Tag Archives: feature story

Talking To Nikko Washington, SaveMoney’s Creative Force

Originally Appeared on TheseDays in September 2016

By now, SaveMoney has emerged as a force not only on the local scene, but the country and world at large. With a year that has seen the likes of Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa take marked steps towards the throne while the rest of the contingent has made their respective steps forward, the collective as a whole has established itself as the pre-eminent music organization on the come up today. While known mostly for the rap side of things that have taken over the city in the wake of the Drill movement, SaveMoney has never been solely one thing, a sentiment that has been echoed since interviews with the likes of Chano and Mensa back to 2012. It’s a loose contingent that counts creatives of all types in it’s ranks and one man in particular has been tapped to make sure it all comes together appropriately. That man is Nikko Washington. Continue reading Talking To Nikko Washington, SaveMoney’s Creative Force


Artistic Empathy: Kweku Collins Moves To The Front Of The Class

(Originally Appeared for TheseDays News)

At a time when most of his peers are hunting down summer jobs, jonesing for internships or cramming for finals, 19-year-old Evanston native Kweku Collins is lounging idly on a couch. An electronic vaporizer in one hand, the other rubbing his loose collection of curious locks, each with it’s own plan and direction that dictate his wily look, Collins looks very much the part of a college student nearing the end of his freshman year and in a way, he is.

Instead of picking a school and signing up for classes though, the ever-sleepy-eyed Collins sent a mixtape to Alex Fruchter and Mike Kolar, owners of the local imprint Closed Sessions. He hit send on the email at the beginning of February 2015, by the time the Chicago River was dyed green, he was a signed artist with a team to boot.

Continue reading Artistic Empathy: Kweku Collins Moves To The Front Of The Class

The Evolution Of Jamila Woods

It’s not all that difficult to read what Jamila Woods is thinking or feeling.

To do that, you just have to look to her expressions, which tell a story that has been evolving for some time.

The 25-year-old native Chicagoan has been plying her trade around her hometown for some time now. Having entered the creative world as a poet, she has since made welcome forays into music, teaching and writing. Pulling from a multitude of experiences, Jamila speaks with a sort of frank realness that allows any listener an immediate understanding of her comfortability within her own thoughts and feelings.
Continue reading The Evolution Of Jamila Woods

[Feature] Introducing: Eryn Allen Kane

We eased into our seats at the Boiler Room, a bastion of pizza in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood with a killer deal for a slice and a beer. As I settled into the booth with local singer Eryn Allen Kane, the waitress laid the orders out on the table like a challenge: two tall Pabst Blue Ribbons, oversized pieces of pizza and shots of Jameson. As the Blue Line rumbled above us in the distance I cozied up to the corner table to try to figure out how best to describe to the world a 24-year-old R&B artist with a public discography that is almost nonexistent. Continue reading [Feature] Introducing: Eryn Allen Kane

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

Sorry, Kanye: Andrew Barber is the face of Chicago hip-hop

BY JAKE KRZECZOWSKI March 13, 2013 11:38PM

Since starting the hip-hop blog Fake Shore Drive in 2007, Andrew Barber has consistently shone a light on Chicago’s lesser-known rappers.

On Thursday, through a partnership with the RedBull Sound Select concert series, Barber will continue to do what he does best — helping to curate a Chicago hip-hop showcase as part of the “140 Hours to Austin” lineup at the Texas city’s South by Southwest music festival. Continue reading Sorry, Kanye: Andrew Barber is the face of Chicago hip-hop