Apr 21, 2013 - The Summit Music Hall
Door Time: 8:00 PM
Presented By: InkMonster, Souls In Action, & Radio 1190

Day: Sunday, April 21, 2013
Door Time: 8:00 PM
Age: All Ages
Advance Ticket Price: $23
Day Of Show Price: $25
Buy Tickets

Talib Kweli
Ever since emerging as a member of Black Star in the late 1990s, Talib Kweli is one of the few artists making commercially viable music that matters. The Brooklyn bred rapper's hard-hitting music has been able to educate and entertain simultaneously. So it is no wonder that at the peak of their fame, both Jay-Z and 50 Cent named Talib Kweli as one of their favorite rappers.

With Ear Drum, his first album released on his own Blacksmith Music and his sixth album overall, Kweli has delivered his career-defining work, a polished collection showcasing his advanced lyricism and his penchant for picking music that resonates long after the song ends. "The image of the ear and of the drum are powerful enough by themselves, but when you put them together, it's an instrument that's in your body that helps you hear," he explains. "They're also two very simple, yet powerful words. I wanted to focus on finding a sound that makes you move, and that's where the word 'Ear Drum' popped in my head."

Throughout Ear Drum, Kweli delivers powerful music that sparks your intellect and makes your body move. He teams with Reflection Eternal partner Hi-Tek on "More Or Less." Over pounding drums and a minimalistic groove, Kweli makes brash declarations on how to improve music specifically and American society in general. "A statement like, we need 'more rap songs that stress purpose/With less misogyny and less curses/Let's put more depth in our verses,' I haven't made bold, blatant statements since that like 'Manifesto.' There are fans of mine that really appreciate those statements because there are times when those statements need to be made."

An equally bold Ear Drum moment comes on "Country Cousins," which features Kweli trading verses with UGK and Raheem DeVaughn. Over a soulful beat accented by brassy horns, Kweli, Bun B and Pimp C talk about the reality of their experiences growing up in New York and Texas, respectively. "People have the perception of what an East Coast artist sounds like, who he's supposed to be listening to and what he likes, and what a Down South artist sounds like," Kweli explains. "There's preconceived notions and that's really what the song with Bun and Pimp C is about, the preconceived notions between East Coast artists and Down South artists."

Throughout Ear Drum, Kweli makes a point to explore new topics, collaborate with a variety of artists and rap over distinctively innovative production. It is part of Kweli's growth as an artist and as a person. "We need to challenge our audience but we also need to challenge ourselves to know that whatever our new experiences are, we can write about them, be creative and bring that to an audience without them feeling alienated," he says.

Long-time Talib Kweli followers will say the same thing about him. Since his stellar debut with Mos Def as Black Star, Kweli has been one of rap's most exceptional and consistent artists. Released in 2000, Reflection Eternal, the RIAA-certified gold album with Hi-Tek, was one of the most acclaimed albums of the year. In 2002, smash single "Get By," the biting political commentary "The Proud" and the insightful examination of America's gun culture on "Gun Music" made Quality a landmark recording and Kweli's second gold album. Subsequent recordings in 2004 (The Beautiful Struggle) and 2005 (Right About Now) solidified his status as one of rap's most talented and important voices.

Now, after establishing himself as a rap visionary, Kweli along with long-time manager Corey Smyth launched Blacksmith Music. The pair signed an exclusive deal with Warner Bros. to market, promote, and distribute the music of Blacksmith artists. Following Kweli's release on Blacksmith/WBR there will be a new solo album from Jean Grae, the critically acclaimed South African-born female rapper who is among the most respected female rappers in the history of the genre. Rolling Stone called her "the best kept secret on New York&..39;s indie hip-hop scene," while XXL, Spin, Village Voice, URB and others have labeled her an artist to watch. Strong Arm Steady, a forthcoming Blacksmith/WBR release, is a super group whose members are platinum rapper and Pimp My Ride host Xzibit, Los Angeles underground star Phil The Agony, lyrical assassin Krondon and San Diego rap pioneer Mitchy Slick. Strong Arm Steady has been one of the few West Coast acts to build a rabid fanbase through mixtapes.

