Underground Hip-Hop

  • Blogs

    August 8, 2014

    The Gaslamp Killer Previewed the New Flying Lotus Album During a Frantic Set at 1up

    The Gaslamp Killer stands out, even when he's part of a long night of wide-ranging modern electronic music. His DJ set spanned decades seamlessly and he has a constant, even hyperkinetic movement -- an effort that makes many musicians not from Denver reel from the exhaustion. In fact, he scoffed at ... More >>

  • Calendar

    June 19, 2014
  • Blogs

    June 17, 2014

    Tom Petty, Phantogram, Bastille tickets on sale this weekend

    Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, who are set to release Hypnotic Eye in July, visit Red Rocks for a two-night stint on Tuesday, September 30 & Wednesday, October 1. Steve Winwood opens both nights. Tickets ($51.50-$127) go on sale on Friday, June 20 at 10 a.m. Phantogram returns to the area for a sh ... More >>

  • Music

    September 12, 2013

    Mane Rok, Ichiban, InkLine

    The Gem in I
    Elite Philosophy

  • Blogs

    March 4, 2013

    The best concerts in Denver this week

    SNOWBALL MUSIC FESTIVAL @ WINTER PARK | FRI-SUN, 3/8-3/10 If the idea of standing outside in the cold and snow sounds positively unappealing to you, either you're not from Colorado or you're new here. Whatever the case, don't let any of that dissuade you from heading up to the mountains for the apt ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2013

    Ten acts that helped make hip-hop more accessible to mainstream audiences

    Hip-hop is a world unto itself. Its rich tradition of spoken word poetry, self-referential subject matter and electronic and sample-based production make it, in many ways, a difficult musical form to adapt to, especially if you come from a more traditional background. These ten acts helped make rap ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2012

    9th Wonder on how hip-hop is like pills in the applesauce, a gateway to knowledge and history

    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 >>

  • Music

    October 18, 2012

    Flying Lotus

    Thursday, October 18, Ogden Theatre, 888-929-7849.

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2012

    Flying Lotus on how J Dilla really did change his life by making music that was deep and heartfelt

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 12, 2012

    The weekend's five best concerts: October 12-14

    Hola, muchachos! Welcome to the weekend! While the Great American Beer Fest and Sonic Blossom are probably the biggest draws this weekend in the Mile High City and the pickings are slightly slimmer than usual, there's still a great deal of music to choose from. As always, we have all of it listed in ... More >>

  • Music

    September 20, 2012

    Killer Mike

    Saturday, September 22, Summit Music Hall, 866-468-7621.

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2012

    Beauty Bar celebrating two-year anniversary with Peanut Butter Wolf

    Last summer, DJ and hip-hop producer Peanut Butter Wolf was at City Hall celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of Stones Throw Records, the label he founded. On Saturday, June 30, Peanut Butter Wolf returns to the area to help celebrate Beauty Bar's two-year anniversary. He'll be throwing down the v ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 20, 2012

    Review: Souls of Mischief at City Hall, 1/19/12

    Photo by Britt Chester Souls of Mischief @ City Hall | 1/19/12 Following the Ninja Stylez Bboy competition in the main room, Souls of Mischief exploded from behind the stage, tearing into the opening lines of "You Never Knew" with A-Plus casually swayin' behind his all-black shades amidst flawles ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 15, 2011

    A first look at "Hooliganry," the brand new video from Catch Lungs and One Be Lo

    ​Catch Lungs is doing his thing with the video release for "Hooliganry, directed by Vital Films and featuring One Be Lo. The track is a single from Catch's EP, Awake in a Dream, and finds both MCs getting lyrically descriptive with the ways they keep it "hooligan." One Be Lo opens this joint a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 7, 2011

    The 20 greatest geek albums

    ​If the geeks are really set to inherit the earth (that's the saying, right?), then it's time we highlight the musical offerings they have on the table. With Jonathan Coulton's Artificial Heart being released last week at PAX, it seems as good a time as any to look at our favorite albums about ... More >>

  • Music

    August 25, 2011

    Stones Throw Anniversary

    Friday, August 26, City Hall, 303-832-8628.

  • Blogs

    June 19, 2011

    Review: Del the Funky Homosapien at 2011 Westword Music Showcase, 6/18/11

    ​DEL THE FUNKY HOMOSAPIEN at #WMS11 | 06.18.11"Del, Deltron 3300, Del the Funky Homosapien, Deltron Zero, Deltron Z, Dr. Bombay -- every one of the mastermind's personas -- was in full effect as he rapped and freestyled through tracks dating back as far as 1993."

