EarthGang Mobs On Mission Ballroom

EarthGang Mobs On Mission Ballroom

A Great Show Sheds Light On A Greater Issue

They say you have to capture your audience with the very first sentence. That an article is defined by the content of your words. Though I loved Earthgang, I expect the same from any show, which brought me to one simple conclusion; this particular show’s content did not carry. This is not a conviction of the artists or show, just the consistency I see from show to show.  I’m not an expert by any means, but I continue to see a problem with how Hip-Hop is treated, and how it treats itself. This won’t be the only thing I focus on in this piece, I do believe it should be touched on.

The Show

It was another beautiful Saturday night in Denver and Mission Ballroom was ready to match the vibe. I got to the box office at 8:00pm to get my media pass. By the time I was on the floor at 8:15pm, the first artist was done, which was disappointing. I bet you’re like, “ok? Why did you even bring it up?” I’ll get to that. Next up, we had Mike Dimes hit the stage. Dressed in all black, Mike Dimes put on a great show. High in energy and incredibly engaging, Mike Dimes and his Dj were really in sync with how each song was presented. It was clear they have been working together for awhile and knew exactly what the other was doing. At the climax of his set, he took off his jacket and I thought homie was about go off. Quite the opposite actually. He did two more songs and his set was finished. Don’t worry I’ll touch on that as well.

Next up, the dynamic duo known as EarthGang arrived to deafening screams and uproarious applause. Equipped with a full band, which really surprised me, EarthGang put on one hell of a performance. Drenched in swag, Johnny Venus strolled out in an yellowish green fit while Doctur Dot had a much more relaxed outfit, rocking a bucket hat with designer jeans with lil’ devils on them. That was something that really stood out to me, they came out shining without having to flaunt. Of course, both had their bling, but they let their fashion sense do a lot of the talking. Digging deep in their bag, they played classics from all over their discography including “Saturday,” which is top-tier EarthGang in my opinion.

Grass-fed Beef

We have finally arrived to the meat of the article. I know, super corny. Before I go on, this is just an opinion and I say this because I love the community. I think there were a few issues with this show that seems to happen during most hip-hop shows. I’ll break it down for you. I believe Hip-hop is treated very differently than other genres here in Denver, especially at bigger venues. Artists are always fighting with crews about sound levels, such as Snow tha Product and Lauryn Hill. Some of these artists are forced to fit a whole performance in 2.5hrs along with other artists like last night where an EDM artist can go to the same place and get a 2hr set, along with 2-3 other hour long openers. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good EDM set, but if we’re a community that loves music, then we should act like it..

The Second part of my argument, though straight to the point, is just as important. I think the Hip-Hop community needs to focus on how it treats itself. I mean, these are Grammy nominated artists, and the artists they bring on tour are extremely talented themselves. They shouldn’t have to take this disrespect, even if unintentional. Anyone that loves hip-hop knows that you’re going to see a performance, and just like any other performance that takes time. I don’t know what happens behind the scenes, but I hope that these artists are fighting for more than 15 minutes to prove that they deserve to be on that stage. And maybe they are and that’s why you’re seeing Rick Ross at Reelworks, instead of Red Rocks.

When I Say Earth! You Say Gang!

Despite my peeves, this was still an incredible show. Mike Dimes still had a really fun performance and even if I missed the first artist, I’m almost positive they did their thing. EarthGang spoke volumes not only through their lyrics and fashion, but how they catered to the fans, making the show about us. I know that I spoke on something that seems grander about EarthGang, but EarthGang and guests were just as grand. No matter my opinions, I appreciate and loved the opportunity to spend my night at Mission Ballroom and watch these individuals work. it always bring me overwhelming joy to see the culture thrive and last night was no different.

Photos By: Snuffy Whipple

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Nite.Rinse Washes Over Reelworks-Draft

Nite.Rinse Washes Over Reelworks

Welcome to yet another Friday night in Denver on the cusp of summer. There’s a light breeze cooling the evening air and the atmosphere is heavy with good vibes. You know what that means, right? It’s time to put on your freshest fit and head to Reelworks in RINo. With the night hosted by Nite.Rinse, Reelworks became the place to be on Saturday night, May 7th. Filled to the brim with house-y vibes, brought to you by Mat.Joe and friends along with Nite.Rinse, this venue is definitely making it’s mark and these artists are solidifying it.

