Hip-hop, dub band plays today in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Hip-hop, dub band plays today in Steamboat

Peace Officer to bring live, hybrid-influenced set to Mahogany

Margaret Hair

Fort Collins hip-hop group Peace Officer employs four emcees and one singer to play live hip-hop-fueled, reggae-influenced music with a message. The band plays today at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill.

— Fort Collins-based reggae and hip-hop hybrid Peace Officer got its start as a live reggae band.

When vocalist and guitarist Andy Kromarek — AK on stage — started a side project with a few hip-hop emcees, a new style of live performance was born. For the past two years, Peace Officer has produced a brand of dub and hip-hop that layers rap lyrics over reggae-influenced bass and drums.

"We really like the reggae-style bass, and it kind of just fit together perfectly," Kromarek said in a phone interview Thursday.

"The band was already playing it, so it was like, 'Hey, let's put some rap lyrics on top of this reggae beat and see how it goes.' And it ends up working really great," he said.

Peace Officer plays at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill at 10 p.m. today. The cost to get in hasn't been determined.

With four emcees in its lineup, the seven-piece Peace Officer touches on a variety of subjects with its songs, Kromarek said. Political themes come up often, but the band veers away from talking about specific politicians, Kromarek said.

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"We cover a wide range of everything that has to do with life, I would say. We get into social consciousness and all that kind of stuff, but we also get into party songs," he said. The band takes an anti-war stand but is open to love songs, songs about its own lyricism and songs about having a good time, Kromarek said.

Since forming as a reggae outfit about five years ago, the band has picked up steam on the Front Range, and is in the planning stages for shows outside of Colorado, Kromarek said. The band recently played to a crowd of about 700 at the Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins, picked up a best reggae/ska band nod for the second year in a row from the Fort Collins Music Association and won a best of Colorado music contest hosted by Colorado Music Buzz magazine.

Recently, the band has been working more electronic influence and sampling into its set, a slight shift from its beginnings as "a straight-up live band with keyboards and guitar," Kromarek said. Multimedia elements are in the works in the next few months, he said.

If you go

What: Peace Officer

When: 10 p.m. today

Where: Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill, 435 Lincoln Ave.

Cost: TBD

Call: 879-3773


Learn more about Fort Collins-based hip-hop and dub group Peace Officer at http://www.myspace.com/peaceofficer. The site includes a link to a free download of the band’s most recent album, “Contraband.”