It was a great summer for independent hip-hop in Denver and beyond, with more venues opening their doors to the genre and creativity in the rap world reaching new highs. Riding those highs, Kaipran Promotions will present a show celebrating independent performers called "Legends in the Making" on December 5 at the Larimer Lounge, featuring local artists Travellers Music, U.T.I.C.A. and Welcome to the D.O.P.E. Game. F.L. will headline.
Westword sat down with Welcome to the D.O.P.E. (Don’t Oppress Positive Energy) Game members Rob4Real, Jeremy Pape, Infamous Jones, MC BigHouse and Turner Jackson to discuss the year in review and to get a vision of the projects they have on the docket.
Westword: Tell us about this year and what you've put out there musically.
Rob4Real: I think this year, for all of us, was about creating shit. I dropped an album in February. Turner Jackson released a music video for his "Red Plastic Cup" single [which can be viewed here]. Everyone has been transitioning to their new sounds and new things.
Infamous Jones: Several projects from all of us.
MC BigHouse: Sid [Sid Madrid] dropped an album in April.
Will Legends in the Making be an event that recaps the year, or a showcase of what you guys have coming up?
Jones: A little bit of both.
BigHouse: It's going to be exactly a mix of both. As a group, each person will be bringing to the table their element, where their growth has been the last year, plus some inspiration going into the next year.
Tell us about some of the adversity that has hit this core group of people, especially with Derek Reinhardt passing away earlier this summer. How will you guys utilize that moving forward?
BigHouse: That was....I think some of us are still...still coming back from that. I don't think we'll ever get past that.
Jones: It's never easy losing a brother. A lot of stuff that he did, some of us are still pushing that...pushing his vision, especially Pape and Rob. Definitely trying to keep pushing for him and stay positive.
Jeremy Pape: For sure, staying positive. Definitely a mindset change.
Going into the next calendar year, can you break us off a little preview of the projects you hope to be completing?
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Rob: I'm hoping to be dropping a free EP, in February. Emo-love music, always nice for February.
Pape: TJ (Turner Jackson) are shooting a video on December 10th. Bob (Rob4Real) and I are going to be shooting a nude forest scene. Jason Coates and I have been working to pick up Derek [Reinhardt's] slack.
Jones: D.O.P.E. Game's still relevant. We're still working hard. We haven't gone nowhere. It may be different but we're still a family and not oppressing positive energy.
More information about the arts and music collective Welcome to the D.O.P.E. Game is available here.