A Londen Summer(s) arrives in Denver

The festivities kicked off with Londen Summers, who absolutely destroyed her set. Coming ready to play, she stepped the tables in a “Bratz-y” outfit that just added to her whole aesthetic. Let’s not get it twisted though, her style wasn’t what spoke the loudest. Simply put, Londen Summers had some of the cleanest mixes I have ever heard. With seamless transitions and edits including popular songs in unique ways, she showcased her talent in impeccable form. Londen Summers kept the energy high, the vibes vibrant, and showed that it takes real skill to do what she does. If you haven’t heard of her, you will soon enough.

Muus and CutSnake bring the house down

Following the first act, Muus took to the stage with shades on and bottle in hand. I knew it was about to go down. With a “too cool for school” vibe, Muus opened up with a great deep house set, phasing in some tribal beats here and there. Though, my favorite edit he did was when he mixed a tribal percussion loop with the lead loop from “Put your hands up for Detroit” by Fedde Le Grand. So friggin’ good.

Afterwards, it was time for CutSnake to show us what was up and he did not disappoint. Let me start by saying this, my man was nothing but smiles when he hit the stage. Opening up with some tribal beats himself, CutSnake came ready to have a good time. Eventually, CutSnake transitioned to a deep house set with some awesome techno edits sprinkled in, concluding his time with some hard-hitting beats, the last ten minutes of his set was amazing. With CutSnake going heavy all the way through, you could feel the bass all the way to 38th and Blake.

Mat Period Joe

At long last, the main act arrived to give us a show. In true legendary fashion, Mat.Joe arrived on the scene joking around and having a good a time, making sure to show the previous act some much deserved love. Now, I’m not an earplug guy, I just find them uncomfortable, but I definitely wish I had some that night. The bass was astounding, startling people standing next to the speakers on nearly every drop, Mat.Joe made sure they were heard. But what really made Mat.Joe stand out was the call and response between both artists. Working almost in unison, Mat.Joe was able to switch off seamlessly while still being able to engage with the crowd and have fun with the people on stage.

An Honest Conclusion

As always, I’m going to be straight up with you guys. This kind of music is not necessarily my forte or even my favorite. With that being said, I still had an absolute blast watching these people work. See, even if something isn’t for you, that doesn’t mean incredible talent should not be recognized. You might not always understand the music, but you can always understand skill. Each one of these artists displayed what sets them apart. From their styles and vibes, to how they mixed and played their music, Mat.Joe and friends were still capable of blowing my naïve mind.  But isn’t that what we all want when we go to a show? To be able to walk out those venue doors and say “Damn, they killed that set?” If my assumption is correct and you said “yes,” then you missed out on a spectacular show.

Photos By: Snuffy Whipple

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Ludacris and friends take Red Rocks back in time

Ludacris and friends take Red Rocks back in time

Close your eyes and let me paint a picture for you. It’s a beautiful night at Red Rocks and you’re hiking up the stairs to the ticket gate. You finally reach the ticket attendant, collect your stub and proceed into the venue. But as you walk through the gate, something mysterious happens. You’re suddenly teleported to a time when FM radio reigned supreme. When your clothes couldn’t be baggy enough and everything had to match. A time when Fat Joe, Nelly and Ludacris ruled the airwaves and the culture. Now, I need you to open your eyes, take a deep breath, and register that it actually happened. On April 27th, Luda and friends transformed Red Rocks Amphitheater into a time capsule making for an unforgettable experience.

Red Rocks Goes All the Way Up

The night opened up with the crowd ready to “Lean Back” as Fat Joe took to the stage. Hailing from South Bronx, Fat Joe came with an engaging presence, laughing and conversing with the audience. Multiple times throughout his set, Joe would crack a joke that would have me dying in laughter. Humble enough to be an opener, the big man performed all the favorites from “All the Way Up” to classics like “Twinz.” The real beauty of Fat Joe‘s set was when he took time to honor fallen greats such as Big Pun and DMX. You could tell it was important to him that he did that, resulting in it becoming important to us.

Next up, the “Country Grammar” King exploded onto the scene ready to give us a show. Like Fat Joe before him, Nelly came ready to interact with the audience. Hugging fans in the front row and messing with security guards, Nelly made sure everyone was having a good time.  While Nelly played favorites such as “Air Force Ones” and “Grillz,” I couldn’t help but notice his drip. My man was wearing a chain that had to weigh at least 20lbs, shining brighter than the lights on the stage. Honestly, it was ridiculous but both performers came ready to fire up the crowd and set the tone.

