Playboi Carti Heats Up Red Rocks Amphitheatre This Weekend

Playboi Carti describes himself as a “modern-day rock star.” This Friday, November 19th, Red Rocks Amphitheater is going to see exactly that at the “PLAYBOI CARTI: KING VAMP” tour.

The twenty-five-year-old American rapper, whose real name is Jordan Terrell Carter, hails from Atlanta, Georgia. He exploded into the rap and hip-hop scene in recent years. The self-proclaimed “punk anarchist” brings a unique and modern-day twist on what typically is considered hip-hop in the industry. Playboi Carti is largely recognized for his gothic looks and contradictory personality. Certainly, his music remains, unlike anything you’ve ever heard. He is constantly pushing the limits and breaking the boundaries of genre. The young rapper dabbles in hip-hop, rap, punk, and rock genres, with his recent chart-topping hit this year “Miss The Rage” (featuring Trippie Redd) boasting over 16 million views on YouTube. The track is sure to light up Red Rocks Amphitheater this weekend.

True Playboi Carti knows his original mixtape from 2017, which catapulted the young rapper into fame. The debut mixtape premiered early in the year 2017 and featured the Billboard charting single “Magnolia” and “Woke Up Like This” (featuring Lil Uzi Vert). His debut studio album “Die Lit” was released in 2018. It was ranked high on the Billboard Charts as well, coming in at Number 3. 

The city of Morrison is in for a treat this weekend, as rap and hip-hop shows at Red Rocks are incomparable to any other venue. Playboi Carti will be joined by twenty-five-year-old fireball Rico Nasty and another Atlanta budding rap star Ken Car$on. Despite the cold temperatures, we’re definitely looking forward to getting LIT this Friday. Click here to buy tickets if you haven’t already.

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Migos Brings “Halloween Tings” To CU Boulder

Migos, largely recognized as some of the top figures and performers in the global hip-hop scene today, are bringing their “Halloween Ting” event to the beautiful city of Boulder, Colorado at the end of this month. Composed of individual artists Takeoff, Quavo, and Offset, the three Migos are constantly topping the Hip-Hop charts, and are individually as successful as they are together. Migos hardly ever comes to Colorado, so it is a real treat to have them out for this one. Migos are truly some of the top artists in hip-hop today. It is going to be one lit Halloween up at the University of Colorado Boulder this year!

Supporting Artists Coming In Hot

The supporting lineup featured is equally as hot. Jacquees, Blxst, Omb Peezy, and June Poole perform before Migos hits the stage – we expect them to heat up the venue all night in preparation for the three headliners. Jacquees hit singles “B.E.D” and “Trip” are some top highlights – and we can’t wait to see these songs performed live. Featuring beats by the legendary DJ Cook, the night is going to be a can’t-miss event for any rap and hip-hop lovers in the state.

Ticket and Event Information

The event takes place at the CU Events Center Arena on Saturday, October 30. Tickets start at only $39. 
Tickets can be found online at www.cubuffs.com. Grab them while they still last – and get ready to turn up this Halloween!

DJ Craftmatic: A Jack of All Trades

In 2008, Jordan Craft started expanding his musical status as a DJ, beginning in the bar scene and growing into the larger Colorado music scene. While he still performs at bars every now and then, DJ Craftmatic has performed in a variety of settings including weddings, fashion shows, and art showcases.

Who is Craftmatic?

DJ Craftmatic began his musical journey as a rapper when he was young. “I was in a group with my eldest brother and cousins,” he said. The group even went on tour with Bone Thugs n’ Harmony Jordan tells us. “Things never panned out so I transitioned to being a DJ in 2010,” said Craft. While this is an amazing beginning, Craftmatic kept growing. During his growth, Craft has used his own life as inspiration.

