Reader: I'm Shocked People Were Smoking Weed at a Red Rocks Show!

Reader: I'm Shocked People Were Smoking Weed at a Red Rocks Show!EXPAND
Brandon Thrift
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On July 31, Red Rocks hosted a hip-hop extravaganza with Nas, Black Star, Brother Ali, Royce da 5'9" and the Reminders. And according to Chris Walker, "the event could have easily been mistaken for a 420 festival. For hours, a carpet of fog, like a thick ganja soup, settled upon the amphitheater, intoxicating every living organism that relies on breathing."

But readers take issue with his review, especially the focus on marijuana.

Says Timothy:

 I really don’t believe you could have missed the true importance of this hip-hop show more! You chose to compare and thus reduce this show to the level of a meaningless pot rally, to a ridiculous novice smokers calendar date? I’ve experienced more degenerate pot smoking at City Park on a Monday afternoon. For all of the true heads who were in attendance, it held far greater importance, a tremendous nostalgic experience, it was a huge gift to Denver’s hip-hop community, and they were out en masse. In twenty years I don’t know of a better Denver hip-hop show; we had a rather large crew and every one of us had big grins and nothing but high praise. Hearing these legends throw down for us on Tuesday night was a great memory, one the majority of attendees will not soon if ever forget.

Adds Gene:

 For real. If you are a music fan there's no way you walk away from that show with that take. It just came across as an odd take. I don't want to call it a hit piece, but...

Comments Jonathan: 

I’m shocked that people were smoking weed at a Red Rocks show! Were they also drinking beer and eating food? OMG!

 Adds Adrell: 

When ATCQ was at Red Rocks last year, no one focused on the weed smoke, and there was just as much weed smoke at ATCQ as there was Tuesday night. This could have been a glorious piece celebrating a group of hip-hop titans that will likely never share the same space again. But the whiny focus on the weed just killed it. To the author, do better.

But then there's this from Andrew: 

Yo, Nas got his bud from where I work at the Herbal Cure. We rolled six blunts for him!

Keep reading for more on the Nas show.

Reader: I'm Shocked People Were Smoking Weed at a Red Rocks Show!EXPAND
Brandon Thrift

"Hip-Hop Show or 420 Festival? Nas and Black Star Draw the Herb at Red Rocks"

Reader: I'm Shocked People Were Smoking Weed at a Red Rocks Show!EXPAND
Brandon Thrift

"Black Star and Nas Made Red Rocks Bounce"

Turns out, there's a reason that Chris Walker focused on marijuana use in his review, and he laid it out early in the piece.

"I bring this up first because weed set the vibe and pretty much defined the experience of a long-anticipated hip-hop mega show that included some of the titans of East Coast conscious rap," he writes. "Before going to the show, I had wondered if we were going to get any provocative political messaging, any challenging calls to action, any inspirations for resistance. Because let’s face it, if you’re paying a modicum of attention, times are heavy right now, and for decades, Nas, Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and Talib Kweli have been nothing if not outspoken about oppression, violence, racism and American imperialism."

Instead, he says, nostalgia ruled. As the concert got under way, "it quickly became apparent that we were reconnecting with this more intoxicated nostalgic experience. Suddenly the pockets and backpacks jammed full of joints made sense."

Did you see the show? What did you think? Post a comment or email your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

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