Hip hop shares spotlight at festival

Indigenous Peoples

By Steve Graham

About two years ago, hip hop and R&B became the dominant music genre in the United States. Listeners are buying and downloading more Drake than Disturbed and more Kendrick Lamar than Greta Van Fleet.

But you couldn’t tell from the Fort Collins music scene. A typical Saturday night in northern Colorado doesn’t bring much live hip hop. The Fort Collins Music Experience attempts to rectify that.

“Hip hop is a little better represented this year,” said FoCoMX organizer Matthew Fritz. “I’m excited to dig a little deeper into what’s available locally.”

Indigenous Peoples is playing the festival again and representing a thriving Front Range hip hop scene.

The jazzy, funky Boulder crew has been playing for more than 10 years, and released a fourth album last month, including collaborations with Spice 1, Pigeon John and Akil from Jurassic 5. The group has toured nationally and opened for Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Cypress Hill and Lyrics Born. It even became a local music incubator, spinning off the funky jam bands Sunsquabi and Malai Llama.

Indigenous Peoples co-founder, artist, and sound engineer Jimmy Macias said his group is one of several strong local hip hop acts, but too many booking agents are reluctant to bring in hip hop shows.

“hip hop has a stigma with many venues in Colorado in general, and some of it is deserved,” he said in an email interview.

He also said the Colorado scene is not unified enough, despite the collaborative nature of hip hop in general.

“There are a lot of amazing artists in northern Colorado,” Macias said. “I do wish there was more camaraderie between artists to really build a strong hip hop scene.”

However, he is looking forward to playing FoCoMX once again.

“We love how much love we get from Fort Collins,” he said, adding that new fans can expect some old-school beats and fun.

“We involve a lot of crowd interaction,” Macias said. “We have a ’90s flavor of hip hop. Think Bone Thugs-n-Harmony meets Jurassic 5. We hope anyone who comes to see us has as good of a time as we do.”

Indigenous Peoples plays an all-ages set from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at Equinox Brewing.

Other hip hop highlights at FoCoMX include:

  • Audible (weareaudible)is a Colorado Springs quintet that has been performing since 2012, and was recently featured in an NPR Tiny Desk showcase. Audible plays from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Downtown Artery.
  • BBMCstands for Beats, Babes, Music Collective, and is the Fort Collins duo of MC Dopenicity and Molly Oh, a classically trained opera singer. They bring their blend of rap and EDM to Elliot’s Martini Bar from 8 to 8:45 p.m. Saturday.
  • SF1 is a Berklee-educated Denver MC who has won three Westword Music Awards and performed with KRS-One and Jurassic 5. He plays from 9:15 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Downtown Artery.
  • Thin Air Crew is a trio of Fort Collins rap ambassadors with high-energy performances and three albums of danceable rap. The crew plays from 8 to 8:45 p.m. Saturday at the Downtown Artery.
  • Kind Dub is Fort Collins own hip-hop mecca band. Established in late 2013, Kind Dub brings a unique voice to the Colorado underground music scene. They are pioneers in the FoCo hip-hop scene and support newcomers and veterans of local hip-hop. Saturday Night – 9:30pm to 10:15pm @ Aggie Theatre | All Ages

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