The Luda in Ludacris

I’m gonna level with you guys, I have no idea where to start. Ludacris strolled out simply dripping in swagoo, and I was starstruck.  I mean, we as an audience were not prepared for what was in store for us. So Ludacris kicks it off with some hits and features, “Rollout” and “Act A Fool,” I mean the works. Next thing you know he’s performing “Holidae In” and in the middle of the song he cuts the record. Ludacris turns to the audience and says, “Nah, If we’re gon’ do this, we’re gon’ do this right.” 

Out of nowhere, Chingy erupted from backstage and the crowd went nuts. Like a true icon, Luda yielded the stage to Chingy who of course performed the chart-topping hit “Right Thurr.” Throughout the night, Luda brought multiple artists up giving each one their time to shine. It was legendary to see Ludacris take on the rocks and bring so much entertainment. Rapping until the show literally couldn’t go on any longer, the lights cut on with an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction.

A Nostalgic Conclusion

I think it’s fair to say that for myself, and a lot of other people, this was a “Hip-Hop Mecca” moment. It was so amazing to see all these artists that I grew up with at the greatest venue in the world. Just like you, these legends have been a part of my life for what seems like forever. Fat Joe has been in our ears since the 90s, and now he’s part of the internet culture. Nelly is the reason I began my own music library and started scouring the radio for tunes. Ludacris was one of the first rappers that I saw from my generation translate from music to movies. Each one of these Icons has proven that they’re the best at what they do. Throughout the years, they have continued to find success and have become moguls in their own right. Like the big man says, “yesterday’s prices, are not today’s prices,” and yesterday’s kings are still conquering today’s stages.

Photos By: Casey Raser

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Latto Brings Big Energy to The Ogden

Latto Brings Big Energy to The Ogden

Do you know what I love about Denver? There is no amount of cold weather that will stop us from going to a show. With a line out the door well into the second act, this was leading up to be an unforgettable night. On a chilly Wednesday night, Latto along with special guests Saucy Santana and Kali, graced the Ogden Theater with their infectious presence. On tour to promote her new album “777,” Latto packed the house with a sold-out show. High in energy and drenched in heavy-hitting beats, I’m remorseful for anybody who missed out.

Performances

J Young MDK kicked the night off, followed by Kali and Saucy Santana. Kali burst onto the stage playing all the favorites from “MMM MMM” to “Do a Bitch.” Her outfit, consisting of nothing but black leather, screamed of influence from greats like Left Eye and Lil’ Kim. Shortly after, Saucy Santana emerged before the crowd, ready to keep the energy alive. Saucy was nothing but smiles, bringing audiences members on stage to perform. Both artists, engulfed in their performances, never hesitated to stop and take care of the fans, halting the show to help people out of the crowd and hand out water, which the people appreciated.

Main Event

“Latto! Latto! Latto!” is all you could hear as the crowd writhed in anticipation. Finally, after a 45-minute intermission, the Queen arrived ready to put on a show. The stage was set with a casino theme and followed by two amazing dancers, Latto turned the stage into a dance floor. She strolled out in an all “fur” outfit that screamed, “this will be a night to remember.” Playing chart-topping hits such as “Energy” and “Sunshine,” this show became a melting pot for a good time.

Conclusion

In Conclusion, even though this concert was phenomenal from start to finish, this wasn’t just a regular show. As I looked around, I realized this was an environment of inclusion. Different walks of life from different communities, like LGBT and BIPOC, congregated under one roof to enjoy some fantastic music. It was apparent that everyone was there to enjoy themselves, that’s it. With performers that come from said communities themselves, you knew it was ok to be yourself. At the end of the day, it didn’t matter what you looked like or where you came from, we all said “F*ck Rice Street” that night.

Photos By: Snuffy Whipple

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Local Fashion Show Features Rick Ross And Other Artists At Reelworks

Local Fashion Show Features Rick Ross And Other Artists At Reelworks

What happens when you mix Denver’s black and latino fashion, culture, and music with the jewel encrusted flavors of Rick Ross? You get a hell of a time, that’s what. On Sunday Feb. 20th, fashion designers and aficionados alike gathered at Reelworks in Denver’s RiNo district for ‘The Life of Fashion’ fashion show. Which, would later be followed by a performance by the boss himself. Hosted by Maria Loreto and Milk Chris, this event had black and latino designers from across Colorado come to showcase their talent and hard work. Outfits ranged from conservative attires to glow in the dark streetwear. This fashion show was filled with outfits that scorched the runway the minute they hit the catwalk.