“My family, my surroundings, my experiences, my blackness–It’s all an inspiration to me.” DJ Craftmatic draws upon and looks up to many artists in the industry from all genres. For example: Prince, Roy Ayers, Flume, D’Angelo, and Todd Terry just to name a few. “I want to take bits of pieces of every musician and artist that I love and incorporate them into my sound and create a new sound–they all influence me,” he said, “It shouldn’t be about a banger all the time. If that’s what you’re hunting for, then you’re going to be miserable.” Jordan believes it is not always about bass and drops, the love of the music keeps him going. “Some will like it and some won’t but as long as you’re happy with it, then that’s all that matters,” he tells us.

When creating his own work, DJ Craftmatic looks for crisp and unique sounds with intoxicating rhythms. Some of his favorite producers like Timbaland, EPROM, Chris Lake, Dillon Nathaniel, Mr.CARMACK, or The Kount use what DJ Craftmatic refers to as “texture.” He said, “[It] could be something as little as including the old vinyl record sound lowly in the background to inverting, filtering and layering a kick drum to give you a certain depth on that sound. It’s a science.” While Craft believes he is just beginning on his “sonic journey,” he has already developed a unique and amazing sound.

Depending on his flow, Craft can pump some of his music out in a few hours, while other tracks can take days or weeks. “I really try not to force myself to finish anything because it messes up my creative process,” Jordan says. DJ Craftmatic likes to begin with foundations and loops then build upon the track, changing and adding sounds such as samples, drums, and sound textures. Craftmatic believes that a good song makes you feel.

“Melodies, groove, and swing bring that,” he said, “I am a sucker for live instrumentation and incorporating analog sounds to give the track warmth.” Personally, I knew this guy was a winner when he named two of his favorite artists as FKJ and Tom Misch–my top two as well. The top albums being French Kiwi Juice and Geography, respectively. Craft said, “Emotion intertwined and infused into the very fabric of the music–I love that kind of music.”

Events on Events

Craftmatic has performed at a variety of events so we asked him about how each of those differ. After performing in Colorado venues such as The Church, The Pikes Peak Center, Ophelia’s, and Marquis Theater, Craftmatic is ready for anything.

“I perform the same no matter the size. There could be one person there or 10,000. You treat it exactly the same, as long as one person enjoyed my music and set I’ve made an impact.” Craft has even hosted his own events, including a sneaker event, Beats, Eats, and Sneaks.

“Doing the sneaker event was actually more in my element to be honest. Events are events and hosting can be tailored to any event, but I think because it was my event, it added that extra spark. You believe in it a little more.” Overall, Craftmatic believes 2020 was a slow year, he was happy with his growth though. Jordan was excited to mention the Silent Disco events and “Doses and Mimosas” brunches with COATI Uprise. While many of these were before quarantine or limited due to restrictions, Craftmatic is excited for life to return to some sense of normalcy and get back to planning and performing at events.

Looking Forward

Craftmatic has plans for 2021 to be all about the music. He plans to drop three EPs of hip-hop, house, and EDM trap genres. “I want to show the versatility of my sound and show the rest of the world what I have to offer musically. Especially in the house scene. As black artists have become marginalized in a genre created by black DJs.”

Coming soon in 2021 is Craftmatic’s first house single, I Feel Like I’m on Dope. Be on the lookout for that dropping soon, you will not want to miss it! In the meantime check out more about DJ Craftmatic below.

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Peering into the Crystal Ball – Our interview with Mystic I

Max Arellano (A.K.A. Mystic I) is a hip-hop artist out of Denver, CO. Not only is he a fantastic rapper, but Mystic I also provides high-quality videography for himself and other artists around Denver. We had the opportunity to talk with him about his growing career as a musical artist and a videographer.

How did you get started in the music scene and in the photo/video scene?

