Kontrast & Fo Chief Dish Up First Studio Album and a Party

Dinner is served. Kontrast & Fo Chief, two MCs perhaps best known for their work with rap crew Fresh Breath Committee, first gave the world a taste of their own beats and lyrics back in 2011 with the digital album Cannonball Soup. They followed that up in 2014 with Cannonball Soup: The Appetizer. On Thursday, March 24, Kontrast & Fo Chief will serve up their main course and first studio album: Cannonball Soup 2: The Last Supper, complete with an album-release party at the Marquis Theater.

In the years since the release of Cannonball Soup, Kontrast & Fo Chief have continued to work together and with other artists from Denver’s hip-hop community, growing as musicians and forming tight bonds within the scene. “We’ve grown a whole lot. It’s not just about rhyming anymore; it’s about making the best music possible," Fo Chief says.

Kontrast says that he and Fo Chief have always gravitated toward each other. “I think it’s deeply rooted in just making the best music that we can and believing in the lyricism,” he adds. “All [Fresh Breath] Committee members believe in over-the-top lyricism and really care about the art. Chief and I are really just lyricists who care about the core of the art.”

When the hip-hop duo released Cannonball Soup, Kontrast says it was mostly to show people what they could expect of them by introducing a songwriting album. This full studio album, though, is “all over the place” and gets the artists outside their comfort zones. Additionally, Cannonball Soup: The Last Supper is a tribute to the relationships they’ve formed in the music industry over the years and features more than a handful of artists. The production was handled by various producers, including Kuddie Fresh, Mo Heat, Avenue Prod and OD. 

“Half of our album has local features like DJ Chonz, Ross Pennock, J. Carey and the entire Fresh Breath Committee,” Kontrast says. “Since 2009, we’ve had the opportunity to run with a lot of local artists, and we’ve got so much respect for all of them. We’re always looking to make music with new people while trying to stay relevant.”

In such a small hip-hop community, Fo Chief says he and Kontrast want to be known for their songwriting and staying on their toes. “You’ve got to keep up with the curve or you’ll fall along the wayside,” he adds. “Denver just creates such a constant competitive nature for artists.”

Kontrast adds that he and Fo Chief have received overwhelming support for the music they’re making and to this day have no “bad blood” with anyone in the scene. Instead, they remain supportive of each new artist coming out of Denver and try their best to support them. “I’m grateful that we’ve been around for the unearthing of these different projects and different artists like Turner Jackson and Trev Rich,” Kontrast adds. “I personally think it’s a good thing for the scene to have a variety of different elements of hip-hop.”

Cannonball: The Last Supper will be available from all digital retailers, including Spotify, iTunes and Kontrast & Fo Chief’s Bandcamp. Join the hip-hop duo for the album-release party Thursday, March 24, at the Marquis. Doors open at 8 p.m., and tickets are $10. 
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Lauren Archuletta is a contributor for Westword's arts section covering the Latinx community and reproductive health.

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