The hip-hop and rock band Flobots delivered an epic perfomance which pumped up a lively crowd at the Gryphon Theatere last night. The Denver artists were in town kicking off their Rise and Shine Tour. Flobots is fronted by the lyrical duo Jamie “Jonny 5” Laurie and Stephen “Brer Rabbit” Brackett who both grew up in Denver Colorado and were childhood friends. Flobots most successful song “Handlebars” reached 37 on the Billboard charts, which appeared on their sophomore effort Fight with Tools.
The new album Noenemies has been in the making for over two years with the help of fans who crowd funded the album. Jonny 5 feels crowd funding the album was a uniquely humbling experience and the best kind of peer pressure with fans expecting them to deliver. Flobots politically driven lyrics stand out on this album. With tracks like “Blood in the River”, “American Dreams” and “Pray” leading the way.
The album opens up with a prelude “Phila”, a voicemail from a concerned mother asking her son to check in with his brother. Jonny 5 explained in a world where terror attacks, mass shootings, and violent protests seem to break out on a weekly basis his mother would leave voicemails asking him to check in with his brother who travels often. Brer Rabbit opined “we started work on the album over 2 years ago but even then it felt like crisis after crisis were happening where you had to check in and check Facebook and make sure your people are alright.”
The Flobots have a unique sound and with lyrics covering everything from social justice to community activism. The music isn’t just a message it’s something Jamie and Stephen live out on a daily basis. When they aren’t touring, Stephen and Jamie are on the board of several non-profit organizations including one founded by the Flobots, called Youth on Record in Denver. Youth on Records mission statement is to empower Colorado’s youth to achieve their academic, artistic, and personal best by employing local, professional artists as their educators.
Flobots will be on tour thru January with a few more dates in Northern Colorado. Visit www.flobots.com/tour-1/ for tickets. Noenemies is available where ever music is sold.