Times are tough. We all have our share of troubles. You haven’t been able to buy all the presents you wanted to buy this year because you’re just broke. We feel your pain. That’s why, here at Steal This Track, it’s like Christmas every Tuesday, as we cull through some of the Denver area’s best music and give you a song to download ABSOLUTELY FREE. That’s right. No money changes hands. And you don’t even have to give us your email address, credit card number or blood type. We just want you to be able to HEAR fresh, new, local music every week. Consider us Santa’s little helpers.
In the Denver hip-hop scene, it’s hard to find someone working harder than Mane Rok. The rapper/producer/promoter/hustler is best known for his work with ManeLine, but — as a member of the L.I.F.E. Crew, a loose collection of Denver hip-hoppers who collaborate and support one another — Mane has also worked with 3 the Hardway, Jewell Tyme, King F.O.E., the Pirate Signal and many more.
While 2008’s ManeLine album, “And Sew Its Seams,” proved that the rapper was a force to be reckoned with, 2010 looks like the year to keep your eye on Mane Rok. Though he and longtime collaborator InkLine are heading their separate ways, that doesn’t mean the emcee will be slowing down. In the first part of the year, look for “The Mighty Mane Rok Presents: The Truth,” an EP with turntablism from ManeLine’s DeeJay Tense, and production work from 3 the Hardway’s EsNine, Isolated Mind, Yonnas of the Pirate Signal, Ichiban and more. In the second half of the year, Mane will release the “En Stereo” EP, with DJing and production from EsNine. After that, the seemingly tireless musician plans to release several EPs with production from some of those mentioned previously.
As if all that weren’t enough, Mane Rok is also involved in a television pilot with Denver producer/director Dx Duff. Called “Bring Your Own Band,” the show plans to highlight up-and-coming bands from across the country. On Saturday, Dec. 26, the pilot will be filmed at the Walnut Room, with Proxy, Spoke In Wordz, 2012, Mane Rok and DeeJay Tense and the Pirate Signal on the bill. Tickets are only $5 and the show — sponsored by Radio 1190’s “Basementalism” — starts at 9:00 p.m.
If you haven’t heard Mane Rok on the mic yet, or if you just want to get a sneak preview of what he’ll be up to in the coming year, you’re in luck. This week’s track comes from the forthcoming “The Mighty Mane Rok Presents: The Truth” EP, and gives a hint of the direction the artist taking. With dark, infectious beats from Deca backing him up, the rapper spends a few verses reflecting on the difficulties he’s come through and plots his course forward. Mane Rok’s flow is rapid and crisp, his words honest and personal, and his attitude — like his energy — relentless positive. Stream it, steal it — and catch Mane Rok live the next chance you get.
Mane Rok | Troubles (right-click to save to your computer)
If you’re a band or musician ready to unleash some fresh sounds on the readers of Reverb, email your tracks to Eryc Eyl for consideration.
Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.
Eryc Eyl is a veteran music journalist, critic and Colorado native who has been neck-deep in local music for many years. Check out Steal This Track every Tuesday for local music you can HEAR, and the Mile High Makeout every Friday.