Fort Collins hip hop artist Qbala

(Courtesy Jerrick Norman)

This weekend, a rapper in Fort Collins is hoping Coloradans’ affinity for beer will help cultivate a sense of community and appreciation for hip hop music.

Hip Hops: A Brew Tour” spans four days and features performances by 18 Colorado singers, rappers and beat masters at four Fort Collins bars and breweries -- The East Coast, Avogadro’s Number, Crankenstein and Pateros Crew Brewing Company.

31-year-old Colorado native and hip hop recording artist Kalhie Qbala hosts the inaugural event.

Noting the popularity of Denver’s Great American Beer Festival, Qbala looks to draw exposure to Colorado’s underground music scene by presenting these artists at watering holes throughout Fort Collins that are known for their brews.  

“Hip Hops” also aims to connect musicians to their surrounding community.

“If these artists can become more tied into community and what’s going on, then I think it will start to open their eyes a bit,” Qbala says. “It’s not just about your music; it's about experiencing and growing through the people around you and what’s going on in your local area.”

In anticipation of the four-day festival, Qbala shared an exclusive track with CPR from her yet-to-be-released extended-play album, “Dark Side of the Rain.”

The five-track CD is scheduled to debut in December and, like her past recordings, Qbala pulls from her life experiences to create her songs.

Audio: Ft. Collins hip hop artist Qbala performs "It Takes More"

In the case of “It Takes More,”  the rapper touches on her past struggles with drug addiction and other emotional and physical challenges in her life.

“The chorus is significant in the sense that I see myself in it,” Qbala says, “telling myself that everything will be alright.”