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Everybody who follows rap knows that Tech N9ne is the number one independent rapper in the world.  Since his humble beginnings in 1991, he has taken the world by storm (and has done so on his terms).  His style is raw, his lyrics profound, and his fierce loyalty to his fans sets him apart from others in the scene by a country mile.  With well over 20 releases under his belt, two million plus records sold, and a host of accolades over the years, I’d argue that Tech N9ne is in fact the number one rapper in the world, period.  On a chilly Saturday night at world-famous Red Rocks, Tech N9ne and friends dropped a bomb on central Colorado and forever changed the landscape of rap as we know it today.

Opening the show at Red Rocks was Strange Music’s very own CES Cru.  I’ve seen them live many times over the years and they were hitting on all cylinders under the stars in Morrison.  Ubiquitous and Godemis were literally a two-man wrecking crew that set Red Rocks ablaze on Saturday night and put on a killer show that fans won’t soon forget.

Next up was Jelly Roll.  Wasn’t sure what to expect as this was my first time seeing him live and he failed to disappoint.  Hailing from Nashville, Jelly Roll took the now amped crowd to a whole level with a set that challenged the mind and touched the soul.  I’m definitely down to take this relationship further as his live performance was just that good.

What can be said about Rittz that has not already been said in way, shape or form over the years.  I’ve followed his career since the early years and he seemingly gets better with age.  Rittz’s Red Rocks set was straight fire and was highlighted by crowd favorites such as “Turn Down”, “White Jesus”, and “In My Zone”.  Just wish he would have had more time to do his thing but look forward to catching him solo down the road soon.  

And now on to the main attraction; the one, the only - Tech N9ne.  It goes without saying that I have an affinity for Tech N9ne and have so since their early years.  Tech is not just a rapper; he is an artist.  Over the years, both him and Travis O’Guin have blazed a trail at Strange Music that few (if any) have been able to match.  Live performances are well-thought out, engaging, and most importantly real.  Saturday’s show was no exception, as Tech pulled out all the stops to ensure his loyal fans were thoroughly entertained under the stars at the world famous Red Rocks.

Over the next few hours, Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko scorched the Earth with a set-list that was a fans dream come true.  Standards such as “Am I Psycho?”, “Riotmaker”, and “Einstein” set the wheels in motion for what was to be a true set for the ages.  However, there was one dark cloud that seemed to hover over Red Rocks throughout the evening surrounding Tech's long-time friend and confidant, Krizz Kaliko.  The Red Rocks show was billed as the last and final for Kali as he indicated earlier in the month that he would soon be parting ways with Strange Music.  To everyone’s surprise, he took center stage during a brief intermission and expressed his love and admiration for his fans and then signed the years old contract with his wife by his side.  Tears were flowing, fans were cheering, and all that was bad was now good in the single stroke of a pen.

At the end of it all, Tech and Krizz’s performance on a chilly Saturday night was one for the ages and will surely go down as one of the most memorable in Strange Music history.   I never doubted for a moment that the month’s preceding drama wouldn't work itself out, but never did I realize in would happen right in front of our eyes at legendary Red Rocks.  For fans in attendance, this type of show is what dreams are made of.   I'm glad I had a chance to witness the magic, and wish Tech and Krizz all the best in all their future endeavors.  

Susan Wolcott

Assistant Editor - Denver

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