February is already off to a good start for hip-hop with a pair of great shows this past weekend, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at Icelantic's Winter on the Rocks and Brother Ali with Prof, Danny Brown and Evidence at Cervantes'. Even excluding those shows, the rest of the month looks to be just as enticing, with series of shows from the likes of Cam'ron, Big Boi, Ras Kass, Latyrx, DJ Vadim and much more. Keep reading for a full rundown of the ten best hip-hop shows this month.
10. G-EAZY @ BLUEBIRD THEATER | TUE, 2/26 Ladies love G-Eazy. They absolutely adore him. Whether it's his lazy-smooth flow or Dapper Dan look, we don't know, but last time he was in Denver with Hoodie Allen on the Excellent Adventure Tour, bras were flying onstage like roses at a ballet. G-Eazy's 2011 mixtape Endless Summer first brought national attention to the rapper and is notable for his sample of Denver band Tennis's "Marathon" for the track "Waspy."
9. CHINGY @ ROXY THEATRE | SAT, 2/9 After his ubiquitous smash hit "Right Thurr" sprung a run of three albums certified at least gold, now six years have passed since his latest album, Hate It or Love It failed to crack the top ten. With 2012 came a new mixtape, Jackpot Back, and promises of a new album, No Risk No Reward for 2013.
8. SNOW THA PRODUCT @ ROXY THEATRE | SAT, 2/16 It may at first seem easy to dismiss Snow Tha Product as another Iggy Azalea or Kreayshawn-level gimmick because of her gender and unconventional appearance, but it gets harder and harder the more you listen to her. Make no mistake, Snow can ride a beat and she can rhyme, and she can rhyme fast, and, frankly, she's more intimidating than a lot of these so-called hard rappers nowadays.
7. SOLE @ MOON ROOM AT SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | THU, 2/28 Most everything about Sole is unsettling: his combative look, his stubbornly opaque lyrics, his frequent refusal to rhyme, his political leanings, which can only be classified as extreme -- and maybe a little too real for comfort. As he demonstrated with his latest album, A Ruthless Critique of Everything Existing and before, Sole isn't afraid to piss on everything as long as he gets his point across. But, judging by the positive response Sole has gotten, maybe the establishment likes a little abuse.
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6. DJ VADIM @ CERVANTES' OTHER SIDE | THU, 2/7 Renowned for his work with the Roots, Dilated Peoples and Slug, DJ Vadim has also worked with Stevie Wonder, Kraftwerk and Sly and the Family Stone -- yeah he's been around that long, but as one of the busiest cats on the planet and having just released Don't Be Scared last October, he doesn't show signs of slowing. Vadim has been all around the world, and it shows; he takes elements from cultures of all types and blends them into beautiful hip-hop beats.
5. LATYRX @ OGDEN THEATRE | SUN, 2/17 Latyrx (Lateef the Truthspeaker and Lyrics Born) hasn't made an album since The Album more than fifteen years ago. So why should anybody care that they're touring? Well, besides creating a rap album a decade and a half old that sounds advanced today, Latyrx recently started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for The Second Album, which unfortunately seems to have failed. But who knows, maybe the guys can scrape up enough cash from touring to give it another go. Here's to hoping.
4. TALIB KWELI @ SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | SUN, 2/24 "They say you can't please everyone," Talib Kweli declares at the outset of his 2007 album, Eardrum, and his career stands as proof of that maxim. Since the days of Black Star, a 1998 disc that teamed him with Mos Def, critics have championed Kweli as a rhymer whose interests extend well beyond stereotypical narratives about women with too much booty for one man to handle...If the masses remain beyond Kweli's reach, his refusal to compromise keeps his cult following well-pleased.
3. RAS KASS @ ORIENTAL THEATER | THU, 2/28 What can you say about Ras Kass? You either love him, hate him or have no idea who he is. His debut Soul on Ice is a certified classic in the West Coast underground, anchored by the eight-minute revisionist epic "Nature of the Threat" and "Sonset," an indictment of New York hip-hop bias during the '90s. Accusations of racism and label disputes grounded Ras's career almost before it began, but when he's on, he is as intelligent and bold a rapper as you'll find, as evidenced by mind-bending tracks like "Interview With a Vampire." (GeedUp, ThaNumberTwo, Nasa, Victory Smoke, Dre Future, Whygee, Anxious Baby and Tre-Substance Abuse are also on this bill.)
2. BIG BOI @ BOULDER THEATER | SAT, 2/9 Legendary for his work with Andre 3000 as OutKast, Big Boi has gone solo, and he's making the most of his independence. Having lived somewhat in the shadow of Dre as the consensus second-best MC in rap's most beloved southern duo, with Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty and to a lesser extent Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, Big Boi is making a run for the number one spot.
1. CAM'RON @ CERVANTES' | THU. 2/21 Cam'ron first came into the rap scene as a part of the Children of the Corn crew with Big L and Ma$e as Killa Cam. Upon their breakup in 1997, he helped found Dipset with Jim Jones and later Juelz Santana. Cam reached his commercial peak in 2002 with Come Home With Me, which included the singles "Oh Boy" and "Hey Ma," but his best album, Purple Haze, came two years later
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