Mystic I tells us, “I remember always singing along to songs on the radio and beatboxing random rhythms as a kid. In high school my homie started recording music and I thought that was super cool. So, with his help I started making my own music with my iPod. The music was not good at all, but I fell in love with making something out of nothing. I got good enough to headline some shows early in my career and people encouraged me to make more music.” Shortly after beginning his musical career, Arellano realized that he would need photo and video work done to compliment his sound. “I was actually taking my own photos and filming my own videos when I first started. I didn’t have enough money to afford a photography/videography and I don’t remember even considering hiring on in the first place. I knew what I wanted and I wanted to be the one to make my content.” Mystic I has been a self-made, hands-on artist since the beginning. We asked, “Do you prefer performance or production?” Arellano’s response was that he likes both. “I like performing because that’s how I started, but I also like production because I like all the technical aspects of the behind-the-scenes process,” he said.

Let’s Dig into Some Details

“What makes a good song to you?” We asked. Mystic’s process is that he comes into sessions already knowing what he wants. “It’s hard to change my mind when it comes to that. I know I made a good song right after I record the hook,” he said. While he does not produce his own beats, Mystic I works with many producers such as Samuri, J. Dot, and Lunar Horizon to create a unique sound in each track. While beats are important to stand out, Mystic I believes his vocals set him apart from other artists in the scene. “I do some weird things on the mic, but it adds different elements to the song that makes it unique,” he said.

We decided to dig even deeper. “They can’t all be bangers–how do you keep going?” Arellano started out by saying that we was unsure. “I have a lot of songs I started and never finished because I don’t like them. I create my own inspirations out of feelings I have and I want to capture that feeling in the music. I keep going because art is therapy to me. I really don’t care if people listen or not, I do it for me.” This really stood out because one can tell that Mystic I is in it for the passion of creating music, not for the fame. Mystic I has said it can take him 30 minutes to a couple of months to finish a track. Typically, he said, if everything is on track it can be completed in a few hours. Last, we asked him what his favorite track is. He said, “Probably this song I did a couple years ago with Samuri called OFF-WHITE. Samuri made the beat in like a second and I got it sent back to him in like 20 mins. It did super well and was one of those songs that I knew was going to be a banger when I first heard the beat. I like when the process is fluid like that.”

Tell us more about your videography

“My homie/colleague David DiGioia really got me in the Denver scene and taught me a lot about photography. Big ups to him for that because it’s one of my favorite things to do now.” Arellano said. If anyone has seen some of his work, he or she can tell that, like music, Mystic I finds a lot of passion in his photo and video work. Currently, he is finding a lot of satisfaction in film cameras. He recently purchased a quadroscopic 3D camera: The Nishika N8000, “for those retro 3D looks,” he said. “Also, I use my drone more than I should. I just love the way my drone footage looks after post.” With drone footage becoming more and more useful and accessible, look for more amazing shots from Mystic I. He is inspired by video director and editor Lonewolf (Zac Matias) who has worked on projects with Plu20 Nash, Warhol, and Yung Pinch to name a few.

What is very unique about Mystic’s music videos is that he shoots, edits, and directs them himself. As previously mentioned, Mystic I prefers to cut out the middleman and work on his own projects. “I do everything. I even make the animations for promoting my songs. I have some help from the homies, but I am mostly a one-man team when it comes to creating visuals for my music.” he said. He uses custom LUTs, which are custom-made presets for videos, that give him the edgy, cinematic looks in all of his videos.

Looking to the Future

Finally, we asked what Mystic I has planed for 2021. He is working on many different projects. “I’m working on three different tapes with different producers at the moment. I’m also starting to plan my own album for later this year,” he said. Mystic is working with many different artists to create video content both for himself and their own videos. It was amazing to sit down with Max and learn all about his past and present. He is amazing behind the mic and behind the camera. Click the links below to follow along with Mystic I and stay up to date on all of his projects.

