"When I think Denver," says Colorado filmmaker Mike Shum, "I don't think hip hop. I think John Denver, country music."
If Shum's latest documentary is any indication, though, Rocky Mountain hip hop not only exists, but may be on the up.
Sean Garris, better known as Denver hip hop artist King Tef, likens the Rocky Mountain style to the "gumbo pot" of hip hop.
"We get to hear everybody who came out first" he tells Shum. "New York, then the West Coast, down South, Midwest after that... now it's our turn, and we got to hear everything everybody else had to say. From there we formulate our own form of hip hop and create our own sound."
It's hard to separate hype from talent here. We haven't attended any King Tef shows and can't comment on the quality of hip hop he's producing, but with the burgeoning growth of Denver's music scene in general (The Lumineers, Tennis, The Flobots, etc.) any platform for the growth of a local hip hop style is a good thing.
WATCH Shum's documentary on the Colorado hip hop scene, above.