World Citizens brings hip-hop to Steamboat on Friday
December 22, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Whether it's cooking a meal or speaking from his heart, Jeff Price said it's easier to do everything to a rhythm.
"It's the pace of life," Price said.
Naturally, he said, the drum and the beat are what most people connect with when introduced to a hip-hop song.
But for Price's hip-hop group, the three-piece World Citizens, the minimalist beats and samples are what set the tone and atmosphere for the profoundly robust spoken vocals.
"All of the thought you can put into three or four minutes … I just like the poetic nature (of hip-hop) and how much of yourself you can put into one song," he said.
Projecting himself through his distinctively deep voice, Price will perform as an MC with World Citizens at a special free hip-hop show Friday night at Sweetwater Grill. It will be the local band's third show.
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Opening will be three other hip-hop and rock acts: a live band featuring guitarist Derek Blake and Price on saxophone, Cody Perry and members of the former band Simple Decadence and Denver duo Rhyme Progression.
The show begins at 9 p.m. and has an Ugly Christmas Sweater Formal theme.
Price, who goes by Ahmad JP, and his "partner in rhyme" Noah Searns, or Samadhi, launched World Citizens a little more than a year ago in Steamboat by fusing their passions for underground hip-hop and the musing rhymes they already had been writing.
Searns is out of the country this weekend, so the World Citizens will turn into a duo comprising Price and vocalist Maggie Cane.
Cane, who lives in Steamboat, has been singing most of her life with a focus on jazz and a cappella. Vocalizing against a hip-hop beat, she said, evokes a jazz-like style.
Though singing hip-hop is a step out of her element, Cane said she feels a connection with the genre and the message.
"The fact that it's from the heart is huge," she said about Price and Searns' original songs. "Their words are what they feel; it's not written to please the crowd … and to be able to collaborate on writing the chorus with them, it just makes it feel more whole to me."
Price, a five-year Steamboat resident who recently moved to Denver, said World Citizens has a broader reach than just through music: The group's aim is to promote equality among all humans and spread compassion.
At the show, the band will be accepting donations to be distributed among charities such as LIFT-UP of Routt County and Sk8 Church.
But Price said it's not as though he's using music as a vehicle to further a cause.
"It's just that music is my first love, and it's about expressing the way I feel about the world through song," he said.
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 907-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com
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