“Sex, drugs, violence, money, death, romance and the color black—those are the seven things I could specify my songs are about. These are the things in life that are easy to learn and take forever to master. These are the things that can potentially destroy you. They’re the only interesting things to talk about.”

That’s how Yonnas Abraham, one part of Denver hip-hop group BLKHRTS, describes his crew’s mission statement. To say BLKHRTS make dark music would be correct, but that’s only a starting point. The music is complex, the trio mixes buried samples with busy percussion to create a rough maelstrom of noise, but it’s also bluntly direct. The personas alternate between vulnerable and, more often, straight up confrontational. The results are great, and position BLKHRTS at the forefront of a unique class of hip-hop artists exploring the rugged, gothic underside of hip-hop. ‘Death, Romance and The Color BLK’ is their latest mixtape, set to precede an EP and their Dave Sitek-produced debut album later this year. Check out the tape for free below (“THT BLKHRTS SHT” & the Crystal Castles-sampling “Wrath of God” are early standouts) and, for more info on the group, head over to the Denver Press for a lengthy profile.

(Passion of  the Weiss)