Category Archives: Portfolio

Chance the Rapper Celebrates Birthday by Holding Special Charity Event With Friends: Recap

Originally Appeared on Billboard

Reflecting on a historical year-long run that saw him ascend to the national throne, win three Grammys and assert himself as one of the world’s biggest stars, Chance the Rapper comfortably raised a glass to the crowd at Studio Paris in Chicago’s River North neighborhood on Sunday night (Apr. 16). As the clock rounded midnight and bottles with sparklers flew in from every direction — via waitresses dressed in brown overall and matching ‘3’ hats — the MC toasted those packed shoulder-to-shoulder before him and turned his sights towards 24 alongside longtime friends, and Ludacris and T-PainContinue reading Chance the Rapper Celebrates Birthday by Holding Special Charity Event With Friends: Recap

Advertisements

Knox Fortune Emerges From Behind The Scenes

It’s Mid-February In Beverly Hills And Already The Night Is Getting Long.

Taking a long sip from a glass of champagne, Kevin Rhomberg lifted his head from his glass, haphazardly brushing his mess of shoulder-length hair from his face and looked out across the scene before him. Stepping back from the surreal reality he now enjoyed, he began to try and make sense of the last few hours between congratulatory hugs and an endless stream of photos. Earlier that day, Rhomberg had earned his first Grammy award for his work on Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book that picked up the nod for ‘Best New Rap Album’ under the assumed alias of Knox Fortune. While many saw the win that weekend as the conclusion to a long story, Knox stood watching his friends, colleagues and heroes mingling with ease at the GQ-hosted event at the gilded Chateau Marmont. Understanding in that moment just how far he’d come in music, the night instead felt like the beginning of a story with a lengthy prologue, even the loftiest of dreams now within reach. Continue reading Knox Fortune Emerges From Behind The Scenes

From Understudy To Leading Man After A Journey Of Self-Discovery, KAMI Steps Into The Spotlight

“He’s wearing that jacket again,” was all I could think as I approached Kene Ekwunife at the marble-lined bar top. Coolly sipping a cocktail, a messenger bag slung across his shoulders, Kene, better known as SaveMoney artist KAMI, was impossible to miss in the half-full club. What the casual observer didn’t know is that he’d been rocking the thick-lined bomber since mid-summer. Far from the casual observer, I immediately recalled seeing him at East Room in July, myself sweating through a t-shirt as he stood draped in the neon-orange outerwear, seemingly unfazed as he explained the perseverance of style to me. While it may seem innocuous, that jacket operates as a perfect metaphor for KAMI as a person and an artist: unmistakable yet tempered, patient and consistent. In many ways, he’s evolved in the public eye without having to catch it’s full glare, not yet at least. Continue reading From Understudy To Leading Man After A Journey Of Self-Discovery, KAMI Steps Into The Spotlight

WHAT CHANCE THE RAPPER’S ‘COLORING BOOK’ MEANS FOR CHICAGO AND THE FUTURE OF MUSIC

By Jake Krez (Originally Appeared for Pigeons & Planes)

It’s nearing ten o’clock on May 12 and I’m sitting in a line of bumper cars to the right of Chancelor Bennett as he tugs down on his cell phone screen again and again. Continue reading WHAT CHANCE THE RAPPER’S ‘COLORING BOOK’ MEANS FOR CHICAGO AND THE FUTURE OF MUSIC

Op/Ed • Kanye West Passes The Torch to Chance The Rapper With ‘SNL’ Performance

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.

Continue reading Op/Ed • Kanye West Passes The Torch to Chance The Rapper With ‘SNL’ Performance

Looking Ahead to 1/31 Benefit to Save Via Rosa’s Home

Via Rosa is most happy when she’s cooking and creating.

A few years ago, she was following the path that those interests had paved for her, working on a degree in culinary arts and singing. She left that life in California to move back home and both take care of her grandmother as well as the building (acting as landlady) on Chicago’s south side.

Continue reading Looking Ahead to 1/31 Benefit to Save Via Rosa’s Home

Protestors Take To Streets Demanding Mayor’s Resignation

The City of Chicago is in an unprecedented time in it’s history.

Yet again, protestors have taken to the city’s streets to call for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the wake of the release of video showing Chicago Police Department officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times before trying to reload his weapon. Continue reading Protestors Take To Streets Demanding Mayor’s Resignation

Chicago Legends Do Or Die Reflect On Their Influential Career – XXL

The city of Chicago has become synonymous in recent years with exceptional musical talent led, in large part, by the city’s vibrant hip-hop scene. While acts like Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa and Kanye West enjoy the current limelight, pacing music both national and beyond, the path to the top wouldn’t have been possible without pioneers like legendary group Do Or Die. The trio, made up of Belo Zero, N.A.R.D. and AK, developed the blueprint of hustles necessary to make it musically in a city without a true industry. And now they’re continuing to prove they are capable of making the kind of songs that brought them to prominence over 20 years ago with the Sept. 18 release of their first studio album since 2006, Picture This 2, on Rap-A-Lot Records. Continue reading Chicago Legends Do Or Die Reflect On Their Influential Career – XXL

The Come Up: BandMan Kevo

Written By Jake Krzeczowski

Crossing the street and entering the ice cream parlor it was easy to pick out Bandman Kevo. Clad in sweatpants and a pair of Louis Vuitton sneakers, he stood out from the typical Baskin Robbins patron. Shaking hands with the rising 24-year-old hip-hop artist, who has taken his hometown of Chicago by storm with a series of lavish, gold-encrusted singles that have seen regular play both on Chicago’s Power 92.3 & 107.5 and the web, he approached the counter and ordered. After grabbing me a mint chocolate chip shake and a sundae for himself, we crossed the street, entered his building, and headed up the elevator. Continue reading The Come Up: BandMan Kevo

Chance the Rapper spearheads #SaveChicago campaign

Photo by Allen Daniels

On Chancelor Bennett’s sophomore mixtape, “Acid Rap,” he rhymes on “Paranoia”: “It just got warm out/this the s— I been warned about/I hope it storm in the morning/I hope it’s pouring out.” For those in-the-know about Chicago summers, it’s a nod to the dramatic uptick in gun violence that tends to follow the rising temperatures. Continue reading Chance the Rapper spearheads #SaveChicago campaign