After DJ Quik canceled on Casselman's at the last minute due to "gang activity" and "threats on his life," all hell broke loose, with everyone buzzing about where (and exactly who) would be performing and where. As it turned out, Bizzy Bone, fresh off the plane in a ponytail, rocked the absolute hell out of the Rex Lounge, near Coors Field. How did we get from DJ Quik and Casselman's to Bizzy Bone and the Rex? Click through to find out.
The streets started buzzing around 5:30 p.m. with word that DJ Quik had canceled his show at Casselman's at the last minute, prompting rumors to fly that Bizzy Bone and Mack 10 would be taking Quik's place. Word then was that Casselman's had evidently rejected that particular lineup, so the Rex Lounge picked up the show that now wouldn't include Mack 10 -- but Too $hort instead.
Like players in the elementary-school game "telephone," nobody knew what in the hell was going on until the final moment, when the Rex Lounge took one for the team and hosted Bizzy Bone (sans Too $hort) along with a slew of talent so bad, the venue should have received a medal for its efforts.
After Nofrendo played a set of jungle music that had the crowd none too pleased, 1984, (Big J. Beats and Marky Bias) took over, and the live beat-making, rapping, party-rocking commenced. The two are pretty dynamic together and somehow manage to maintain an underground element amid too many pairs of white patent-leather high-heeled shoes to count.
From there, it was all downhill: The guys who said they were from 420 Entertainment were so elementally bad, it got painful to watch. Mobbing through the crowd wearing sunglasses and with more guys than there were mikes, they took the stage with rapping so terrible, I'm sure a dozen hip-hop angels lost their wings as a result. Several times, one of the MCs had to stop and catch his breath while his pre-recorded vocals continued to play.
A singer/rapper combination from Fort Collins wheeled in several club-styled tracks with too much bounce and not enough substance. The vocalist wailed and moaned too much for the lyrics, which consisted of champagne tales and waist-gripping.
There was also a young lady from New Mexico wearing a sequined belt with a pink leopard-print skirt and a shiny pair of white heels who took the stage and lip-synched her heart out. She was accompanied by two dancers who flailed all over the place and were doing entirely too much for the small stage at the Rex.
The last crew went on and performed for so long, FOE's set had to be bumped, prompting a solid round of boos from DJ Ear Attent, who spoke for the rest of us with his theatrics. It wasn't just the rapping; the beats were bad, the presentation was full of unwarranted posturing, and the vocals sounded like eating old mashed potatoes: dry.
By this time, Bizzy Bone was in the house with his crew and prepared to take the stage, but not before telling Nofrendo to "cut it out with all the Beyonce songs" he was playing. Bizzy's solo set went about as far as it could go, considering he was just in town with the rest of the Bone-Thugs on June 23 at the Gothic. The crowd ate it up, though, and he did what he could.
One thing, though: Whoever the artist is that he had covering Biggie's verse on "Notorious Thugz" was beyond a hot mess. He fumbled the words in several places and did everything but wipe his brow when his verse was over and Bizzy came in with the save.
When word first hit that DJ Quik wasn't going to be in Denver, people were riled up. Mad, frustrated and disappointed. What happened during the solution phase, though, is that the Rex Lounge strapped on its boots and took care to house a crowd of hip-hop hooligans who merely wanted to have a good time. No one is exactly sure what the shenanigans were with Quik, but, as they say, the show must go on.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.