Stuck in My Head: Five Points Plan Recordings
In the summer of 2006, my life pretty much fell completely the fuck apart. The finest thing about those otherwise sour and panicky months was the time I spent with the artists of Denver, Colorado’s Five Points Plan Recordings. This is one installment in a series about hip hop, Denver, miniature forms of greatness, and why They Tease Him a Lot. I am unsure as to how many posts this tale will stretch, but I thank you as always, kind reader, for your indulgence.
Col. Hector Bravado
From Denver, Colorado
If you’ve ever wondered about fleeing Denver for more fecund cultural ground, here’s my argument for staying for 24 years: when in need I can scroll through my phone’s address book and touch designers, recorders, musicians, financial advisers, inventors, saucy punks and truants, layabouts, sculptors, DJs, and lots of other people who can do lots of things I don’t know how to do. And sometimes I can connect these people with others I know and they can help each other and create things. This feeling is nonpareil. It’s real wealth. I cannot imagine having to rebuild this network anywhere else. At this age, on this path, I rarely think of going to New York or the like. I seem to have built a working facsimile right here.
A few years ago, I made the acquaintance of Tuwayne Foster, aka Url Gray-V, a wildly gifted MC who, along with mic-mate Babah Fly, comprised Tha Fly. On a lark, Url and I did a couple of songs together and had the privilege of having them both produced by Jme White, a multi-instrumentalist and all-around genius from a number of Denver bands, each one less accessible and woollier than the one before. Jme was the keyboardist for Acrobat Down, one half of Blue-Blooded Girls and Blusom, and also produced a track on an Ian Cooke album. Coaxing him into making beats for novelty hip hop songs is like getting Michaelangelo take a break from a sculpture to whittle your kid something out of a branch. I still contend that the whittling is among his best work.
I wrote some geek-hop verses and painfully practiced them for three weeks. I still wince to hear it. Gray-V just showed up and dropped verse dead off the top, being a real MC and all. Then Jme set to work on it. You never know what’s going to come out the other side of the process, but “Duh Nuh (Duh Nuh Nuh Duh Nuh Nuh)" is borne aloft on Jme’s guitar work and editing. The fadeout is just heartbreaking.
Early this year, Dow, D.O. and I had coaxed Gray-V and Babah into the Five Points Plan fold. Dow and Babah were both beatmakers and all four were MCs. They got right to work on a mixtape that featured the four in varying combinations. One of the best tracks was a Babah beat that D.O. and Tha Fly rhymed on together called “Retro Electro.”
The Babah Fly beat (which I loved) was replaced by a big, aggressive monster in Jme’s hands. You can listen to the before-and-after on this week’s Snobcast, along with "Duh Nuh (Duh Nuh Nuh Duh Nuh Nuh)" by Url Gray-V feat. Col. Hector Bravado.
Pictured here: Babah Fly, DJ Discord, Dow Jones and Url Gray-V, left to right. That’s D.O. way in the back on the left, holding up the wall at Dazzle, drunk as a fuck.