By now, you’ve likely seen or heard the letters NFT. Whether from a “tastemaker” on Clubhouse, account on Twitter, or a think piece in a tech magazine, it’s clear: NFTs are the new “it” thing on the internet. But what the fuck are they? And what are you buying?
The concept of NFTs can be fairly confusing. That’s partly due to the fact that they so recently found applications in art, crypto, and music, vaulting them into public consciousness. Without a clear understanding of how NFTs will eventually operate, those diving in right now are entering unmapped territory.
Simply put, NFTs are a unique digital representation of an item, whose ownership is tracked and verified on a digital ledger, aka a blockchain. NFT stands for Non Fungible – meaning not able to be replaced or duplicated – Token. And that’s exactly what NFTs are: a digital token whose value of ownership is derived from its limited quantity that’s verified and tracked via blockchain.
Chance the Rapper made headlines Friday (March 31) by announcing new plans to help support Chicago Public Schools. Calling a press conference for 2:30 p.m. at Paul Robeson High School on the city’s South side in Englewood, the Chicago native took another step forward in his fight to get the funding CPS deserves by teaming up with the Chicago Bulls to donate another $1 million to schools, alongside a new fund to support the arts in Chicago and added donations from his end. Continue reading Chance the Rapper Creates New Arts Fund for Chicago Public Schools→
And so it is. After a long and well-documented battle against current landlords, the owners of the Double Door were finally served an eviction notice, delivered by the sheriff who subsequently had the locks changed. So ends a chapter in the history of Wicker Park, once a bastion for local artistry, now simply a continuation of the nearby Loop that seems to be creeping increasingly upward along Milwaukee Ave. Continue reading Double Door Closes, Signifying End Of Wicker Park As We Knew It→
In 2017, the City of Chicago has found itself in need of heroes. With skyrocketing shootings, rising socioeconomic disparities and a city teetering on the edge of bankruptcy where fraud runs rampant, the city is desperate for someone to show us a way forward. Lately, 23-year-old Chancelor Bennett has emerged as the catalyst for what’s next by championing individual rights, helping organize communities from the ground up and, just this week, putting $1 million dollars of his own money towards closing the massive funding gap within the Chicago Public Schools. So, it seemed odd then to pick up the Chicago Sun-Times, the paper I first wrote about Chance The Rapper for, to see a story by Mary Mitchell essentially belittling the Grammy winner’s contributions by pointing to problems he allegedly had with the mother of his child. That the story, which is wrought with reporting holes and an honest understanding of the situation, ran on the front page is an affront to not only what Chance is doing, but where many of those living here would like to see the city go. Continue reading In Response • Chicago Sun-Times Embarrasses Itself, Further Alienates Young Readers With Irresponsible Chance The Rapper Cover Story→
It was about three in the morning Friday night when I was beginning to nod off on my couch when a sea of red and blue lights suddenly flooded my apartment, sirens not far behind. Looking out my window onto Halsted St. in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, I counted three fire trucks quickly pull west onto 18th, screaming down the street in the early morning hours of Saturday morning. The next day, I checked the news to find the story of seven fires set only a few blocks from my own home. Fires that killed one resident, threatened the lives of dozens more and left twenty-five Pilsen residents displaced without a place to go.
It’s no secret at this point in the year who one of the most exciting break out stars to emerge from Chicago is. Kweku Collins, our May cover artist, has taken the year by storm and cashed in a big win with the release of his debut full-length project, Nat Love, which has gone on to stake his name as one to watch for sometime, gaining some big-time co-signs from the likes of Pitchfork, Stereogum and what seems like a huge cross-section of blogs and websites that make up critical review in 2016. Continuing to progress through a year that has seen him rise by leaps and bounds, Collins stopped by Peter Rosenberg’s studio between a pair of trips out to New York City over the past week.
After months of constant bullshittery about how much good your satirical look at a problem that affects hundreds of thousands of people each year has done for the affected, after you tried to tear down one of the purveyors of goodness in this city, after you convinced everyone in NYC that we here in Chicago actually use the word ‘Chiraq,’ you’re still not done?
Here in Chicago, there are two distinct movements when discussing the local hip-hop scene. For most, there are two important eras that pace the scene: the Kanye wave and the ‘New Age’ wave. The former took place from roughly 2002 to about the time ‘Ye became a household name capable of upsetting even the President of the United States. The second is still going. Having developed over the last five years or so, it has grown out of a combination of separate movements in the city that culminated this past week in the crossover of Chance The Rapper as West appeared to pass the torch in a way on the stage of Saturday Night Live. It’s a collaboration that has been dreamed of by those locally for years and comes at a time when each is at the most influential points of their respective careers. It’s a collaboration that essentially sees ‘Ye interacting with the embodiment of his own influence. More than anything though, it’s a closing of the gap between the pair of movements that have positioned Chicago as the next great center of music and hip-hop.