April 30, 2013 was a sunny day, one of the first nice days we’d had to that point in Chicago and appropriately so. Chance The Rapper, Chicago’s prodigal son in the post-Derrick Rose world, was set to release his largest project to date and it seemed as if there was no one in his hometown who wasn’t aware. Living with “Brain Cells”, “Good Ass Intro” and “Cocoa Butter Kisses” producer Peter CottonTale at the time, I had certainly heard my share of the tracks on the project, understood it was to be something special. Pulling up to the clothing boutique Jugrnaut in the city’s South Loop though, the line was mind-blowing, five wide and around the block anxiously waiting for a chance to, see Chance. Continue reading ‘Acid Rap’ – A Year Later
If you’ve dug deep enough into the Chicago hip-hop scene, you’re most assuredly going to run into Psalm One. The first lady of the Chicago scene has developed into a wealth of wisdom and become a sort of uber-upbeat guiding voice for the ever-youthful hip-hop movement that has exploded over the past couple of years off the coast of Lake Michigan.
Photo by Rasha Mosa
Music festivals in America and abroad are beginning to hit critical mass. It’s our generation’s sign of approval to any artist if they find themselves on a bevy of festival lineups come summer, they’re doing something right. Perhaps the most prevalent “music for the people” approach in the industry, festivals allow acts both large and small great opportunities for exposure and listeners the chance to attempt to take it all in. The spring/summer of 2014 is shaping up to be one of the largest festival seasons in recent memory and event organizers have wasted no time announcing jam-packed lineups that look more like an iTunes playlist than a real concert experience. We gathered together lineups from festivals from coast to coast and even beyond to give you the most full, in-depth guide to diving into festival season, check them all out on the following page.
Chicago’s KAKE began a new series with a familiar face earlier today, premiering “300”, a documentary-style, five minute interview piece with Chicago neo-soul/jazz artist Lili K. Shot by FragDFilms on location at KAKE headquarters in Force One Seven Studios, Kellen Winters sits down with the talented songstress as she ruminates making connections in the Chicago scene, releasing her first projects and making a name for herself through hip-hop ties. Continue reading |Video| KAKE Sits Down With Lili K.
If you haven’t heard of St. Millie by now, you obviously haven’t been paying attention to this thing called hip-hop in Chicago. The 22-year-old Treated Crew affiliate has built a following through both talented projects, (NoReligionButUp, Road To Glory) as well as clever marketing and general good-natured-ness (Face decals around the city, Christmas food drive at Jugrnaut). Pair these qualities with the fact you’d be hard-pressed to find an act west of Lake Michigan that hasn’t worked with, played a show with or somehow been connected to the young artist you can most often find behind the register at Jugrnaut. Continue reading |Video| St. Millie: “Dream 312”
Photo by Elevator
As the hip-hop scene in Chicago has exploded over the past two years or so since Keef, Reese and the GBE boys made national headlines with their “Don’t Like” video, the narrative coming out of Chicago hasn’t changed much. Guns, murder, death and entrapment from above are the motifs that drive the sound of “drill” music which piqued the country’s interest with its inherent street soliloquies told by teenagers reporting on the state of their environment. Continue reading The Chicago Narrative: Lil Herb and ‘Post Drill’
As scenes grow and expand, many artists can get caught up in the pervading sound of the time, the flavor of the month and lose themselves trying to re-create another artist’s creative flair in their own words. This is not Calez. The 21-year-old artist from the southside of Chicago has gone about creating a space for himself within the ever-growing hip-hop scene that has exploded in the Second City since Chief Keef brought listeners to the city with his gritty street tales and gunshot-ridden hooks. Continue reading |Video| Calez: “Positive Energy”
No matter how prepared I get, South by Southwest seems to sneak up on me. This year, though, preparedness is at a premium. As the festival balloons larger and larger each year, it brings with it a more bountiful harvest of talented artists along with it. In the spirit of getting ready to soak in ridiculous amounts of music over the next week and a half or so, I decided to put together a list of the bands, acts and artists that I am most excited to catch while down in Austin for my annual pilgrimage. Hit the jump for the full list. Continue reading Top Artists To Catch At SXSW 2014 + Spotify Playlist
As SXSW nears, there are few independent hip-hop artists coming out of Chicago with more of a foundation (and polka dots) than Treated Crew/LOD member ShowYouSuck, who showed his best work is still coming with his talented project to begin 2014, Dude Bro. The album was a culmination of the work he had done throughout his previous four-part “One Man Pizza Party” series and, although the subject matter stayed largely where it had been since his first project (couch surfing, slurpees and cartoons), things felt more matured. Continue reading |Video| ShowYouSuck: “Make Out King”
Auggie The 9th, emerged late last year with a string of new music in the lead up to his debut project GAWS, an amped-up, personal hip-hop journey that quite literally flipped ‘swag’ on his head. To be sure, Auggie has been around the Chicago hip-hop scene for a minute, working with Legion of Dudes as well as handling duties as one of the best hype men in the game when he took the stage with close friend ShowYouSuck. 2014 was a year of growth for the flat-topped, muscle heavy ball of energy that can be found biking the city’s streets in the worst of snow. Continue reading |Video| Auggie The 9th: “GWS”