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Lupe Fiasco Brings a Night of Hip-Hop to Denver

Lupe Fiasco brought his legendary music to the Summit Music Hall on February 8th, marking almost fifteen years since his debut album was released. Hailing from Chicago, he began rapping in the eighth grade. The artist drew inspiration from artists like Nas and Ice Cube when he first began creating music. Lupe Fiasco has an impressive discography, from 2006 album Food and Liquor to The Cool in 2007 and Tetsuo & Youth in 2015. Most recently, he released a set of singles in 2019. Soon, Lupe Fiasco will complete the last of his final three albums following the releases of DrogasLight in 2017 and DrogasWave in 2018. Last summer, the artist made a documentary-series about his travels in China available on his website. His show on Saturday night in Denver preludes the 2020 Food & Liquor North American tour. The tour will kick off in March and feature dates across the country.

The Openers

Saturday’s concert began with OTIS & HYP3. They kept their stage lit with red light, performing the songs “Act Like You Know” and “Diamond Dimes”. The duo was wildly energetic with complementing personalities. They successfully warmed the crowd up for a night of rap music. The two certainly possessed a talent that confirmed that the two young rappers are artists to watch.

Next, Old Man Saxon took the stage and the venue was continuing to fill up with fans from Denver. He has music featured on an HBO show, a Netflix film, and more. With a lively and humorous charisma, Old Man Saxon built up a rapport with the crowd. He performed his hit song “The Perils”, which has over four million listens on Spotify. After performing his final song, Old Man Saxon dipped off the stage and then reappeared in the crowd, mingling with concertgoers on his way out.

Lupe Fiasco Takes the Stage

At this point, the Summit was undoubtedly standing-room-only with the number of fans who had gathered to see tonight’s performers. After an energetic introduction from the two opening sets, Lupe Fiasco finally took the stage at the Summit for an amazing night of hip-hop. Lasers flashed green and red off the stage as Lupe Fiasco launched into his first song of the night, “Around My Way”.

Later, a song off of Food & Liquor II was followed by a performance of “The Coolest” from the rapper’s 2007 album. This promised the crowd music from across Lupe Fiasco‘s entire discography. He continued with another song from The Cool, effectively delivering a hype rap song with an almost-nostalgic vibe. This nostalgia, felt by fans of Lupe Fiasco ’s oldest albums, was further cemented to the end as the rapper launched into his classic hit “Kick, Push.” The crowd was proven to be composed of dedicated fans; almost every person in the crowd was shouting along to such a memorable song.

The Show Goes On

The crowd couldn’t get enough of Lupe Fiasco‘s smooth vocals and talented delivery as the night continued. Music was matched seamlessly with visuals throughout the show. Smoke from an on-stage smoke machine complemented a colorful light show illuminating the venue as the night fell upon Denver. The rapper added more songs to his setlist of the night, continuing to focus on the 2007 album The Cool with “Hip-Hop Saved My Life.” He continued to perform songs from across his discography, hyping up the crowd with Food & Liquor’s “Never Lies.” Lupe Fiasco exemplified his talent by flowing seamlessly between the subtle variations in style between each of his albums.

A Legacy to Continue

The rapper ended the night with a heartfelt goodbye to the crowd. Saturday night was in itself a tribute for Lupe Fiasco‘s legacy as an artist. Music venues in Denver have hosted the rapper many times over the years. Saturday night’s turnout for the famed rapper shows that Lupe Fiasco will surely be nothing but success during this year’s tour.

Photos by Patrik Essy

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Your Next Favorite Band: Tnertle Funks Up Cervantes Ballroom

About the Band

Tnertle is an eight piece Electro-Funk and Hip-Hop group based out of Denver. The band was formed by childhood friends Trent and Kyle who both attended Berklee College of Music. Shortly after graduation, the band was officially debuted. Since the formation in 2012, Tnertle has evolved into a bigger beast with a full horn line, rapper, and more. They are building momentum nationally and their hometown shows are a rowdy spectacle that simply can’t be missed. The show at Cervantes last Friday was no exception. The night was strong from start to finish with refreshing opening sets from Telemetry and Melody Lines.

The Show

Tnertle’s set was a serendipitous Funk-athon with captivating dynamics and theatrics. Their rock-solid rhythm section lead by Trent Campbell delivered a powerful foundation. Meanwhile, the upper registers were occupied by irresistibly catchy horn melodies. 

