F.O.E. and Jewell Tyme with The Pirate Signal, Makk Beez, A-Co, Julox, and others Saturday, April 26 The Snake Pit
Better Than: Watching the Nuggets get beat down.
After just a handful of releases in 2007, Denver hip-hop label Jewell Tyme Music (JTM) is looking at a big 2008 and kicked it off this weekend with the release party of F.O.E.’s mixtape comp, King of the Mountain, at the Snake Pit.
The night was hosted by Jewell Tyme CEO 800 the Jewell and kicked off with short sets from Makk Beez and ACO (abbreviation for Aurora, Colorado), who both delivered decent sets performing songs from upcoming JTM releases. The backing music, however, sounded muffled throughout their sets thanks to a shoddy PA, which made it difficult to decipher what was being said.
After a single-song performance by DJ, which sounded better equipment-wise than the previous performances, the Pirate Signal took the stage. The set consisted of totally new material from the group's upcoming mixtape, The PS Pt. II: Of Gods and Gangsters Vol. 1, including the pounding “Grinding” and “No One Seems to Care.” In the middle of the group's set, the music and mikes shut down, prompting Yonnas to finish a song without a mike, rapping at the top of his lungs. Once the sound was back up and running, the crew finished their set with a rousing performance of an untitled track from their mixtape.
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F.O.E. took the stage around 12:15am and kicked off his set with charismatic performances of “F.O.E.,” “Why I Do” and “The Box,” which are slowly becoming Denver hood classics. His stage presence pretty much showcases why he has a loyal fan following, it’s hard not to be hooked on his passion for the music. Joined by B Blacc and Derby, F.O.E. also went through a few songs from King of the Mountain as well as the song “Tic Toc,” a bonafied hit featuring Karma and Meezly from the upcoming Jewell Tyme comp, Music, Money, and Roundtables. Once the bulk of F.O.E.’s set was completed, he opened up the stage to feature other Jewell Tyme artists and affiliates, and the night turned into a Denver hip-hop showcase featuring T.E, S.O. and J Money, among others. Two artists that stood out were singer Allison Wright, who has a Mary J. Blige type of vibe, and veteran Aurora MC Julox, who continues to create innovative hip-hop with a distinctive voice. It feels like he’s ripe to catch national interest like Houston’s Slim Thug or Miami’s Rick Ross. He’s just a song or two away.
If the evening had any downside, it was the sound system. With the exception of The Pirate Signal, most of the artists performed over tracks with vocals for fear that the mike setup would not be up to par. Most of them made up for it by giving energetic performances and it was a decent night for hip-hop.
-- Quibian Salazar-Moreno
Critic's Notebook Personal Bias: The Pirate Signal is probably my favorite Denver hip-hop group right now. Random Detail: Joe Thunder helped put the show together, and local emcees Rie Rie and Mike Wird were among the crowd. By the Way: If you see F.O.E., Thunder, or DJ A-What (of The Pirate Signal) walking around, they’re giving away free mixtapes.