Best rapper with a Super Bowl championship ring

Terrell Davis

Terrell Davis's 27th birthday party, held at the F-Stop in LoDo on October 28, may not have resulted in the same sort of riot that overtook much of central Denver after the Broncos' Super Bowl victory a few months earlier, but it did create quite a scene. On the sidewalk outside the club, some of the city's finest-lookin' folks lined up behind a velvet rope for the chance to sneak inside and wish the running back a happy birthday -- and catch a glimpse of his debut performance as an MC. To the delight of the capacity crowd and the constantly flashing lights of cameras from both local and national media outlets, Davis provided some backing raps for his buddy and hip-hopping comrade, Legit. While he's no Ice Cube, Davis proved that, on the mike at least, he's got more skills than Shaq and Kobe. Perhaps we can look forward to John Elways's debut in the coming year.

Best rapper to foretell and then prevent the apocalypse

Apostle

On his first -- and epic -- debut release Last of a Dying Breed, Apostle raps about a calamitous range of topics including corrupt world government, conspiracy, new world order, natural and man-made disasters and, finally, a to-the-death battle between evil forces and a soul-saving rebel army. And just who is leading the righteous in that battle? Why, our rhyming hero, that's who! Apostle just might be suited for such a charge; he currently operates the Survival Camp record label (www.survivalcamp.com) and serves as the driving force behind the new Colorado Hip Hop Coalition. But perhaps more important, Last of a Dying Breed distinguishes him most as a creative, innovative and entertaining performer with something to say. Even if it sometimes comes across like the script for a Saturday-morning cartoon.

Best rapper to foretell and then prevent the apocalypse

Apostle

On his first -- and epic -- debut release Last of a Dying Breed, Apostle raps about a calamitous range of topics including corrupt world government, conspiracy, new world order, natural and man-made disasters and, finally, a to-the-death battle between evil forces and a soul-saving rebel army. And just who is leading the righteous in that battle? Why, our rhyming hero, that's who! Apostle just might be suited for such a charge; he currently operates the Survival Camp record label (www.survivalcamp.com) and serves as the driving force behind the new Colorado Hip Hop Coalition. But perhaps more important, Last of a Dying Breed distinguishes him most as a creative, innovative and entertaining performer with something to say. Even if it sometimes comes across like the script for a Saturday-morning cartoon.

Like the Astronauts twenty-odd years before them, Boulder's surf rockers Maraca 5-0 can boogiefoot with the best of 'em. Twang-crazed, bouncy, guitar-driven and chock-full of reverb-soaked fun, they're the Front Range's landlocked answer to So-Cal's Duane Eddy and the Ventures or Nashville's Los Straightjackets (who, oddly, opt to shoot the curl in Mexican wrestling masks). Sidestepping such hijinks for a more traditional and pipelined approach, the 5-0's sound is a youthful but timeless one -- like an eternal beachcomber with breakers and bikinis on the mind. Cowabunga, little trustafarian-dudes.
Like the Astronauts twenty-odd years before them, Boulder's surf rockers Maraca 5-0 can boogiefoot with the best of 'em. Twang-crazed, bouncy, guitar-driven and chock-full of reverb-soaked fun, they're the Front Range's landlocked answer to So-Cal's Duane Eddy and the Ventures or Nashville's Los Straightjackets (who, oddly, opt to shoot the curl in Mexican wrestling masks). Sidestepping such hijinks for a more traditional and pipelined approach, the 5-0's sound is a youthful but timeless one -- like an eternal beachcomber with breakers and bikinis on the mind. Cowabunga, little trustafarian-dudes.
During its life as a Boulder outfit, Fat Mama displayed characteristics that -- in less able musical hands -- might not have played well outside of Colorado. It had a sprawling membership and jamming tendencies. It enjoyed fusing elements of jazz and rock into something many people associate with a proximity to pine trees and kind bud. Yet when the band made the leap and officially relocated to the East Coast in November, it snuck its chubby way into the most progressive and prestigious venues that the region has to offer -- including the notorious Knitting Factory jazz club in good ol' NYC. Nowadays, when Mama returns to town for a show, she does so as a benevolent ambassador from the great beyond.

During its life as a Boulder outfit, Fat Mama displayed characteristics that -- in less able musical hands -- might not have played well outside of Colorado. It had a sprawling membership and jamming tendencies. It enjoyed fusing elements of jazz and rock into something many people associate with a proximity to pine trees and kind bud. Yet when the band made the leap and officially relocated to the East Coast in November, it snuck its chubby way into the most progressive and prestigious venues that the region has to offer -- including the notorious Knitting Factory jazz club in good ol' NYC. Nowadays, when Mama returns to town for a show, she does so as a benevolent ambassador from the great beyond.

Nicholas Urata's Latin-Slavic-flavored ensemble is one spicy ethnic feast. If you're a sucker for strings -- or if you just like something deliciously eclectic -- this cosmopolitan chamber troupe should resin your bow. The Chicago-transplanted outfit's new full-length disc, Super melodrama, combines wild neoclassical inventiveness with frenetic guitar-rock sustenance. It also features the kind of violin playing that could put Frankenstein's monster (the Boris Karloff version, that is) into a goofy, smiling, trancelike stupor. Though the band plans to relocate to the East Coast later this year, the fun-loving bunch remains one of the best live acts to bless this town in ages. Oh, DeVotchKa, we hardly knew ye.

Nicholas Urata's Latin-Slavic-flavored ensemble is one spicy ethnic feast. If you're a sucker for strings -- or if you just like something deliciously eclectic -- this cosmopolitan chamber troupe should resin your bow. The Chicago-transplanted outfit's new full-length disc, Super melodrama, combines wild neoclassical inventiveness with frenetic guitar-rock sustenance. It also features the kind of violin playing that could put Frankenstein's monster (the Boris Karloff version, that is) into a goofy, smiling, trancelike stupor. Though the band plans to relocate to the East Coast later this year, the fun-loving bunch remains one of the best live acts to bless this town in ages. Oh, DeVotchKa, we hardly knew ye.

Los Angeles artist Judith Francisca Baca is the doyenne of Hispanic American muralists and, not surprisingly, one of the most willing to forge ahead with the medium. Her new mural at DIA -- a monumental paean to immigration based on the flight of her own grandparents from Mexico during the revolution -- briefly nods to the old fresco mural style in content before jettisoning off into the 21st century. And when you consider where it's displayed, in the main terminal of the controversial little airport that could, the fifty-foot mural, featuring digital imagery applied to a foil background, seems even more perfect for the times. Welcome, Baca.

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