Music News

Denver's 2MX2 Is Better at Metaphors Than You

2mx2 plays Westword Music Showcase on Friday, September 9.
2mx2 plays Westword Music Showcase on Friday, September 9. Courtesy 2mx2
Considered one of Denver's best Latin-infused groups, the five-piece hip-hop crew 2MX2 created a banger with its latest single, “Panadero."

“We were just coming up with something we could perform,” explains Owen Trujillo, who performs as 01. "DMD had this sample that he’d sampled himself, basically this loop, and we started making the song to it."

The group — which includes 01, Juice ET Hugo, Lolita, Kenny O and producer DMD — is a don't-miss local act at the upcoming Westword Music Showcase, performing at 10 p.m. Friday, September 9, at Bierstadt Lagerhaus.

2MX2 doesn't consider itself purely a hip-hop group, as it fuses traditional Latin rhythms with hip-hop and other genres for an addicting, danceable blend of music. DMD likens the group to Bruce Lee, who mixed different kinds of martial arts into a new style.

“We identify with hip-hop,” he says, “but we also identify with rock, cumbia and heavy metal. We just feel like we make music.”

There is often a political bent to the group's songs, which incorporate lyrics about immigration, education reform and health care. But “Panadero" takes a classic hip-hop trope – making money – and runs with it.

“My cousin Juice, one of the members, started writing about panadero, making money like a panadero,” Trujillo says.

"Panadero" translates to “baker” in English, but Trujillo says he finds the word to have a bit more cultural significance in Mexico. He was born in Zacatecas, a state in the central part of the country, before moving to the United States as a child.

Lolita adds that panaderias, or bakeries, are ubiquitous in Mexico and sell a variety of breads, sweet breads (not offal, white people, but pan dulce, actual sweet-flavored bread) and other items. Her father is a panadero, so the song has a bit of extra meaning for her. He brings home the bread, she says, allowing her to be a musician.

“In Mexico and in our culture, you can just walk up in there and get bread; they’re just making it right there for you,” Lolita says. “I don’t know if that’s true out here.”

Trujillo says that the song, one of several singles released in June, is a bit of an outlier for the group, which wouldn’t usually celebrate stacking cash.

“It’s usually a lot more political,” he says. “This time we just wanted to have fun. We were overdue. We needed a vacation.”

Regardless of the linguistic or cultural differences, a banger is a banger in any language — and “Panadero” fits that description to a T. The group hopes to release five or so more singles before the end of the year. (Trujillo wanted to do ten, but tempered his expectations to be more reasonable.)

The 2MX2 crew has grown over the years, and “Panadero” marks the recording debut of drummer Kenny O, who also plays in the Denver hip-hop group Flobots, with whom the members of 2MX2 have long associated.

The addition of the drums lends a "live" feel to the band’s recorded output, says Trujillo: “You're finally able to get a little bit of what you get live on the song. That’s what’s changing with our music.”

The band’s live shows continue to evolve, says Lolita, and its members spend a lot of time rehearsing in order to deliver the best performance. “One thing we have started talking about was adding more movement,” she explains. “We are definitely going to start getting into rehearsal and working more on dancing, being in the moment, bringing more energy into our performances.”

The musicians have also begun to think about what the average 2MX2 fan looks like, as they are seeing more return customers, Trujillo says. He offers a metaphor about the band being pregnant, then says, “Scratch that, bad analogy.” This prompts a chuckle from the others, who joke that Trujillo learned English listening to rap music — Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, in particular — so it makes perfect sense that he often speaks in metaphors.

He takes another shot at it.

“We like to call our music our babies all the time,” he says. “It’s something we all make together. You create it, and then you don’t know what the baby is going to look like.”

Lolita chimes in: “We're starting to recognize who our fans are, what our identity is through this consistent creation of music. We're starting to see the fruits of our labor. We see fans consistently come through. We’ve seen our music develop into a particular sound.”

The group struggled through COVID like every other band, but Trujillo home-engineered an excellent sound system through which music could be livestreamed, and 2MX2 worked on its live sets even when it couldn’t play venues.

DMD, not to be outdone in the kicking of metaphors, says of the time: “It was like in Independence Day when Jeff Goldblum figures out what the code is and shit. Man, he cracked the code.”

The Westword Music Showcase returns to RiNo on Friday, September 9, with free performances by dozens of local bands at nine venues in the area; 2MX2 plays at 10 p.m. September 9, at Bierstadt Lagerhaus, 2875 Blake Street. On Saturday, September 10, more local bands will join Westword Music Showcase national headliners the Flaming Lips, Saint Motel, Cannons and the Main Squeeze at three stages at the Mission Ballroom Outdoors; tickets are $55-$85. Get more Showcase information at; for more music from 2MX2, visit
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