Often, instrumental bands lack the delivery that lyrical content provides, but Tnertle never seemed to lose the audience’s attention. Consequently, their funky melodies are uniquely memorable. For instance, as soon as my attention showed any sign of fading, Ray Salzar would pop on stage and throw down high energy bars and jolt me back into the groove. The band’s groove was always in the pocket and the crowd was getting down as a whole. Everyone’s eyes were focused on the band who dominated the stage with a squadron of charismatic heavy-hitters. In addition, their costumes embodied the vibe. Trent was wearing a headband and goggles in true ninja turtle fashion. And the rest were dressed in flashy and distinguishably unique apparel. 

Organizing and writing as a normal band is not an easy task. However, Tnertle adds in electric cello, a full horn line and electronic tracks on top of that. Despite being a massive band with so many moving parts, they are able to maintain a clean, cohesive sound. Clearly, all of the members have incredible listening skills and a dedication to the overall sound. In addition, the band refrains from prolonged jams helping them steer clear of the jam band enigma that turns away many mainstream listeners. For Tnertle, it’s all about the groove. They produce seamless, funky, Hip-Hop beats that make for a crunk-d up and electrifying dance party.

Conclusion

Overall, Tnertle has found their niche in a thriving music scene. Furthermore, the mixture of EDM, Funk, and Hip-Hop proved to be the perfect recipe to keep Cervantes’ busy late into the night. Regardless, if you are looking to just dance or enjoy virtuosic musicianship, a Tnertle show offers it all. Undoubtedly, Tnertle will remain relevant for years to come.

Article by Justin Long | Photos by Patrik Essy

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CrasH Tour Brings Numb Numb Juice to Denver

The CrasH Tour

The Legend of TDE continues to grow with the tantalizing performances of ScHoolboy Q’s Crash Talk Tour Wednesday night. What is already known about the legendary label is an understatement compared to the new heights they continue to reach.

Initiating the night was the stunning performance by the artist known as T.F. Upon stepping foot onto the stage, T.F. immediately got the crowd rocking, with sound delivery and amazing stage presence. Furthermore, after T.F. rocked the stage, we were granted another jaw-dropping performance by Kembe X. Performing songs off his sophomore album, (I Was Depressed Until I made This), Kembe X subdued the audience with bars after bars of rhythmic flow patterns. Lastly, before the god M.C. ScHoolboy Q graced the stage, we were met with one of the most underrated artists out right now, TDE’s newest member, Reason. Starting off his performance with songs off his debut album, (There You Have It), and Grammy-nominated The Black Panther Soundtrack, Reason stole the show with his energetic, poetic rhymes, further preparing us for the headlining act.   

A Far Cry From Hoover

Born Quincy Matthew Hanley, ScHoolboy Q is an American rapper and songwriter based in South Central Los Angeles, California. Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, on 51st Street, neighboring Figueroa and Hoover Street. ScHoolboy Q attended John Muir Middle School, and Crenshaw High School where he played football. After graduating Crenshaw High School, Hanley went on to attend Glendale Community College, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Southwest College and West Los Angeles College, the latter of which is where he played football for the West Los Angeles Oilers.

In 2006, ScHoolboy began to work with Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), His first time at TDE’s studio, ScHoolboy Q worked with his soon to be Black Hippy cohorts Jay Rock and Ab-Soul. In 2008, Hanley released his first mixtape titled Schoolboy Turned Hustla, After the release of Schoolboy Turned Hustla, he signed a deal with Top Dawg Entertainment in 2009, where he later formed Black Hippy. On January 11, 2011, TDE released Setbacks, his first independent album, exclusively through iTunes, to critical acclaim. ScHoolboy would then go to release Habits & Contradictions in 2012 Oxymoron in 2014, and Blank Face Lp in 2016. All Preparing us for this album and this moment, the Crash Talk Tour.

