The best rap in Denver in September
KID CUDI & TYLER, THE CREATOR @ RED ROCKS | MON, 9/16/13
Kid Cudi headlines this all-star lineup fresh off the release of his most recent, polarizing release, Indicud. Though his decision to self-produce has rubbed some the wrong way, he remains one of the premier hookmen in the rap game. Tyler, the Creator is no less intriguing, having incited "riot situations" in Boulder the last time he was here. At only 22, but with so much experience leading the Odd Future collective, Tyler is simultaneously a veteran and a greenhorn; his latest release, Wolf, was his most mature and refined release to date. Throw in Three 6 Mafia founder Juicy J and young gun Logic, plus the most awesome outdoor venue in the country, this show is a definite must-see.
CHIEF KEEF @ SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | SUN, 9/1/13
With the viral mega-hit "I Don't Like," Chief Keef was the first of what will probably be many Chicago drill rappers to gain mainstream attention. Kanye recognized the cold magnetism of drill, an extension of trap rap, and Keef in particular, so he remixed the track to great success and began to court other rappers who championed the style. Critics have largely panned Finally Rich, Keef's studio debut. Then again, they hated trap when it started, too.
GOODIE MOB @ GOTHIC THEATRE | SUN, 9/1/13
Along with OutKast, Goodie Mob was one of the first rap acts to bring a more introspective self-awareness to the Dirty South, as indicated by the act's full name, "Good Die Mostly Over Bullshit." Before Cee-Lo Green was cursing ex-girlfriends or getting crazy with Gnarles Barkley, he was a legit powerhouse rapper. The Mob's debut, Soul Food, is regarded as a southern classic.
NAS @ RED ROCKS | FRI, 9/6/13
Though he is a legend in every rap fan's book, Nas suffers an inescapable qualifier of his own making: the inability to escape the shadow of his legendary debut. This had even led some to label Nas overrated, saying the rest of his work is only weak in comparison to his greatest. It's clear that no rapper could have adequately followed Illmatic because the album remains, to this day, hip-hop's greatest, most perfect treasure. And even if he hasn't made another classic album, per se, Nas has earned plenty of other accolades that would make a lesser rapper's career.