Danny Brown Brings Quaranta ’24 Tour to Denver

Danny Brown on stage at Cervantes on Quranta Tour '24

According to the calendar, spring began last week. In typical Colorado fashion, however, winter’s presence was heavily felt Sunday night as fans arrived to Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom to see Danny Brown. While the temperature dropped outside, things heated up inside with a night of captivating alternative rap performances.

Last fall, Danny Brown came to town to perform with underground hip-hop duo Atmosphere at Red Rocks. This time around, the rapper stopped by for a more intimate performance in support of his album Quaranta. The show featured opening performances from Bruiser Wolf and Hook.

Bruiser Wolf

Bruiser Wolf is a member of the Detroit-based and Danny Brown-led collective and record label Bruiser Brigade. The rapper first garnered attention in 2021 with his debut album Dope Game Stupid. With his distinct voice and style, his association with group leader and frequent collaborator Danny Brown comes as no surprise.

From the moment he stepped on the stage, Bruiser Wolf kept the audience engaged with singalongs and chants. The rapper performed tracks from his debut album as well as his recently released sophomore project, My Story Got Stories.

Bruiser Wolf’s animated flow and comedic lyrics were even more striking in person, especially on high-energy songs like “2 Bad.” The set ended on a more serious note as Bruiser Wolf paid tribute to his deceased parents before performing “Momma Was a Dopefiend.” This heartfelt rendition was the emotional peak of the rapper’s performance and maybe even the entire night.

Hook

To say that Riverside, California rapper Hook has a unique musical style would be an understatement. Known for her off-kilter flows and abstract beats, Hook’s unconventional approach to hip-hop has led her to pave her own lane in the genre. The rapper made a great addition to the show’s lineup and her vibrant performance was one of the highlights of the night.

There was a clear vibe shift as Hook took the stage. To start off, the rapper took a minute to hype up the crowd. She achieved this by playing hip-hop hits such as Future and Metro Boomin’s “Like That” and Travis Scott’s rage anthem “FE!N.” With the mood established, the distorted bass of Hook’s “GAMEBOY” then boomed through the sound system and the performance began.

Moshpits ensued almost immediately, and Hook kept demanding the same energy from the crowd throughout the set. The rapper’s setlist spanned songs from throughout her career before ending on a selection from her new album, CASTLE. She stated that Denver was one of the first cities to see these tracks performed live.

Danny Brown

Danny Brown's Quaranta merchandise

Over the last decade, Danny Brown (real name Daniel Dewan Sewell) has become a household name. Rising to stardom with his project XXX, Brown has built a solid following and crafted a critically acclaimed discography. With a signature high-pitched voice and unmistakable laugh, the rapper’s eccentric raps range from introspective to funny, and even raunchy and explicit at times.

Brown’s collaborative nature and versatility have allowed him to engage in multiple sectors inside and outside of hip-hop. From features with mainstream rappers like ASAP Rocky to underground emcees like billy woods and even indie-pop artists like Purity Ring, Danny Brown’s range knows no bounds. Last year, he released a full-length collaborative project with experimental rapper JPEGMAFIA.

The focus of the current tour, however, is Brown’s sixth studio album Quaranta. A central theme of the 2011 album XXX is the rapper’s age of 30 years. Quaranta follows a similar approach as Brown offers insight into his life as he enters his 40s.

Quaranta ’24

A cloaked Danny Brown takes the stage at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom

The album’s opening sample — which states, “In Italian, 40 is quaranta” — echoed through the venue before a cloaked Danny Brown finally emerged on stage. The rapper then performed the first four songs from the album. At one point he restarted the album’s lead single, “Tantor,” while exclaiming, “There’s too much love in this room, I’m overwhelmed!”

After a few quips about DIA conspiracies, the rapper reminisced about his Denver performances over the last 10 years. Brown then proceeded to perform a selection of songs from his earlier albums.

A captivated crowd watched Danny Brown perform at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom.

The crowd erupted as he transitioned into a sequence of tracks from 2023’s SCARING THE HOES beginning with “Steppa Pig.” The chaotic beats rumbled through the room as Danny’s raps effortlessly flowed over them. After some more throwbacks, the rapper was joined on stage by Bruiser Wolf for a rendition of their collaboration “Y.B.P.”

