Let's not bury the lede here: Southern hip-hop deity and generally awesome dude Bun B is playing a show at the Marquis Theater on April 27, with FL from the Foodchain and the Reminders, and you can get in the door for $5.
So yes, that probably requires some backing up. This is the third installment of Denver's Red Bull Sound Select Series. The last one featured the Joy Formidable at 3 Kings. The way this series works (and it exists in a number of other cities, as well), is that one of four curators selected by Red Bull puts together a show each month. The tickets are a little different each time -- for the Bun B show, an RSVP at the Sound Select site gets you in for $5. Or you can try your luck at the door, in which case you'll pay $15.
The curator for this particular show is Denver's DJ Low Key. We talked to him via Gchat about the series, Bun B and what's going on in our local hip-hop scene right now:
Kiernan Maletsky: So, Bun B at the Marquis. I guess that's OK. Is he any good?
DJ Low Key: He's a guy the kids like from Houston, from a group their parents like called UGK. So basically a rapper who everybody likes. They say he's gonna be the Mayor of Houston one day.
So to answer your question, if you're a kid or a parent, you'll probably like him. Also, single adults too. Big pimps as well.
Well that sounds promising. In your opinion, what is Bun B's best verse?
I'm trying to narrow it down. Like, I have my favorite Bun B verse, but I don't necessarily think they're his best work, if that makes sense.
Oh! Fair enough: What is your favorite Bun B verse?
To me, his verses on songs like "International Player's Anthem" or "Big Pimpin'" are about as good as rap gets, ten out of ten work, even if they're not some "super lyrical, study-every-bar-of-it" raps. Bun's one of those transcendent rap personalities/voices/figures.
That's what being an MC is ultimately about. That and inventing words like "trill."
Yes, let's talk about trill. How, exactly, does Bun B keep it trill, and what can we, the common folk, learn from that?
I saw Bun B giving a Red Bull Music Academy talk a few years back and he told a story about how, in hip-hop, he gets a hard time for always bringing his wife places with him, since hip-hop is always fascinated with the "player" mentality or whatever.
He said something to the effect of, "Would you want to celebrate a Grammy win or some other career milestone with the same groupie who was with Gucci Mane or whoever the night before?" That's trill, and everyone can learn from that. No shots to Gucci!
So trill. Wait, though. Why should we take your word for it? What do you know about hip-hop?
I'm a white guy with turntables in Denver. I've got to be a hip-hop expert. You're obviously new around here.
You've got me there. So what else is going on at this show besides Bun B and his trill self?
Well beyond rap legend Bun B, who by the way, hasn't been to Denver for a looooong time, we'll be featuring two of best acts in Colorado right now: FL, of the Foodchain, and the Reminders.
Right, but I have to drink with my friends nearby and talk about the same four things we always talk about. Why should I get to a venue early enough to see FL and the Reminders?
The whole Red Bull Sound Select program focuses on new talent and breaking music. And by pairing up the Reminders and FL with Bun for this show, we'll hopefully be exposing them to some new fans. Although, truth be told, both acts are accomplished enough to have performed with quite a few rap legends over the years.
You gotta make sure you come out to the show early for a few reasons. The best reason is that today is the best day for Colorado's hip-hop scene yet, and based on how things are trending, by April 27, things will only be better. The beautiful thing about our hip-hop scene in 2014 is that, right now, it's at its overall height.
Not to say there haven't been a lot of great things going on in Denver over the years, but the sheer number of quality artists/events/album/songs/etc. coming from our scene right now is at an all-time high, as far as I can tell. It makes for a great fifth thing to talk about about.
The second thing is that between the size of the Marquis, the lineup we've put together and the fact that Bun hasn't been to Denver for as long as I can remember, you'd better show up early. You don't want not being able to get in to be that fifth thing you end up talking about instead.
The third reason is that you should always listen to DJs when planning your nights, and I'm recommending you get there early. Case closed.
Highly persuasive, I must say. Where else might I see and/or hear these hip-hop heights?
There's a ton of great acts coming out of Denver right now, but one thing I'm really excited about for the city is the release of the Marcus Aurelius and Fat Trak album this summer. Marcus was a super talented MC from here in town who passed away last year, way too soon. Fat Trak, the album's producer, spent the last year putting the finishes touches on their album. And after an advance listen, I can tell you it's easily one of the best albums to ever come out of Colorado. It's phenomenal. I think the entire city is going to be amazed when they finally get a chance to hear it. I'm really excited for it to drop.
HipHopRollCall.com profiles more of our scene than anywhere, no question. We try to play the club-friendly records from quality local acts at parties I'm involved in, like The Solution and So What! And we feature live performances from top locals at events like the Solution Showcase. And there's a great opportunity with Red Bull Sound Select coming to Denver.
That's another thing I wanted to ask you about. How many cases of Red Bull am I required to drink if I want to go to this show?
Depends on if you're the type who likes to use the phrase "turn up" or not.
Let's say I'm not, because I'm not. Can I just go to the show because I want to go to the show? It's not going to be a commercial for Red Bull the whole time?
I think going to the show because you want to go the show is best possible reason to go. Turning up is just a potential bonus. As far as Red Bull goes, I think they're pretty good about letting people know who's throwing an event while not being over the top obnoxious with it.
I can't think of any other big company that would come up to me and say, "Hey, you know a lot about Denver's music scene, how about you throw some shows for us featuring whoever you'd like."
Nor can I. So there it is: Bun B, FL and The Reminders at the Marquis on April 27. $5 gets you in. Anything else people should know?
$5 gets you in with an RSVP at the Red Bull Sound Select web site. Otherwise, it's still a great deal of a show at $15. There are more great shows to come, so stay tuned for those too.
Last but not least, welcome to Denver Kiernan, you picked a hell of time to come back here!
Thanks, Low Key. Glad to be back.
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