Photo Cred: Jordan A. Johnson of Nexx Djinn Studios
Last Friday, May 20th, Brass Knuckle Gang (BKG) artist Juz J threw a mixtape release party that included performances by artists throughout Southern Colorado. It was held at the Union Station in Colorado Springs. Performances consisted of nine acts with a wide variety of sounds. From the opener to the headliner, fans heard diverse sounds and styles that had something for everyone.
I knew the show was going to have variety after the first two performances. The first artist was Citrus; he brought the Colorado vibe with his look and multiple marijuana references. He spit bar after bar for the entirety of his set. This artist used creative topics such as: Star Wars, Skyrim and cannabis to construct unique lyrics. Following Citrus was Block Scholars; this duo brought the hip hop vibe to the show. With an east coast and genuine hip-hop sound, Block Scholars rattled off knowledge their entire set.
Following the opening acts were performances by Young Gunna, Dubz, and Team Green Rush. This portion of the show had an aggressive sound and featured more rap than hip-hop. Dubz performance drew a good crowd at the front of the stage; he used turn up beats with aggressive lyrics and delivery to give the venue a party atmosphere. The hard hitting beats continued with the next performance; Team Green Rush. This Pueblo, Colorado duo brought the underground sound with some grimy lyrics. I was impressed with the amount of fans from Pueblo that were in attendance.
Up next was Empirical Knowledge. The lyrical artist spit knowledge throughout his set. Sounding smooth on the mic, you could tell he has good stage presence and is very comfortable in front of a crowd. I really enjoyed the freestyle he performed during his set. The next performer was J Knack, he brought an aggressive sound to the stage with his song selection. He got the crowd hyped up when he brought out Juz for a track. The lineup continued with Legacy’s performance; he had one of the most diverse sets of the night. He began his performance with a lot of high energy tracks. He switched up to some chill music and ended his set with his track "Raindrops"; which got the crowd moving and seemed to be one of his fan favorites.
Chris Leshone kicked off the main event. The Pueblo based and Brass Knuckle Gang (BKG) artist used hard hitting beats and solid bars. He did a fantastic job of capturing the audience and building up the moment leading to Juz J coming on stage. Once Juz J joined Chris Leshone on stage, the show went to a new level. You could tell these two have performed together due to the chemistry they displayed throughout their set. Juz J’s first track was his single “Lightskin Problems”; this track got the crowd moving and set the tone for his performance. Chris Leshone and Juz J brought a club vibe to the venue that made the crowd move. Their set consisted of many elements: they passed out copies of Juz J’s new mixtape Lightskin Problems, performed tracks off the new mixtape, brought a singer on stage (Lila Lafferty), got the DJ (Stevie G) to spit a verse and even had a blowup doll on stage that eventually got tossed around the crowd. The audience lost it when Juz J performed his track “Ordinary Squad Shit”; with everyone by the stage turning up and the blowup doll being tossed around, this was the best crowd reaction of the night. I was very impressed with Juz J and Chris Leshone performance; the BKG artists put on an entertaining set that was well deserving of the title, headliner. With this show and the release of his mixtape Lightskin Problems, Juz J has put himself in a great position to have a very successful summer. This upcoming artist will be someone to keep tabs on as he makes a name for himself in the Colorado music scene.