would be emulated ceaselessly throughout the '90s and to this very day, the Wu-Tang Clan engineered an aesthetic and model for profitability with only a spiritual guide, the GZA, a mastermind producer, ... More >>
By Jermaine Charles All performers, no matter who they are or how talented they may be, had a time before they were famous when they were still coming into their own. For some, that time can be awkward or even cringe-inducing to reflect on, while for others, the progression seems more natural. Take ... 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 >>
When somebody bathes in blood and guts, swings from hanging bodies or sews together dismembered parts -- that's horror. And so naturally when rappers embody this realm, it's called horrorcore. But true horror is more than blood and guts; it is bewilderment in happenings that occur beyond an ordinar ... More >>
Most identical twins will go to great lengths to convince you that while they may look the same, inside they are very different. But while the Sklar Brothers actually looked quite different at Comedy Works on Friday night -- with Randy in plaid shirt and beard, and Jason in black tie and grandpa gla ... More >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Flying Lotus is one of the most innovative electronic producers out right now. Born Steven Ellison but better known these days by his stage handle, the L.A.-based artist began making beats at the age of fourteen, and with his omnivorous taste in music, he's gone on to create lush, detailed music wit ... More >>
How awesome is "Big Pimpin'," by Jay-Z? Really awesome. But some folks argue that its awesomeness comes courtesy of an unlicensed sample, and they'd like to be compensated. A new round of legal claims has been brought against HOV by a handful of heirs and music publishers who argue that the track ... More >>
Heavily inspired by mob movies and king-fu cinema, Wu-tang Clan began in Staten Island, the brainchild of the brilliantly sharp RZA, who brought his brothers and their talents together to form a hip-hop conglomerate whose rhymes are as much based on the science of everything in life as they are abou ... More >>
As one of the nine original members of Wu-Tang Clan, Raekwon (due tonight at Summit Music Hall with BLKHRTS and Remo) helped make the renowned New York City hip-hop collective a permanent part of rap history. After branching out on his own in 1995, the Chef continues to spit out solo efforts left an ... More >>
Ronin 1.1 Enter the Villain
This week's cover story, "Word," tells the extraordinary tale behind The Anthology of Rap, released last year to high praise and a bit of heated debate. The Westword story focuses on Anthology co-editor and CU-Boulder professor Adam Bradley, a hip-hop academic whose own narrative is as compel ... More >>
I'll take my coffee with CREAM! (dolla dolla bill y'all). Cafe Europa employees: Serious Wu-Tang fans.Cafe Europa's general manager, Adam Azeris, is bringing a little piece of Brooklyn right here into Denver. The coffee shop at Penn and Bayaud has been respectfully dubbed "Wu-Ropa," in honor ... More >>
Don't let the tight jeans and thick-rimmed glasses fool you. The brothers who make up The Knux were raised about as far away from the suburbs as you can get: New Orleans' Ninth Ward. Still, Krispy Kream and Rah Almillio (aka Kentrell and Alvin Lindsey) found their sound by listening to just a ... More >>
The best rapper ever? Vibe readers think so. LOCALS ONLY Metropolitan State College of Denver’s radio station, MetRadio, has been around over a decade, and according to Colorado emcee D.O. it has barely featured any hip-hop. He’s looking to change that, by launching a hip-hop show called “B ... More >>
Saturday, August 30, Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 303-297-1772.
Locals Only Lenny Lenn is known for the work he put in as a radio personality for various radio stations across Colorado. His biggest claim to fame is being part of the launch team of the now-defunct Denver hip-hop radio station, U102. Lenny then spent some time working behind the scenes on the Lew ... More >>
The Backbeat section of Westword’s June 12 edition is dominated by updates and details about the annual Westword Music Showcase, as well it should be. But strange as it might seem, there are other notable musical happenings taking place around town during the week, including a Saturday, June 14 pe ... More >>
LOCALS ONLY The online Colorado hip-hop show Out Tha Box TV will celebrate two years on air next month and they’re beginning their third year with a bang. The online show will be heading to television sets on May 14 on the ION Network at 3 p.m. “We were looking for a station that was on the move ... More >>
Joe Thunder isn’t known for his skills behind the mic. He isn’t known for creating hot beats either. He’s more likely to just listen to records than mix and scratch them. And you’ll catch him nodding his head before he’d bust out in a backspin. So what does Joe Thunder really do? He’s a ... More >>
This may be Jay-Z’s last year at Def Jam Right now Jay-Z is celebrating a pretty good year as CEO/President of Def Jam. His label garnered 26 Grammy nominations last week, his artists Rihanna and Ne-Yo are blowing up worldwide and his own project, American Gangster, is topping year-end lists. But ... More >>
The Pirate Signal November 29, 2007 The Hi-Dive Better Than: watching reruns during the writer’s strike One thing that’s guaranteed at a Pirate Signal show is passion. No matter how many people are in the crowd, no matter how they’re responding to the music, DJ A-What and Yonnas deliver a hi ... 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 >>
Comeback kids, rhymin' Limeys and songs about partying defined Hip-Hop Nation in 2006.
What's up with the Wu-Tang Clan paying homage to Stapleton and Park Hill?
The talented tongue of Atmosphere goes to work.
Clive Owen gets pushed to his limits, right along with the audience.
This was the year electronic dance music got its head -- and its ass -- out of the past.
The Pretty Toney Album (Def Jam/Universal)
Jim Jarmusch serves the perfect blend: Coffee and Cigarettes.
Kelis gives thanks to more than her mammaries.
Raekwon and Ghostface Killah stay tied to the Wu-Tang Clan as they invent their own legacy.
Backbeat contributors reflect on the releases that helped them survive the year 2000.
Backbeat contributors offer up their favorite recordings of 1999.
Primus, The Go, At the Drive In, Method Man/Redman
Ol' Dirty Bastard, Richmond Fontaine, Basement Jaxx, Barbra Streisand
Reviews of 23 recent superstar recordings--just in time for your holiday purchasing pleasure.