It’s been a crazy couple of weeks to be here in Chicago and today in the wake of the release last Tuesday of the video of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times by Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has finally made the move the city has been calling for in dismissing Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. Continue reading Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy Dismissed
The ripples of Kanye West were abundant at the Chop Shop in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood Friday night for 21-year-old Vic Mensa’s homecoming. That the show sold out in under 20 minutes was no surprise given the hometown hero’s recent ascendance via Yeezy. Fresh off unveiling “Wolves” alongside ‘Ye at Saturday Night Live and then again the following week in London, the show was the city’s first glimpse of Vic as a bonafide star that many watched grow from day one. Continue reading Vic Mensa Rocks Secret Show in Chicago
If you don’t know Donnie Trumpet by now, you will very soon. In fact, there’s a good chance you’re unknowingly already a fan of his work. The artist sometimes known as Nico Segal has been working incessantly since the break up of Kids These Days, the band that spawned Vic Mensa and Marrow, and today delivers an artistic visual in the form of “Pasadena,” which you can watch below. Continue reading |VIDEO|Donnie Trumpet: ‘Pasadena’ & Vic Mensa: ‘Down On My Luck’
Alex Wiley was one of the first artists in Chicago I felt some sort of friendship with. Having been to Soundscape a few times to interview him/spend time with him in late 2012 while I was working on a story about the young artist signed to local independent label Closed Sessions, I knew to take things Wiley said with a grain of salt, and that if it was cold out he was probably posted on the black leather couch with his red winter jacket on. A self-purported rapper since he dropped out of high school to pursue his craft, Wiley has been at the center of much of the hip-hop music that has emanated from the post-drill scene that has taken over the city since Acid Rap dropped almost a year ago. Continue reading |The Chicago Narrative| Alex Wiley Rises to the Occasion
One of my “Acts to Look Out For“ from Chicago, Saba, dropped his long-awaited video for “Secondhand Smoke” yesterday, which offered glimpses of wintertime Chi alongside Vesely-esque digital effect to create a powerful aesthetic in the lead up to his project, ComfortZone. Since seeing Saba and his co-horts, Pivot Gang, for the first time at the after-school spoken word poetry program, Young Chicago Authors, it has been refreshing to see his uniquely powerful, yet ultimately conscious rhymes begin to find their way out of the city. As we saw a crop of artists rise from Chicago last year, Saba has gone about positioning himself for the bright lights of the big time perhaps better than anyone else, playing what seems like a show a day around the city, and keeping his travel schedule tight in getting around the country to spread the Pivot word. “Secondhand Smoke”, shot by the ever-talented guys over at Heart of the City, continues to build the buzz that has surrounded Saba for some time, keep an eye out for ComfortZone.
I sat down with Chicago singer/musician KSRA to talk about her past, present and future and what music means to each in Episode 5 of the Jugrnaut series. Shot by Jeremy Frank.
Last summer the Micklo family lost everything. After the community helped put them back on their feet, they couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
With the house gone and the family in disrepair, the community sprung into action.
Within days of the unexplained fire children in the area had set up lemonade stands that netted the family nearly $2,000, neighbors donated goods and local restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings and Cici’s Pizza held fundraisers to help the family through their hard time.
That was last June. The Micklo family moved back into their home on March 13 on the same plot of land where they lost everything but the family car and the clothes on their backs.
The outpouring from the community was a big reason for their commitment to stay where tragedy struck.
“Everybody in the neighborhood was so amazing with helping us,” said Erin Micklo. “There was a fund set up and people donated clothing and gift cards and books for the kids, it was amazing.”
The fire, which started in the basement and eventually worked itself to the back porch where it exploded two propane tanks, effectively took everything with it.
That left the family with a lot to replace. From utensils to couches to beds and toys.
Those voids were easy to fill. However, it was the memories that will be most missed.
“The fire was so bad that no one could go in the house afterwards,” said Erin Micklo. “We couldn’t get in to find things like photo albums, home movies, my wedding dress. It was all gone.”
Through it all, the Micklo family knows that those in the area have had their backs. Without them the rebuilding process would have been even harder.
“This all would have been nearly impossible without everyone’s help,” said Kevin Micklo. “The church, the school districts, everyone was just absolutely amazing, we’re very grateful.”