Kweli hopes Blacksmith will create a movement with Jean Grae and Strong Arm Steady, much as his own music has. "With Blacksmith, I want it to be a flag that everyone can wave," he says. "I want to be packing shows and I want people to feel like they were up on Jean Grae and Strong Arm Steady before anybody else was."

In the mean time, the lyrically and sonically potent Ear Drum demonstrates that strong, powerful messages can serve as the backbone for music at its best. "The vast majority of my subject matter focuses on black self-love, black self esteem, black self worth," Kweli says. "That translates to other communities because if you're a human being, it doesn't matter what color you're talking about. You've been through some sort of struggle and you can apply it to your own life."


Input + Broken
Input + BrokenGustavo D’Arthenay, better known as Input, is a well-known Denver-based hip-hop artist. His unique blend of rhythm based music and direct lyrics – as well as his commitment to his fans – has made him one of Denver’s most popular rappers and has helped him gain a devout local following.

First and foremost, Input is a music fan. His appreciation and passion for rap and hip-hop serve as the motivation behind his music. Input’s goal is simple: to create music that people, as a whole, can appreciate and relate to; straightforward music that makes sense. He is known for his ability to pair unique beats with uncomplicated, personal lyrics – creating music that resonates with listeners.

Since his first album, Input has demonstrated the work ethic and artistic drive that has made him such a highly regarded artist. His release, “Elusive Candor,” dropped in 2006 and marked an evolutionary shift into a new wave of hip-hop. In 2007, Input released “A Radio With Guts,” which he followed up in 2008 with the fan favorite, “Pictureface.” After a 30-city tour, he thanked his fans by releasing “Unreleased & Unrelenting” and “Lessons Learned” as free downloads.

Input has just released his new full-length album, “Left For Dead.” The new album, which features several popular artists, is Input’s first collaboration with producer Broken. Speaking to the new album, Input said, “I have explored my deepest emotions and demons to create something that I am more than proud of. This album will speak volumes of my personal growth and accomplishments over the past 5 years of music.” With this highly anticipated album, Input is poised to become an internationally recognized artist – something that won’t come as a surprise to his current fans.


Eddie Knolls
Eddie KnollsEddie Knolls is a 23 year old MC from Denver Colorado. His style of Hip-Hop resembles artists such as Guru, The Pharcyde, and A Tribe Called Quest. While witnessing the extreme changes in music today, he continues to keep organic Hip-Hop alive through the ears of society while appreciating the motion of change.

Dealz Makes Beats
Dealz Makes Beats
Dealz Makes Beats. A crate digger, record chopper, loop searcher, emcee and drum aficionado from Denver, Colorado is already making significant moves to steer music back in the direction of originality and authenticity. Equipped with his records, Maschine, analog mixers and keyboards, his turntable, and knowledge of musical history; he's known to spend hours at a time in his studio sculpting raw emotional soundscapes for emcces, singers and even visual artist to be as creative and open as they want to be. Encompassing DJ-ing, emceeing, and crowd interaction in his live shows, Mr.Make Beats has opened for the likes of Talib Kweli, Action Bronson, Madlib, Redman...just to name a few heavyweights. 
Dealz is apart of many respected, forward thinking musical and creative crews in the metro area. Starting with his producer and rapper duo, DND, with emcee Daijon Kool. He is also the founder, producer and manager of Denver's 7 man hip hop voltron, TEAM LATCHKEY, who have dropped two EPs since 2011. Up and coming emcee, ROB4REAL, has also teamed up with Dealz to create the 'UPSIDE', a rap/clothing/art group set to drop this spring. He also is apart of the two man DJ show, CHAMPION SOUND, with producer Black Jordan every 3rd Saturday at 1515 restaurant in downtown Denver along with other random shows and events. And on the horizon is an untitled album with super producer Madlib. Look out for much more in 2013 from the Producer/DJ/Emcee, Dealz Makes Beats.