Happy Westword Music Showcase weekend, friends, Romans, hip-hop heads! This weekend promises to highlight all the reasons why the music scene in Denver houses some of the best talent in the country. With the hip-hop scene, in particular, the styles and profiles of the MCs, DJs and singers have been high on the rise in the past few years. With hard-hitting rhymes and rhythms, the lineup this year is diverse and eclectic enough to give you a great grasp of what's going on. Since we focused on the best local hip-hop in this space ever week, we thought we'd devote this week's edition of That's A Rap strictly to the Showcase performers. Page down to see what you have in store today.
American Trash Republic: A crew of self-proclaimed "scumbags," ATR brings gangster rhymes and live stamina. Expressing themselves as much on the canvas of their skin as with their lyrics, they are a heavily tattooed bunch whose West Coast influence can definitely be heard. Expect a lively show and a wild time.
Anxious: The kind of MC who will roar into his set before the crowd can take its first collective breath, Anxious is a rapping tornado who will no doubt set the tone for the hip-hop stage. He opens the afternoon with fast-paced rhymes and undeniable energy.
Big J. Beats: The producing, MPC-personifying beat is a sweet cat who will rock your face off. He's a beast when he collaborates with sound. You might dance or stand there in awe at whatever soundscape he creates. Word.
BigWheel Electrosoul: Seriously, don't friggin miss BigWheel Electrosoul. And pay attention to the music greatness that's happening in front of you. They'll be playing beats they produced live in perfect sync. You'll like this. Yes, you will.
BLKHRTS: You may need to give the staff at City Hall some time to put the stage back together for Human Agency to close the show because Foe, Yonnas and Karma are going to tear it apart. BLKHRTS forever. You'll see.
Broken Tongues: The crew brings a fresh flair to live hip-hop. An alternative, genre-bending band, Broken Tongues will lead you through a soulful, funky, display. Led by the vocals of Christie "CC" Chambers, Broken Tongues will take you by storm. Naturally.
Cobraconda: Party rap, sex rhymes, "we don't give a fuck" attitude, Spencer, Graham and Mikey are going to turn the whole place into spring break in the damn summer. Get a drink and watch these guys get on down. Thank us later.
D'Girl: "The Bombshell," as she is known, will sling raunchy lyrics, catchy hooks and bring plenty of sex appeal upstairs at City Hall. One of the more talented up-and-coming female performers, D'Girl smashes it every single time, and you're gonna love her.
DeeJay Tense: When traditional turntabalism and progressive DJ style combine with a ridiculous knowledge and love of music, you have DeeJay Tense. His style is incredible, and the DJ whips and tricks are so unique, you'll want this charismatic spinner to rock for much longer than the time he's given. Easy.
DJ Ktone: A DJ that represents for the Turf, Ktone shines when he can simply go off behind the decks. Breaking records from Bay Area artists to the hottest tracks from local rappers, Ktone knows how to handle the crowd and his craft.
DJ Low Key: A DJ of especially talented proportions, Low Key can rock a party, and he knows it. Expect him to facilitate the sounds with newer songs, possibly some classic hip-hop and some hot shit you don't know about but should.
DJ Top Shelf: There really isn't anything Top Shelf can't do. He will make the walls bang and shake with a thumping Dirty South track, or he'll make hands go up with fervor at the drop of an East Coast banger. Diverse, magnetic and true to the craft of deejaying, Top Shelf is "dope."
The Foodchain: What can we say about the enigmas who make up The Foodchain? Easily one of the hottest hip-hop bands in the state, these guys have a live show that shuts down any stage they touch. Be sure to check for show-stopping ChampSoundKillaBlack facilitating the rhyme mayhem.
Filthy T: Employing live instruments to build the sounds around their witty rhymes and verses, the cats from Filthy T get down in a way that does justice to their name. Get dirty.
Gypdahip: Arguably the most diverse DJ on the bill, Gyp is a master of sound. He will make the dancers dance, the wallflowers head-nod, and the crunksters get crunk: He does it all. The first DJ to play during the afternoon, Gyp will get the party started early.
Hypnautic: Hypnautic has been doing his thing for a long time and is ready for any and everything. He executes his missions like a rap mercenary. The MC has a wildly committed following, and people enjoy his West Coast rap style to the fullest.
Input: Input's set is likely to cater to both Backpack enthusiasts and punchline-loving lyricists. Using the classic formula of the MC and the DJ, he does well with rhymes that float all the way through his set. Proper.
J.Carey: Closing out the show is J.Carey, with his pitch-perfect velvet-textured voice. The R&B singer is almost unfairly talented and unbelievably humble. if we were gambling people, our money would be on Carey. All day.
