Category Archives: RubyHornet

Marrow: The Second Time Around


Six months ago the dream was all but dead.

Kids These Days officially broke up on May 8, 2013. Two days later I was behind the wheel of my Chevy Trailblazer heading north to Wisconsin. The seven piece funk/soul/rock/hip-hop group that had captivated a generation of a city was no more, and they had retreated north to make sense of it all.

As I drove through the newly warm spring air with drummer Greg Landfair, his girlfriend and a friend, we listened to the eclectic sounds of Traphouse Rock and Hard Times. The group had spanned nearly four years together, essentially amounting to what would later be referred to as their “college days”. With college over, we pulled up to a hastily-erected sign on the side of a seldom-used street in what seemed like the middle of nowhere of  Wisconsin to return to where it all began. Continue reading Marrow: The Second Time Around

|Editorial| Why TDE’s ‘Top Dawg’ Isn’t Happy With GQ

Last week, Kendrick Lamar added to the illustrious 2013 he has enjoyed by being named GQ’s “Man of the Year”, complete with cover story and a party/performance in his honor. What should have been a landmark event for the Los Angeles MC instead turned sour after the “Top Dog” of Top Dawg Entertainment (Kendrick’s Label), Anthony Tiffith, pulled Lamar from the performance at the party, citing problems with the way the story was written and going as far as to point to “racial overtones” in the article as a reason for the cancellation. While on the surface, the move may be viewed by many as a bad one by Tiffith, looking further into the reason why he made such a bold statement at such a traditionally celebratory moment demonstrates the growth of a genre not only in the product, but in the way it is marketed. Continue reading |Editorial| Why TDE’s ‘Top Dawg’ Isn’t Happy With GQ

[Review] King Krule at Lincoln Hall 12/11/2013

Photo by Nolis

On a blistering cold Wednesday night on the North Side of Chicago, everything I thought I knew about British indie artist King Krule was blown away. The 19-year-old artist, formerly known as Zoo Kid, took the stage in front of a sold out Lincoln Hall crowd that seemed to be almost frothing at the mouth for him to play just a note. Cat calls from women likely twice his age rained down on him as the young artist sang with his deep baritone voice, resolute and certain in a way that permeated inner confidence. It felt like a small miracle every time he opened his mouth that Krule could produce such a powerful voice from such a slight package. Continue reading [Review] King Krule at Lincoln Hall 12/11/2013

Vic Mensa Takes Over The Innanetape

Photo by FragdFilms

It’s ten o’clock at night in late March and I’m fighting sleep. Sitting almost horizontal on a massive, black leather couch as my photographer, Bryan Lamb, and I watch Chance the Rapper racing back and forth from the booth behind us to the computer in front of us, occasionally taking frantic puffs from his cigarette.

His counterpart, Vic Mensa, lounges on a couch nearby, staring intently at a Macbook perched carefully on his lap, analyzing the first cut of the video for “DiditB4”, the lead single off his September 30 release, Innanetape directed by fellow Savemoney member Austin Vesely. The pre-rendered cuts are too quick for the computer and the screen stops on a scene of Mensa, in a white coat and goggles, holding a cow brain. “That shit was too raw, Austin drove to some farm to get it,” said Mensa. Continue reading Vic Mensa Takes Over The Innanetape

North Coast Music Festival: Interview with Cherub

Photos by Bobby Reys

Cherub has been steadily building a name for themselves since crossing paths three years ago with a common musical goal. It was simple, guitarist Jordan Kelley had a sound he wasn’t quite sure how to achieve, Jason Huber had just the voice and production skills to make it happen. Having found each other in Nashville, TN, the pair created Cherub, a hybrid dance/funk electro-pop that has drawn comparisons to Prince and Pharrell. Over the past two years the duo have watched their stars rise exponentially, playing Bonaroo and Electric Forest, along with a successful SXSW in Austin last year buoyed by supports from the Red Bull Sound Select series. This year Jason and Jordan  jumped on tour with Gramatik in the spring and, with festival season out of the way, will begin a Fall tour with ProbCause, Mansions on the Moon and Pell. We had the opportunity to sit down with the pair before the played the Dos Equis stage, check out the conversation below. Continue reading North Coast Music Festival: Interview with Cherub

North Coast Music Festival: Jesse Miller of Lotus

Lotus has carried the flag for their own genre for awhile now. “Jamtronica”, the band’s signature blend of electronic elements paired with a creatively unique jam band aesthetic that has kept them at the forefront of both genres for close to 15 years now. Lotus’ ability to master a wide range of disciplines musically has allowed the Indiana-based group to constantly tinker with it’s sound and evolve the band’s dynamic. Lotus is a fully adaptable animal, with the ability to go from rock to dance to hip hop all in one rocking set and, largely without vocal aid. I had a chance to catch Lotus frontman Jesse Miller while backstage at The Last Stand Stage, check out the interview below. Continue reading North Coast Music Festival: Jesse Miller of Lotus

|Interview| North Coast Music Festival: U-God

Like most anyone involved with hip-hop music or pop culture in general, I grew up listening to Wu-Tang Clan and vividly remember ODB crooning through the speakers of my Mom’s Ford Explorer when I was a kid hijacking the radio. So, waiting on the elevator with two photographers to meet and interview U-God during North Coast was one of the crazier moments I’ve had in my life.  The two of us said hello, settled in and enjoyed the view from the 29th floor of the Hard Rock Hotel, check out the conversation below.

Continue reading |Interview| North Coast Music Festival: U-God

KSRA: What Will Be, Will Be

Photo by Tasya Menaker

It’s 2006, and Rachel Thomas is staring down the edge of a long blade.

A decision had to be made. Die right now or live, because pointing a knife at yourself daily is no kind of life.

A choice was made, the knife lowered. The next day, Thomas re-discovered sound. Continue reading KSRA: What Will Be, Will Be

Chopping Up The Recipe With ProbCause

Things come about in abstracts for ProbCause. The Evanston, Ill., native, who is in the process of wrapping up a MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has become known around his city for pointed lyricism and careful collaborations. On his latest project, The Recipe Vol. 2 he seeks to have his message stimulate eyes and ears alike while pulling from all corners of burgeoning the Windy City scene.

The Recipe vol. 2 is a departure for the Psalm One protege-an exploration of blending separate aspects of himself and those around him into one cohesive project. Continue reading Chopping Up The Recipe With ProbCause

The Day I Overdosed on Acid Rap

Photo by Roger Tino MoralesSince dropping Acid Rap in late April as the follow up to 2012′s 10 Day, Chance The Rapper has quickly turned much of the city’s youth into unapologetic junkies.

The squirrely nanas and schizophrenic flow have taken the city and the national underground hip-hop scene by storm over the past year, and Friday at Lollapalooza set the perfect stage for Chance’s tie-dyed Acid raps to shine. First off, I’ll admit I’m an avid user. Having followed Chance for most of the past year and for days at a time at SXSW in Austin, I felt more than prepared as I rode in the car to a noon rehearsal at The Music Garage on the near West Side with “Good Ass Intro” producer Peter CottonTale. Continue reading The Day I Overdosed on Acid Rap