Meet BK Beats, the winner of The Solution Beat Battle & our featured producer for The Solution Showcase #5 on 4/28…

Normally we feature a Colorado producer at The Solution Showcase, but this month we’re making an exception to feature the surprise winner of  last month’s Solution Beat Battle, Albuquerque ’s own BK Beats.  BK beat out an insanely talented group of producers to take the title and we’re excited to feature him on Saturday, 4/28 on at The Solution Showcase #5, along with Median (NC///Foreign Exchange Music///JAMLA Records), Whygee w/DJ Brik-Abrak, DJ Low Key, Lazy Eyez & more at the Meadowlark (2701 Larimer St).  Stay tuned to @DenverSolution for more info, a chance to win free tickets & more.  21+ /// $5 Pre-sales available at Family Affair downtown (plus get 15% your entire purchase when you buy a Solution Showcase ticket) /// $8 at the door.

To find out more about BK Beats, check out this recent interview he did with DJ Low Key below, as well as some links to music and footage from the battle itself.

DJ Low Key: I’ve gotta get it out of the way, what does the BK in BK Beats stand for?

BK Beats: Haha, shit. “Blunt Kid”. It was a nickname I got as a teenager that stuck unfortunately.

DJ Low Key: Sounds like you’ve had that name for a while, how long have you been producing/making beats for?

BK Beats: Haha, yeah man. Been making beats more seriously for the last 2 years, dabbling for probably another 2 before that.

DJ Low Key: What initially inspired you to get in to making beats?

BK Beats: I always did music since a kid, but basically getting more educated on hip hop.  “Award Tour” was big for me, as was Nas “The Message”.  Once I figured out that those were old records re-chopped, I was more curious and bought [the popular production software] Fruity Loops in high school.  Sadly, Dilla’s passing also inspired me a lot.  Ruff Draft and stuff like that really made me wanna do it.

DJ Low Key: Speaking of Detroit, you’ve done songs with Ro Spit and Fat Ray, two up and coming Detroit artists, as well other noteworthy artists from across the country, such as Add-2 in Chicago and Moe Green and Squadda B (of Main Attrakionz) in the Bay; how do these collabs usually come together?

BK Beats: With the Detroit cats, I was just a fan of the whole scene. Sort of just reached out over Twitter and eventually got cats emails.  Basically Twitter all around man, it makes artists accessible enough I guess.  I’m a fan of cats and I may hit them over Twitter and ask for their email address and go from there.

DJ Low Key: What about your music do you think got the attention of those artists when numerous up and coming producers are hitting them up online regularly?

BK Beats: I try to make every beat my own, and really put myself into the music.  Whatever style it is, I try to do something different or sample something no one would.  For example, sending a beat using a european progressive rock sample when everyone else has been sending Lex Luger style keyboard jams.  No hate to Lex. I’m a fan, haha.

DJ Low Key: Using a variety of samples and sounds is something that the judges at The Solution Beat Battle all mentioned as part of why you won, do you consider yourself as having a particular style?

BK Beats: Ummmm, I would say drums are always an important part of my beats.  Nowadays, I’m leaning away from sampling a bit, but I’ve been told my drums are sort of a trademark.

DJ Low Key: The Solution is based out of Colorado and you’re in Alburquerque, New Mexico; how’d you find out about the beat battle?

BK Beats: A friend/fellow producer really looked out for me on that one. A Chicago cat by the name of ImTrumaine told me Boonie [Mayfield] had been tweeting about it and I should try, so I sent a few [beat] over while I was at work like right before the deadline, haha.

DJ Low Key: Were you worried or nervous about coming from out of state to compete?

BK Beats: Definitely! NERVOUS AS HELL! Haha. But more so felt lucky and blessed becuase my city doesn’t have alot of the same opportunities and such.  I was still nervous after I won, like shaking nervous man smh.

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DJ Low Key: Leading up the final round, was there any producer at the battle you were especially worried about facing head to head?

BK Beats: Man everybody had heat to be honest!  Shouts to Cliff Cage, Big J, Dealz…A lotta skills in that room.  I forget the [names of the] other cats I met, but I was feeling like just a fan again for sure.  I thought Big J had me that last round to be honest.

DJ Low Key: The entire lineup was ridiculous, big ups to everyone involved. Before the battle you mentioned you were a fan of Tanya Morgan, who performed and were two of the judges at the battle; any thoughts of hitting them up on Twitter afterwards?