Last Stop of the Crash Tour

To describe ScHoolboy Q’s onstage performance is not only unexplainable,  I’m not sure if there are enough words in the dictionary to properly give this man the credit he is due. He came onto the stage with his song “Water Ft. Lil Baby” playing in the background. ScHoolboy Q seemed to take a second to admire his onlookers before he started to perform another one of his hit songs “Floating Ft. 21 Savage“, all while doing some incredible dance moves. Bouncing from one end of the stage to another, ScHoolboy appeared to never skip a beat, while his Dj (Mackwop) was standing on his Dj booth jamming to the next song. You could definitely tell these two were in sync. Ending his performance with some of his classics like “Blessed” and “That Part” ScHoolboy Q showcased last night in Denver why is he a living legend.

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Tobe From the SWAT Is Killing the Ivory Tour

Tobe Nwigwe, aka Tobe From The SWAT, put the whole Rap game on notice with Wednesday night’s performance at Denver’s Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom. Starting the night off right with an opening performance from his backup singers (Lhitney, and David Michael Wyatt), he certainly showed us why he is heading to the top of the Rap game. After his opening act, he then graced the stage with an electrifying choreographed dance routine with his team (The Black Angels Collective). Combining the perfectly placed lights along side with his thrilling dancers made this show an experience rather than a display of talent.

Opening Acts (Lhitney, and David Michael Wyatt) Photos By Idalis Richardson

Tobe: Life in the SWAT

Born Tobe Nwigwe, Tobe is short for Tobechukwu, which means “praise God” in Igbo, the language spoken by one of Nigeria’s largest ethnic groups. Growing up in SWAT (a common local acronym for “South West Alief Texas”), he is an enigma. That is so say, the lyrics and tone of his music tell the story of a difficult upbringing in Alief, TX. Like other rappers who grew up in the proverbial hood, Tobe’s autobiographical tracks also conjure images of gang violence, drug deals, pimps and prostitution. Wednesday night’s performance was just the latest example of black excellence he continues to showcase, while spreading his message “to make purpose popular.”

Baby Ivory

Finally, the close of the show had to be the best part of the night. Tobe started by reflecting on how much his life has changed since his 2017 debut album, “Tobe From The SWAT”; marrying his best friend, “Fat,” and becoming a first-time father. Meanwhile, as he continued to reflect on his past, “Fat” came onto the stage; in her arms was the beautiful baby girl, Ivory, after whom tour is named. Smiling from ear to ear, baby Ivory nodded her head as her father gave us a final emotionally-driven track, “Ivory”. All in all, Tobe Nwigwe is on his way to becoming Hip-Hop royalty with his performances and stage presence. Keep killing it, Tobe. We are all in awe. 

Photos by Idalis Richardson

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Wale Brings Everything Is Fine Tour to Boulder

Recently releasing his billboard number one album, Wow… That’s Crazy, Wale came to Boulder, Colorado for one night. This one night event took place at the Fox Theater in Boulder. From new songs, such as “BGM”, to classics such as “90210”, Wale was sure to play it all. Being no stranger to a Colorado stage, Wale also supported the Denver Nuggets during his performance by wearing one of their t-shirts.

Wale has been almost everywhere. From MTV, to being a special guest on multiple television shows, he came to fame around 2006 through various ways. Years later, The Gifted released. The album was nominated for BET Hip Hop Award for Best Album of the Year, as well as World Music Award for Best Album of the year. Making for great features on multiple of his albums, he has a sound like no other artist.

Wale
Wale

Photos By Patrik Essy

More on the topic of the theater, the Fox Theater in Boulder makes for a great show. Being a smaller venue, it makes for a more intimate concert. With the crowd being only inches from the artist, Wale kept the crowd engaged the entire time. The audio in this venue was great as well as the production.

This tour will continue around the U.S until the end of October. Young Chris, ADE and Deante’ Hitchcock were a few of the special guests that are support on this tour. For a Monday night in a University town, Wale sure does know how to bring the vibes, and also a great crowd. More music and social media pages can be found below.

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