In the city: Shine Some Light in Denver

"There's this assumption that everyone who smokes weed in Denver is a rapper, and that's the natural stigma," said Khalil Arcady, 23, who performs silky-smooth, experimental soul music under the name Sur Ellz. "And if you're not a certain type of hip-hop that's popular right now, nobody in the urban music scene wants to give you the time you may deserve."

Most Denver hip-hop artists may as well be invisible to mainstream concert-goers. Despite their work ethics and prolific release schedules, homegrown rappers rarely enjoy the automatic credibility of Denver's folk, indie-rock or electronic dance music scenes.

by John Wenzel

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