BK Beats: HUGE fan! I had to get my nerd on and snap a flick with them too, haha. But as far as trying to work, I feel like I’m not on that level yet.  Plus, Von’s [Von Pea, producer/MC in the group Tanya Morgan] got BEATS! WOO!!! I felt like it may be better if I just took their judging as a cosign and kept it moving.

DJ Low Key: Part of your prize for winning The Solution Beat Battle was studio time at Side 3 Studios, generally considered to be the best in Colorado; what was your session like there and when can we hear the results?

BK Beats: Maaaan it was amazing! Huge shout outs to Chase [at Side 3]. He got EXACTLY what I was trying to convey.  That whole spot is mind blowing. I will be playing two of the songs next Saturday [4/28, at The Solution Showcase #5, details here] and then releasing an EP with my keys/guitar player Pablo before Summer.

DJ Low Key: What’s the name of the EP? Any other projects can we expect from you later in 2012?

BK Beats: Untitled so far but i just released the 1st single “STR8 Gorgeous” last week on my bandcamp page, www.bkbeats.bandcamp.com.  I will have this ep, songs with a few cats from the bay area. expect more from me and Moe Green, Shady Blaze, Deniro Farrar out of NC and Epp from Portland, all leading up to a solo beat tape.

DJ Low Key: Sounds like a busy Summer.  Any other shouts before we see you back in Denver for The Solution Showcase #5 on Saturday, 4/28?

BK Beats: Yeah, crazy hectic.  SHOUTS to you! The Solution, Family Affair, Tanya Morgan, Courtland, Boonie. Everybody who showed love after the show, you guys keep me going for real!

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Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 Events, Guests, The Solution Showcase 1 Comment

The Solution Beat Battle Contestants…Catch The Solution Beat Battle at La Rumba on Sunday, 2/26 w/special guests Boonie Mayfield, Tanya Morgan & Courtland Urbano fka Xperiment…

SUNDAY, 2/26 -> After a lot of deliberation and a ton of listens to all the great submissions we got, we finally narrowed everything down to the twelve producers that we think will go hardest in the battle yesterday.  We got a ton of top notch beat submissions; some were really dope just too relaxed for a battle, some showed a lot of potential but needed a little refinement and someone had to be the tough 13th person who was super close to making it so if you submitted and didn’t get in, definitely don’t think it was because your beats were wack (although we did get a couple of wack submissions, can’t win ‘em all…LOL).  With that said, here are the 12 competitors for The Solution Beat Battle:

Jay Gunna
Dealz Makes Beats
DJ Matt Cassidy
Cliff Cage
One Flu Over
Big J Beats
Infamous Jones
BK Beats
Intricate Dezighn

And here’s more info on The Solution Beat Battle at La Rumba (99 W. 9th Ave) in case you missed it the first time around.  At the battle, a dozen of Denver’s top producers will face off head to head to see who has the best beats in town for the title, studio time from Side 3 (Denver’s top recording facility), a huge gear package from Family Affair and a paid feature at an upcoming Solution Showcase .  Colorado production icon Boonie Mayfield & beat prodigy Courtland Urbano (fka Xperiment) will be rocking live beat showcases and “legends in the making” (according to Ali Shaheed Muhammed of A Tribe Called Quest)/new school vets Tanya Morgan will be performing to headline the event.  Last but not least, DJ Low Key, Sounds Supreme & Lazy Eyez will be on the turntables throughout the night.  21+ / $10 cover / doors at 9.

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Sunday, February 26th, 2012 #TheSolution5, Events, Updates 1 Comment

What is #TheSolution5?

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February 2012 marks 5 years of The Solution and before anything else can be mentioned, we have to thank everyone in Denver and beyond who’s come out to the party.  Whether it was in our earliest days at the Shelter/Milk Bar or at our longest running home, The Funky Buddha, or maybe you just learned about us via The Solution Showcase at the Meadowlark over the last month or two, it doesn’t matter; we wouldn’t be able to do anything cool without your love and support.  With that said, a lot has changed since we started the party and we want to make sure everyone knows about what we’re up to going forward.

