Tag Archives: chicago renaissance

Carrying The Purple Torch: Eryn Allen Kane Continues Her Soulful March Forward

Originally Appeared for TheseDays in July 2016

Five minutes before taking the biggest stage of her life, Eryn Allen Kane is freaking out.

Her mind running, palms sweating, feet pacing, she begins to make sense of how she got to this point: backstage preparing to perform alongside none other than Prince, her first proper stage experience outside of backup duties.

Suddenly, a familiar face steps into the green room. Recognizing the worry on her face, sensing the nerves bubbling to the surface, Prince assures her, “don’t be nervous, why are you nervous, why?”

Looking at him, Kane could think of only one thing to say, “because you’re Prince, man.”

“So what,” he returned. “You’re Eryn and you’re here for a reason and this is your time, this is you.”  Continue reading Carrying The Purple Torch: Eryn Allen Kane Continues Her Soulful March Forward

‘Wave Don’t Die’: Chicago’s Activist Music Scene How a New Generation of Artists & Activists Are Affecting the World

Originally Appeared on TheseDays.News (August 2016)It’s a scene that’s becoming all too familiar in these turbulent times: a large group of protesters clogging downtown streets, disrupting corporate commerce and planting themselves on the ground with their hands up. Once again our city’s voice stand up for a fallen friend, brother, son as thousands poured onto Michigan Ave this past Sunday to stand up against the latest brutal police shooting, this one that left 18-year-old Paul O’Neil dead. Once again the Chicago Police Department trotted out a list of reasons to try and explain. Once again Rahm Emanuel pursed his lips, gripped the podium and dipped his head to the floor in a gesture that has come to embody the greater mentality on the subject. And once again, another young man didn’t come home because of the itchy trigger finger of one of those lives in blue. With hearts heavy and spirits waning, the pain is once again palpable.

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

Kaina Castillo Steps to the Front of the Stage

Age: 20  Neighborhood: Irving Park • Follow: Twitter // Soundcloud


The beautiful thing about Chicago as a creative outlet has always been the affordability it allows while interacting in a locale on par with Los Angeles or New York City. Lower rent and less people means a bit more room to move around, be creative and grow into one’s destined medium. There’s room to move around and explore and no one knows that better than 20-year-old singer/do-everything Kaina Castillo who has been making a name for herself around the city through a series of hustles that have only begun to find their way to the public.  Continue reading Kaina Castillo Steps to the Front of the Stage