Ten best hip-hop shows in Denver this month
4. TALIB KWELI @ SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | SUN, 2/24
"They say you can't please everyone," Talib Kweli declares at the outset of his 2007 album, Eardrum, and his career stands as proof of that maxim. Since the days of Black Star, a 1998 disc that teamed him with Mos Def, critics have championed Kweli as a rhymer whose interests extend well beyond stereotypical narratives about women with too much booty for one man to handle...If the masses remain beyond Kweli's reach, his refusal to compromise keeps his cult following well-pleased.
3. RAS KASS @ ORIENTAL THEATER | THU, 2/28
What can you say about Ras Kass? You either love him, hate him or have no idea who he is. His debut Soul on Ice is a certified classic in the West Coast underground, anchored by the eight-minute revisionist epic "Nature of the Threat" and "Sonset," an indictment of New York hip-hop bias during the '90s. Accusations of racism and label disputes grounded Ras's career almost before it began, but when he's on, he is as intelligent and bold a rapper as you'll find, as evidenced by mind-bending tracks like "Interview With a Vampire." (GeedUp, ThaNumberTwo, Nasa, Victory Smoke, Dre Future, Whygee, Anxious Baby and Tre-Substance Abuse are also on this bill.)
2. BIG BOI @ BOULDER THEATER | SAT, 2/9
Legendary for his work with Andre 3000 as OutKast, Big Boi has gone solo, and he's making the most of his independence. Having lived somewhat in the shadow of Dre as the consensus second-best MC in rap's most beloved southern duo, with Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty and to a lesser extent Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, Big Boi is making a run for the number one spot.