As you might have noticed, the party has grown beyond just a club night.  Last year, we embarked on a statewide tour with Tanya Morgan, TiRon, Whygee, King F.O.E. & Boonie Mayfield, threw our first BBQ (with our good friends Family Affair) and started a monthly spinoff based around showcasing new talent, called The Solution Showcase, at the Meadowlark.  This year we’ve already launched The Solution Boulder at ‘Round Midnight, we’re about to take the party outside of our great state for some collabs with like-minded parties in other cities and this month, we’re going to celebrate our 5 years with 5 events that we call The Solution 5 aka #TheSolution5.

With that in mind, what hasn’t changed about The Solution is that we’re still dedicated to making sure every event we throw is something we’d wanna go to, something fun and, hopefully, something a little more unique than your average party.  With that in mind, let us tell you about what we’ve got in store for #TheSolution5.

Wednesday, February 22nd we’re teaming up with world renowned Red Bull Music Academy for what’s shaping up to be a one of a kind celebration of the man who was quite possibly the greatest hip hop producer ever, J Dilla.  We’re throwing the party at Beta Nightclub (1909 Blake St) and it’s an unprecedented event to hear Dilla’s music on one of the best sound systems in the world.  As if that wasn’t enough, we’re bringing out the legendary DJ Spinna (New York) and frequent Dilla collaborators and Detroit icons Waajeed & Phat Kat out to celebrate with us.  Phat Kat will be rocking with Dameion Hines and Q-Knox of Big Wheel, who’ll also be performing a tribute to Jay Dee of their own.  The Solution DJs aka DJ Low Key, Sounds Supreme and Lazy Eyez will be on the turntables to kick things off and with Dilla’s catalogue, you’re gonna miss some incredible music if you show up late.

Thursday, February 23rd is The Solution Showcase #3 at the Meadowlark (2701 Larimer St) and the lineup is ridiculous.  We’ve got Trackademicks (of A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold Records) and DJ Tap 10 coming out from the Bay, bringing a trademark slap that’s one of our favorite sounds out.  Black Actors (Quiz fka Sunkenstate and .anansi) is our Denver feature and the one and only Kid Hum will be making his live production debut, plus DJ Low Key & Lazy Eyez will get the party started.

Saturday, February 25th is the opening of The Art Of Records at Family Affair downtown (2048 Larimer St) from 6-9pm.  It’s an art show based around classic hip hop album artwork being interpreted by top Colorado-based artists including the likes of Dunn The Signtologist, Path One, Thomas Evans, Tristan Minton & more, curated by Dunn himself and DJ Low Key.  We’ll be displaying the actual 12″ album covers next to the artwork and DJ Low Key will be spinning the records on display throughout the evening to bring things full circle.

Sunday, February 26th we’re excited to present The Solution Beat Battle at La Rumba (99 W. 9th Ave).  A dozen of Denver’s top producers will face off head to head to see who has the best beats in town.  Producer extraordinaire Boonie Mayfield will be rocking a live beat showcase, “legends in the making” (according to Ali Shaheed Muhammed of A Tribe Called Quest) and new school vets Tanya Morgan will be performing and we still have more on the bill to be announced shortly.  If you’re a producer or beatmaker looking to enter, check out this post for more info.

Every Thursday night in Boulder, don’t miss our fifth event of the #TheSolution5, The Solution Boulder, at ‘Round Midnight (1005 Pearl St).   In the coming weeks, we’ll be throwing our infamous chicken & waffles party up there, featuring a performance from Tanya Morgan, hosting a women’s shoe and fashion show with Installation (an easy contender for best shoe store in the whole state) and a whole lot more.

So thanks again for everything Colorado, you’re the best. Here’s to the next 5 years and beyond.

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Every Thursday -> The Solution Boulder w/DJ Low Key, Sounds Supreme & friends at ‘Round Midnight…We’ve got Tanya Morgan, Courtland Urbano, Turner Jackson, B Money, Dunn The Signtologist, chicken & waffles and a fashion show to get things started…

EVERY THURSDAY -> The Solution Boulder has officially hit ‘Round Midnight (1005 Pearl St).  Every Thursday night you can catch DJ Low Key, Sounds Supreme and some of #COHipHop’s top DJs spinning the best in hip hop and more.  We’re teaming up with Installation (easily one of the best shoe stores in the state, if not country), Red Bull and some other friends of our to get things off to a proper start.  Check out what we’ve got lined up for the next few weeks at The Solution Boulder:

2/16: Amatuer Ape’s own, Boulder favorite DJ B Money comes through for a guest set.