  • Articles

    March 17, 2011
  • Blogs

    March 7, 2011

    Catch Lungs, One Be Lo, Guilty Simpson, Elzhi at Marquis, 03/04/11

    Ajsml Photography​ CATCH LUNGS With One Be Lo • Guilty Simpson • Elzhi Food Chain • Fresh Breath Committee 03.04.11 | Marquis Theater Detroit hip-hop was definitely in the fucking building for Catch Lungs's CD release party. In addition to the fellow locals in Food Chain and Fresh Brea ... More >>

  • Articles

    February 3, 2011
  • Blogs

    January 26, 2011

    BLKHRTS, Wu-Tang top our weekly playlists

    ​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?" 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 al ... More >>

  • Music

    January 20, 2011
  • Blogs

    September 16, 2010

    Grinderman, RJD2 and Dismemberment Plan fill our playlists this week

    ​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 >>

  • Blogs

    August 15, 2010

    Mile High Music Festival day two travelogue: BoomBox and Z-Trip

    As I crossed the festival grounds toward the Bison tent, where BoomBox was scheduled, I caught strains of Matt Morris and his amazing voice, and Ozomatli getting their reggae-style funk on. I reached my destination just as BoomBox took the stage and immediately knew I was in for a good time. They op ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2010

    DJ KAAOS on hip-hop's golden era, sticking with vinyl and playing with a drummer

    ​ DJ KAAOS stands apart from the crowd with his arms full of tattoos, toting stacks of record crates (which apparently require a dolly). As a DJ, he's fully committed to respecting the past, while also forging his way into the future with MF KAAOS (and no, that isn't an MF DOOM reference, in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 20, 2010

    RIP Guru, gone at the age of 43

    ​ By now you've heard about the loss of Keith "Keithy E" Elam, aka Guru, who passed away yesterday. If you're reading this right now, you're probably grappling with the tremendous loss of Guru and reflecting on the monumental impact he had on rap music -- despite the fact that he never really ... More >>

  • Music

    May 28, 2009


    Friday, May 29, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 303-830-8497.

  • Music

    March 19, 2009

    The Mighty Underdogs

    Thursday, March 19, Bluebird Theater, 303-830-8497.

  • Music

    March 5, 2009

    Soul Daddy

    A Safe Place

  • Music

    February 19, 2009

    Black Milk

    Thursday, February 19, Fox Theatre, Boulder, 303-443-3399.

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2008

    Friday Rap-Up: Scribble Jam, Run-DMC, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z

    LOCALS ONLY Scribble Jam is an annual hip-hop festival hosted in Cincinnati, Ohio. So why are so many Colorado hip-hop artists excited about it? Well, on October 1 at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, a Scribble Jam preliminary event is being held to determine the best rapper and best producer to represe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 8, 2008

    Last Night ... DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Kid Koala @ Ogden Theater

    Slide Show DJ Shadow Cut Chemist, Kid Kiola Thursday, February 7, 2008, Ogden Theater Better than: Dancing with the waitresses at Tom’s Diner. A long long time ago, 1996 to be exact, some sage named Beck surmised that the one key to any party was “two turntables and a microphone.” That sa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 16, 2008

    Last Night ... Z-Trip at Sutra

    Z-Trip January 15, 2008 Sutra Better Than: Going to bed early on a school night. Without a doubt, Z-Trip is still the unequivocal master of the mash-up, as evidenced by his energetic set last night at Sutra, where he threw down at a private party sponsored by Red Bull. From one mind-blowing segue t ... More >>

  • Calendar

    July 19, 2007
  • Music

    July 19, 2007


    Saturday, July 21, the Oriental Theater, 303-455-2124.

  • Music

    March 22, 2007


    I'll Sleep When You're Dead
    Definitive Jux

  • Music

    October 26, 2006

    Cut Chemist

    Sunday, October 29, Fox Theatre, Boulder, 303-443-3399.

  • Music

    September 28, 2006

    Jedi Mind Tricks

    Sunday, October 1, Bluebird Theater, 1-866-468-7621; Monday, October 2, Fox Theatre, Boulder, 303-443-3399.

  • Music

    July 20, 2006

    Cut Chemist

    The Audience¹s Listening (Warner Bros.)

  • Music

    March 2, 2006

    Little Brother

    Saturday, March 4, Fox Theatre, Boulder, 303-443-3399.

  • Music

    November 4, 2004

    Soul School

    After fifteen years of the grind, De La Soul is still schooling folks.

  • Music

    February 12, 2004

    Critic's Choice

    Roosevelt Franklin

  • Music

    March 20, 2003

    Ready to Reload

    After five years, Gang Starr reclaims its place in the hip-hop pack.

  • Music

    February 13, 2003

    Mash It Up

    Z-Trip turns the tables and elevates the art of the DJ.

  • Music

    December 26, 2002

    That's a Wrap-Up

    Backbeat writers sound off on a few of their favorite musical things from 2002.

  • Music

    July 11, 2002

    Living Out Loud

    After a difficult beginning, J-Live gives hope to hip-hop.

  • Music

    October 26, 2000

    Into the Light

    The Jurassic 5 make a heroic ascent from the hip-hop underground.

  • Music

    November 25, 1999

    And You Don't Stop

    These student DJs are hip-hop professors.

  • Music

    November 18, 1999

    Critic's Choice

    Scene & Heard

  • Music

    January 22, 1998

    Brother From Another Planet

    When it comes to hip-hop, Dr. Octagon veteran Kool Keith is out of this world.

  • More >>