BLKHRTS are a force of nature. Their live show is like a hurricane slamming into a shoreline at a thousand miles an hour or an avalanche triggered by barbaric yawp.

King Foe, one third of the Velociraptor-voiced Denver rap trio, describes them as the "breath that you take the moment after the bungee cord is extended to its fullest extent jumping into the Grand Canyon." Yonnas, the group's producer, summarizes them as "M.O.P." meets Morrissey." There is a light that will always get punched out.

"There's a grand and emotive romanticism and fatalism to our sound, but we layer it over hard beats," says Yonnas. "It's that dichotomy of being the most hard and soft thing in the room."

A nationally recognized, critically hailed rap crew had never emerged from Denver until BLKHRTS (Yorrissey, King F.O.E., Karma) burst onto the scene in 2011. The local alt-weekly, Westword, named them "Best New Band" and raved about their "unique and progressive" rock-rap hybrid…with "an unbridled energy as ferocious as Onyx, as primal as Body Count and as frenzied and unhinged as Bad Brains." Pitchfork named their debut BLK S BTFL one of the year's best over-looked mixtapes.

The review celebrated the group's eclectic sample choices (Joy Division, Eraserhead, Gravediggaz) and described their sound as riding a roller coaster in the dark: violent, dramatic, and with many unexpected turns."

In advance of the group's performance at LA beat scene hub, Low End Theory, The LA Times said "BLKHRTS' words and beats hit like shrapnel…their voices sound as if they've been slit with scythes…. It is rap as hard-core punk music that never forgets it's hip-hop." They also noted the group's diverse lyrical terrain: sex, drugs, money and death, nightmares, demons and hearts pumping like the fury of angry slaves. Subsequent solo projects, Yonnas' SEXTAPE and King Foe's J.U.N.K.I.E. elicited similar praise.

The revolutionary and futuristic fusion of sounds and sub-genres attracted the attention of Jeff Bowers, the head of ORG Music, an independent label distributed through Warner Bros. Eager to sign the group; he paired them with Dave Sitek, the revered producer and co-founder of TV on the Radio. An instant convert to the band's aesthetic, Sitek immediately agreed to co-executive produce BLKHRTS formal full-length debut, JZBL JNKNS, slated for release early 2014. But before it drops, BLKHRTS are currently prepping the mixtape Death, Romance and The Color BLK, which precedes the Love is Thicker Than Blood EP due in the fall and mixed by Steve McDonald of OFF!/Red Kross.

"We're really confident in our grasp of rock music and the way to interpolate that with hip-hop," Yonnas says. "We're not making rap-rock. We're making hard-core rap music that uses textures and the loud/soft dynamic and the textual element of rock and guitars. We're the best guitar players in rap."

Sharing stages with some of the best live hip hop acts in the business has definitely helped Steddy P & DJ Mahf gain exposure in one of the toughest US regions. Now after relentless touring for 3 years and a slew of one off events, mixtapes, mixes, and albums, the two are prepped for major US tours, broader spotlight, and the next big step to advance the culture.

Steddy P & DJ Mahf add to the hot bed of talent that call Missouri home. Sitting on the verge of being one of the next great duos to make an impact on Hip Hop, the duo also consistently host monthly events and touring guests catering to traveling Hip Hop live from the Middle of the Map, USA.

Steddy P and DJ Mahf have joined tours and opened stages for Snoop Dogg, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Talib Kweli, Slaughterhouse, Tech N9ne,
Raekwon of Wu Tang Clan, Brother Ali, MURS, P.O.S, Doomtree, Cool Kids, Mac Lethal, Blueprint, Prof, CES Cru and more!

Wandering Monks

Originating in the socially sterile environment of the front range of Colorado, Wandering Monks is a musical entity consisting of rapper/producer McAD and his emcee partner Linguistory. The duo – who came together in 2009 – has worked tirelessly to create a unique brand of conscious underground hip hop that blends multiple genres yet maintains a distinct sound.

Wandering Monks is the fusion of the creative juices of two very different minds that developed separately but established a contrast that works. McAD, a Midwest native, is the leader and founder of the long-standing Freedom Movement, a Boulder-based hip-hop group that has been soulfully addressing social and political issues for over a decade. Linguistory is a Colorado native whose lyrical style and complex rhyme patterns are steeped as much in literature as in popular music. The two ironically met via a musician wanted ad on and it's been on ever since.

Though the guys are over 10 years apart in age (McAD is 37 and Linguistory is 26), they influence each other musically. "Working with McAD has evened me out as an artist in a sense. I think that without this partnership my lyrics would be more abstract and personalized towards my own thoughts and perceptions but perhaps less presentable to the common listener," says Linguistory. McAD feels as strongly about his growth thanks to his partner. "I feel that Linguistory's age and unique specific make-up has influenced me significantly, pushing me to be more youthful in nature, challenging me to put myself in anothers shoes who is not necessarily coming from my own personal stand point or seeing things from my own culturally biased position," says McAD. The creative vibe the duo has developed over time has pushed them to make the best music of their careers.

