The end of the semester’s kicking in, so the Fox and Boulder theaters are hosting a slew of hip-hop parties.
Saturday, Whiskey Blanket plays its CD release party at the Fox Theatre, and Monday, Tech N9ne, Kutt Calhoun and Krizz Kaliko hold a rhyme fest at the Boulder Theater. The How the Grouch Stole Christmas rap fest hits the Fox Sunday and Monday.
Whew! Can you say party?
Who: Whiskey Blanket CD release party, with Microphone Militants
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder
Whiskey Blanket is a local hip-hop act that turns the genre upside down and inside out.
The trio cranks out beats on traditional acoustic instruments, but the players are also DJs/producers that show off their MC and beatbox skills with ease. The local group’s been making a name for itself, and shared stages with RJD2, Living Legends, Swollen Members and Pep Love in 2010.
Saturday, Whiskey Blanket headlines the Fox to celebrate the release of its new CD, No Object.
“Whiskey Blanket started when all three of us realized we were super into hip-hop,” MC/violinist Joe Lessard said. “We started to write rhymes and beats, but we made them organic by adding acoustic instruments to the mix. We make it original.
“This is special, because we have three vocalists and we pull a lot of different genres into the hip-hop. We’re doing something different — we have a different approach and experience.”
Whiskey Blanket’s educating audiences about the dimensions hip-hop can take, but Lessard says it’s been a battle.
“For the most part, our music speaks for itself,” Lessard said. “We’ve gotten fans in places we didn’t expect. A lot of Colorado hip-hop crowds are open-minded and we have a lot of opportunity to open people’s minds.
“We’ve opened for harder edged hip-hop acts and we got to tour with Chali 2Na this year. The more opportunities we have, we’ll win fans over a few at a time.”
It took Whiskey Blanket three years to create No Object, but the band was determined to create a cohesive new record.
“We wanted to write a CD that was melodic and intelligent,” Lessard said. “It’s a pretty diverse sounding record. Right now, we’re really trying to make this album release party big and we’re excited about the show.
“The next thing is to do some tours outside of Colorado. It should be fun for us.”
Rapper Tech N9ne makes a return visit to the Boulder Theater, but he’s bringing along some special guests for Monday’s show.
Tech N9ne will be joined by rhymesters Kutt Calhoun, Krizz Kaliko and Denver’s Black Pegasus. Get ready for a non-stop night of powerhouse raps.
“We’re all individual artists that record for Strange Records, but when we go on tour we fit perfectly together,” Calhoun said. “Colorado’s like a second home to us, and we’ve worked our way up to playing the Fillmore and the Boulder Theater.”
Calhoun is touring to promote his solo career, and his new album, Raw and Un-Kutt.
“I call my rap RRM — Really Rap Music,” Calhoun said. “I rap about stuff that’s going on and real life stories. I want my raps to be a little more personal and life related. Some rappers talk about flash and money, but some people can’t relate to that.
“My raps are about redemption and good friends — instead of talking about how many cars I have. They have meaning, content, matter and storytelling. They get fans through hard times.”
Wendy Kale’s Club Notes runs every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the Colorado Daily. Stay on top of the scene at facebook.com/clubnotes.