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’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.
Godamnit Spike, I thought we were done with this.
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.
As a writer that often focuses on hip-hop music, I tend to pay attention to things that wouldn’t make it onto most others’ radars. Like, who the first artist with a ‘Lil’ name was, what ever happened to the ‘real’ Rick Ross, or the non-fictional motivations behind Drake lyrics. It’s a symptom of the habit. Sometimes, though, tracking these trends, news items, and rollouts can get tiresome and boil over into straight up cynicism. Lil Durk’s forced ‘celebrity relationship’ with Dej Loaf is one of those items: I just can’t fuck with it anymore.