Being based in a state with tons of artists participating in hip-hop culture but no discernible unified scene or style has benefited Wandering Monks as they are able to focus on their music without falling into sounding like anyone else. That is very apparent in their self-titled debut album, where the duo successfully merged their personal lives with their sociopolitical ideologies, demonstrating that activism and moderate self-indulgence can peacefully coexist with the right equilibrium. The album boasts a wealth of rhymes and melodies that touch on topics such as police misconduct, fractional reserve banking, genetically modified foods and globalization. McAD and Linguistory also shine the light on themselves by sharing personal experiences involving family, friendship and spiritual balance. Musically, McAD's production (who produced all but four of the 18 songs on the debut) runs the gamut from straight-forward hip hop to reggae to funk/soul to even some Latin influences. While most current hip-hop releases sound more like soundtracks than albums with all the guest appearances, Wandering Monks kept it to a minimum with only two guests (Black Rhino and Alais Clay).

To celebrate the completion of their first official album, the Wandering Monks showcased their music at the legendary Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado Friday November 25th, 2011. With an incredible line up of Colorado's finest, the Monks stayed committed to their vision of localization and sustainability, encouraging the Colorado community to do the same by supporting these amazing artists. The full album is now available for purchase at all Independent Records locations in Colorado, and of course, at

Drawing inspiration from a long tradition of protest music, including Bob Marley, Public Enemy, Rage Against The Machine, Dead Prez, System Of A Down and Immortal Technique – Wandering Monks may not be the most commercially viable group but in the day and age of internet and expanding sub-genres that matters not. "The mainstream is a minor distraction but it doesn't prevent us from doing what we want to do," says Linguistory. "Hip hop is infinite!"

Travellers Music

Travellers Music is a diverse independent hip-hop collective known for attacking a wide variety of subject matter, while maintaining a high-energy, action packed show. Incorporating carefully placed rhyme schemes ranging from aggressive and outspoken to heartfelt and soulful, they strive to embody all aspects of conscious thought. Straying away from being consumed by the shallow and generic hip-...See More
Denver Based Travellers Music, takes it upon themselves to deliver 100% independent hip hop in its truest form. Multiple styles unite to overcome modern day trials and tribulations.

Rob4Real w/ Dealz Makes Beats

Rob4Real is an intellectualist hailing from Denver, Colorado. A music connoisseur who specializes in hip-hop, Rob’s influences stem from Eminem and Kanye West to the eclectic Andre 3000. He cites OutKast’s Stankonia as one of his favorite and influential rap albums. Using his keen ear for diverse music styles, Rob began producing tracks for himself as a way of building a relationship with music further.

With the natural progression of things, Rob’s artistry evolved into MC’ing over his own beats. Combining his thoughtful approach to life and his almost alchemical understanding of the universe, Rob4Real the rapper emerged. A self-described “hippy,” the free thinker and ethereal MC began to streamline his lyrics to find a common theme in the verses—positivity. In what would prove to be perfect timing, Rob teamed up with beat-maker/producer and freestyle enthusiast Dealz Makes Beats.

“I developed this state of mind like, if you don’t get out there, no one will know you unless you meet people. I had known Dealz but we decided to team up and run with the collaboration,” Rob says.

That collaboration grew into the UPside movement, a theory that’s all based on the brighter side of things. An all encompassing theory of relative happiness, the UPside is more than a state of mind; it’s a lifestyle and an affectionate term for the Colorado locale.

As an artist Rob4Real is melodic in his rhymes and, as the name would suggest, authentic in his approach. As a precocious young child, Rob found great pleasure in toying with his grandfather’s instruments rather than playing with other children, finding camaraderie in the harmonious notes. While he appreciates and respects the tenets of hip-hop’s roots, Rob is far from a traditionalist. While many are struggling to find a definite “sound,” that will fit a niche audience, Rob is honing and growing his organic brand of Denver hip-hop.

Rob4Real is a well-rounded artist whose skill-set and passion lies in music yet he can find the artistic necessity in all mediums, film, paintings, sculptures, etc. The UPside movement is all about expanding on the art that drives and fuels your passion. In addition to the UPside collective, Rob is affiliated with the Florida collective “L.o.e.” a crew that is “Lifted Over Everything.” Being open-minded, happy, and free is the mission powering this independent movement of artisans.

Being motivated to work within the positive and even not so great messages in hip-hop music, Rob and Dealz have completed their first soon to be released full-length collaborative album "Ignorant Intellectuals". The title is a play on the ability to speak about raw subjects in intellectual ways. The MC is inspired by his life’s experiences, his background and growing up, while focusing on a cheerful, thoughtful future.

Chock full of heady punch-lines an otherworldly metaphors, Rob4Real is a rapper who has a grasp on the creative meaning of life. His progressive take on the ins and outs of life are prevalent in his production, lyrical banter and presentation as an MC.

“I’m all about being happy. I was negative for a long time but all you really have to do is change your mind and that’s what this music is all about; being lifted at all times. It’s the Upside.”

Bianca Mikahn pens out of swords each & every day...

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