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Nightclub Promoter (Francois Baptiste, 3Deep Productions)

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Sean Hartgrove

Together with his partners Kevin Kain and Alvin Lacabe as 3Deep Productions, Francois Baptiste is one of Denver's top hip-hop promoters. He's promoted countless club nights in town over the years, and a few years back during All Star Weekend in Denver, he hosted some of the biggest names in hip-hop and basketball. Attending college at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Francois says, "I majored in chicks and parties."

At a frat party back when he was a student, he overheard someone say they needed a DJ, to which he replied, "We DJ!" Only problem was he wasn't. At the time, François and his buddy Damon Haggans, who was from the L.A. nightlife, had four total records between them, plus a subpar mixer and some turntables. Even so, it was good enough to turn that into a mobile DJ service on campus.

Raised in a small town, Denver was alluring to Baptiste. "I was in awe of the big city," he recalls, "and I came at a perfect time when hip-hop was still a burgeoning scene." Soon his college parties had turned into packed warehouse parties. Baptiste remembers when his life's ambition became clear. He was concert. "Literally you have a dream," he notes. "I was at McNichols at a concert and said 'I don't want to be here [in the crowd] no more. I want to be back there" -- there, as in backstage.

He was able to parlay the following he had established in Boulder to working on shows at the Fox Theatre. William Gully, who was working security at the Fox, introduced him to Don Strasburg at AEG, who enlisted his help throwing hip-hop shows. Baptiste's first show in 1993 was Common, the Beatnuts, Artifacts and Organized Confusion, which sold out, and he maintained a relationship with Strasburg.

Baptiste's daily workload consists of working with local hip-hop act, Foodchain, organizing weekly club nights, in addition to "making new relationships," as he puts in, and "checking up on old relationships. Making sure AEG urban events are promoted correctly."

"I love what I do and do what I love," he concludes. "Hip-hop is at its peak in Denver, and in the next five years, you will see some good stuff come out of Denver. Don't sleep on us." -- Antonio Valenzuela

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12 comments
Joni Watkins
Joni Watkins

I spy Ghost Pixel Visuals - Tom GhostPixel Ludlow

darrylgarcia303
darrylgarcia303

Chonz is a poor excuse for a dj. He has no skill whatsoever. Yeah he can scratch a little but as far as blending a beat smoothly....go back to the drawing boards buddy...track selection is garbage timing is garbage...He must of gave someone a really really good blumpkin to get his spot on the radio...by the way what exactly is a chonz?

lltt2177
lltt2177

This is great about denver scene, but being someone who has visited Denver a few times, and been to some of these "events" that some of the above names mention has thrown parties in the past.  I will say they are not approachable people. They are not humble. Maybe some should realize that in order to be example you need to act like one and really give back.

tagava
tagava

@lltt2177 

i'd like to disagree with you on that.  Being someone who LIVES in Denver/Boulder I've been to these 'events' more times than I can remember (don't know why you put events in quotations). if you're approaching someone to try and chit chat at an event they're producing and managing, they don't have time for that.  Imagine someone coming up to you at your job and trying to have a conversation with you?  It doesn't work like that - yes the event may seem like a fun time, drinks are being had everyones having a good time - but SOMEONE has to be making sure that these events are running smoothly, and those people usually are the people mentioned in the list above.  If you want to meet the person as they are in person when they're not 'on the clock' - do your best to contact them and meet them at a time that fits both of your schedules.  Being that the music industry isn't a strict 9-5 type of job, this is very important. I intern for Berk Visual (Elm & Oak) and he is one of the nicest and more open people i've ever met, and it's been great working and learning from him.  There isn't a person or even little kid that comes into the shop with their own clothing line or music that he doesn't give his full attention too, he's open to helping everyone and unlike you said, he is a very approachable guy - and Ben Baruch, despite how busy he is, he still found the time to meet a starry eyed college kid like me at a coffee shop one morning just to give me advice on how i should go about pursuing a career in music.  I don't know most of the people on the list, but the ones I do know - have been nothing more than helpful as i'm trying to pursue a life in the cutthroat industry that is modern music.  I think you may need to change the way you present yourself before you jump to the conclusion that these people are just self centered.

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