2/23: #TheSolution5 hits Boulder w/special guests Tanya Morgan (XXL Freshman List 2009 /// Brooklyn) + Courtland Urbano (fka Xperiment /// Portland) + Turner Jackson Star Destroyer Listening Party at 10pm + Sounds Supreme & DJ Dozen.

3/8: The Solution Boulder’s Chicken & Waffles (all west coast music, all night, complimentary chicken & waffles til 11, Nate Digg tribute and gin & juice specials).

3/15: Art Opening from Dunn The Signtologist.

3/22:  Ladies Shoe & Fashion Show with Installation.  More details coming soon.

21+ /// No Cover /// Music at 10.


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Thursday, February 16th, 2012 #TheSolution5, Events, The Solution Boulder, Updates No Comments

Saturday, 2/25 from 6-9pm -> The Art Of Records Opening at Family Affair, curated by Dunn The Signtologist & DJ Low Key…

SATURDAY, 2/25 from 6-9pm -> Over the last few decades album art has gone from a 12” canvases to a 2” screens, and that’s usually the best-case scenario for the often incredible art that accompanies music releases.  Landmark albums like A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End Theory, Nas’s Illmatic and De La Soul is Dead have instantly recognizable covers that are embedded in music and art lovers’ psyches forever, but the 12” as a canvas has become a rarity in the public eye.  Everyone from music and art lovers to average people on the street still connect to both the album art and 12” format, yet we rarely take the time to honor the truly great ones.  The Art Of Records is an exhibit that aims to do just that; focusing on the legacy of exceptional art accompanying exceptional music and the idea of introducing both to a new generation.

The Art Of Records combines art, music and tradition to celebrate and honor the rich history and mystique of record cover art, 12″ vinyl and the artists that create it (both musically and graphically). Curated by Dunn the Signtologist and DJ Low Key, the exhibit features a series of classic 12″ album and single covers re-imagined and recreated by top artists in Denver.  The 12” covers will also be on display and the concept comes full circle with DJ Low Key playing an all vinyl set of the featured records as the night’s soundtrack.  Please join us at Family Affair (2048 Larimer St downtown) as we recognize and pay homage to the talented assortment of artists that make The Art Of Records so important to us all.  Complimentary drinks /// No Cover /// All Ages.


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Thursday, February 16th, 2012 #TheSolution5, Events, Updates No Comments

Meet Waajeed, one of our special guests for The Solution’s 6th Annual J Dilla Celebration on Wednesday, 2/22…Shouts to Red Bull Music Academy & Bling 47…

The Solution’s 6th annual celebration of the life and music of Jay Dee aka J Dilla is only a couple of days away (Wednesday, 2/22) and we can’t wait.  We’ve teamed up with the infamous Red Bull Music Academy and Beta Nightclub (1909 Blake St) to bring out some ridiculous artists and we wanna make sure you’re familiar.  On that note, meet Waajeed; Detroit legend, frequent Dilla collaborator, producer (and ghost producer) extraordinaire in his own right, half of PPP and the man who named Slum Village.

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Waajeed got his start DJing (he was Slum Village’s early DJ) and made his way into production after fixing an MPC of J Dilla’s that had been broken by Questlove.  Dilla told him he could have the MPC if he could fix it, Waajeed made it happen and the rest is history.  Since then Waajeed’s made quite a name for himself in the production world; releasing two critically acclaimed Platinum Pied Pipers/PPP albums, producing tracks for artists like Slum Village, Jazmine Sullivan & Sa-Ra Creative Partners,  as well as remixing the likes of Radiohead, Roy Ayers and Marvin Gaye (check out his AMAZING “I Want You” remix below) and getting heavy into ghost production (check the video below) while traveling the world DJing.  Check out the homie DJ Mensa’s The Best Of Waajeed & Platinum Army (circa 2006) for a great introduction to Waajeed & PPP’s music.

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Waajeed’s also the founder of Bling 47, a label/website that has released projects from Jay Dee, Tiombe Lockhart & more; as well as being a great resource on Dilla and Detroit.  Check out the previously unreleased original version of J Dilla’s “Crushin’” (from the Ruff Draft EP) that Waajeed just posted on Bling47.com below and check the site for more exclusive goodness.

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Catch Waajeed rocking with NY’s DJ Spinna, Phat Kat (performing with members of Big Wheel) and The Solution DJs (DJ Low Key, Sounds Supreme & Lazy Eyez) for our 6th Annual J Dilla Celebration on Wednesday, 2/22 at Beta.

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