Turner Jackson: Rapping Turner Jackson. His relationship with words is intimate and enthusiastic. He will rhyme words that you'd never consider using together, and he'll do it with such ease you'll wonder why you didn't think of it first.
Koo Qua: A newer face to showcase, Koo Qua is simply hip-hop. She maintains a solid presence on stage and a determined demeanor while she spits her rhymes. A ball of well-rounded energy, Koo Qua is someone with whom you'll definitely want to get familiar.
Julox: His hulking presence and deep voice will draw you in immediately. His dirty South sound, along with his rhymes steeped in drug references, candy paint and 808s will keep you enraptured. Julox is going to shut it down, plain and simple.
Mane Rok: The mighty, mighty Mane Rok. If you're not already in the building for the hip-hop acts, you'll likely feel the bass in Mane's voice before you hit the door. DeeJay Tense is his DJ, and their combination is an absolute knock-out punch.
Bianca Mikahn: Not only a whirlwind of rhymes, stamina and just enough ice to cool you down on the hottest of days, Bianca Mikahn is also sure to be one of the top performers at Showcase this year, of any genre. Her substantive content and delivery will put you in a trance. Don't miss her performance. For real.
Rockie: Rockie's style is rhythmic, and his rhymes are above many of those of his young MC peers. During the show, expect a lot of personality, healthy metaphors, and his Squizzy Gang in large attendance.
Spoke In Wordz: If there is a Colorado rapper who doesn't have anything to prove, it's Spoke. He delivers every single time. Rhymes, energy and precision on stage, the MC knows his material is solid. A veteran of the Music Showcase, Spoke is going to kill it, no question.
SP Double: You'll see how comfortable SP Double is on stage with his easy presence and confident stature as he presents his rap material. SP is the one to get familiar with if you're looking for hard-hitting rhymes and a healthy respect for hip-hop.
Wheelchair Sports Camp: Led by Kalyn Heffernan, the tiny MC with rhymes big enough to knock down a giant, Wheelchair Sports Camp ain't no joke. If you've never seen the crew live, prepare to be blown away. Don't say we didn't tell you so.
Whygee: Ah, yes, the cool, calm, collected and metaphoric Whygee. It's hard to predict what Whygee will do, but we're sure you're gonna want to see it. The MC does well when he can simply forge ahead with his immaculate rhymes and beat-riding verses.
CITY HALL STREET LEVEL 12:00 - 12:30 - Big J Beats (1984) 12:45 - 01:15 - Turner Jackson 01:30 - 02:00 - option4 02:15 - 02:45 - Real Magic 03:00 - 03:30 - Yo Soy Sauce w/ CacheFlowe 03:45 - 04:15 - Mombi 04:30 - 05:00 - Flashlights 05:15 - 05:45 - ManCub 06:00 - 06:30 - Force Publique 06:45 - 07:15 - The Photo Atlas
CITY HALL AMPHITHEATRE 12:00 - 12:30 - Filthy T 12:45 - 01:15 - Broken Tongues 01:30 - 02:00 - American Trash Republic 02:15 - 02:45 - Whygee 03:00 - 03:30 - Bigwheel Electrosoul 03:45 - 04:15 - The Foodchain 04:30 - 05:00 - Wheelchair Sports Camp 05:15 - 05:45 - Cobraconda 06:00 - 06:30 - BLKHRTS 06:45 - 07:15 - Human Agency
CITY HALL UPSTAIRS 12:00 - 12:25 - Anxious 12:25 - 12:35 - Gypdahip 12:35 - 01:00 - Input 01:00 - 01:10 - Gypdahip 01:10 - 01:35 - Koo Qua 01:35 - 01:45 - DJ KTone 01:45 - 02:10 - Julox 02:10 - 02:20 - DJ KTone 02:20 - 02:45 - D'Girl 02:45 - 02:55 - DJ Low Key 02:55 - 03:20 - Mr. Midas 03:20 - 03:30 - DJ Low Key 03:30 - 03:55 - Rockie 03:55 - 04:05 - DeeJay Tense 04:05 - 04:30 - Diamond Boiz 04:30 - 04:40 - DeeJay Tense 04:40 - 05:05 - Mane Rok 05:05 - 05:15 - DJ Top Shelf 05:15 - 05:40 - Spoke In Wordz 05:40 - 05:50 - DJ Top Shelf 05:50 - 06:15 - SP Double 06:15 - 06:40 - Bianca Mikahn 06:40 - 07:05 - Hypnautic 07:05 - 07:30 - J. Carey
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