Before ending the show with his standout single “Grown Up,” Brown took a moment to thank the audience for their continued support throughout the years. He also joked that aside from getting a contact high from the crowd, he was five days from reaching one year of sobriety.

Danny Brown performs at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom

Overall, the show consisted of exciting hip-hop showcases that kept Denver fans captivated the whole night. Bruiser Wolf, Hook, and Danny Brown all managed to deliver focused performances that perfectly capped off the first weekend of spring.

Photos by Grey Scheinman

Wu-Tang Clan and Run the Jewels Brought a Hip-Hop Supergroup Extravaganza to Fiddler’s Green

Wu-Tang Clan takes the stage at Fiddler's Green

On Friday, September 8, a sold-out Fiddler’s Green Amphiteatre hosted a night of performances showcasing iconic hip-hop artists and their legacies. Wu-Tang Clan and Run the Jewels, with support from Deltron 3030, brought a hip-hop supergroup extravaganza that captivated fans from start to finish. This was one of our most anticipated shows of the year since its announcement. It did not disappoint.

Deltron 3030

“The year is 3030,” announced a voice as the show began. Deltron 3030 — consisting of Del the Funky Homosapien, Dan the Automator, and Kid Koala — took the stage. The trio performed tracks from their highly influential concept album, Deltron 3030, and its sequel, Event 2. The group’s golden hour time slot created the perfect atmosphere for their dystopian, futuristic sci-fi themes.

With a setting sun behind them, Del’s raps, Dan’s production, and Kid Koala’s turntable scratches entranced the crowd. The set came to conclusion with an electrifying rendition of Gorillaz mega-hit “Clint Eastwood,” which features two-thirds of the group.

Run The Jewels

Run The Jewels take the stage at Fiddler's Green

After a short break, Run The Jewels (rapper Killer Mike and rapper-producer El-P) made their grand entrance. The stage lit up and revealed props of their famous finger gun and fist logo. Then, the duo (with Trackstar, the DJ, providing the beats) began their set with a kinetic performance of “Legend Has It.” This was the most fast-paced set of the night as the duo performed hard-hitting songs spanning their critically acclaimed discography.

At one point, Run The Jewels announced that 2023 marks their 10-year anniversary and thanked day one fans. In between the raps, there was plenty of banter among the group that kept the tone light and evoked laughter from the audience. The whole performance was a blast and effectively warmed the crowd up for the main act.

Wu-Tang Clan

RZA throwing up the Wu-Tang Clan sign

2023 is a landmark year for hip-hop as it marks the 50th anniversary of the genre. This summer especially has given us an opportunity to commemorate the history of hip-hop and its key players. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with one of the most monumental groups in rap, Wu-Tang Clan.

Wu-Tang Clan was formed in 1992 in Staten Island, New York. The collective consisted of RZAGZAMethod ManRaekwonGhostface KillahInspectah DeckU-GodMasta Killa, and, until his death in 2004, Ol’ Dirty Bastard (later members and affiliates include Capadonna and Young Dirty Bastard). The group came to prominence with their debut group album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), and their subsequent solo albums. Since then, they have become a cultural juggernaut that has produced numerous albums, comic books, TV shows, and much more.

By the time Wu-Tang Clan’s band (along with DJ Mathematics) hit the stage, every seat in the amphiteatre was full. After a short introduction by the RZA, the band played “Bring Da Ruckus” and “Da Mystery of Chessboxin’” and the rest of the group joined the stage with their respective verses. Every active member was present except for Method Man, who was unable to make it due to a flight delay.

The setlist mainly consisted of tracks from their debut album, with the rappers taking turns delivering their verses. They also performed songs from their solo albums such as Raekwon’s “Ice Cream” and GZA’s “4th Chamber.” The group paid tribute to the late ODB with “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” and “Got Your Money,” prominently featuring YDB. The live band added another dimension to RZA’s gritty beats. Every member had their moment to shine before their set ended with the ultimate posse cut, “Triumph.”

A Hip-Hop Supergroup Extravaganza

Wu-Tang Clan, Run the Jewels, and Deltron 3030 all put on a spectacle for fans of every hip-hop era. The generation-spanning careers of the groups led to exemplary performances that displayed the lasting legacy of the genre.

Photos by Joe Pekara