Tag Archives: feature

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

Home Team • Ian Eastwood

As we continue along this ever-expanding idea of a Chicago Renaissance, it’s undeniable that the forward-thinking artistic movement goes well-beyond just music. Art, at its essence is interpretation and no one takes cues like fast-rising dancer, choreographer and Oak Park native, Ian Eastwood, who has been forging a new path in his own lane that speaks to a larger independent movement that has come to pace this scene of artists and creatives operating out of the midwest.  Continue reading Home Team • Ian Eastwood

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

Donnie’s Song: The Inside Story Of How The Social Experiment’s ‘Surf’ Came To Life

For the past two years, writer Jake Krez lived in the house that would become the starting point for Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment’s Surfsharing the house with Social Experiment members Donnie Trumpet and Peter Cottontale. Many long days and nights were spent by the group crafting the project, which was released last week on iTunes. As the album neared completion, Krez sat down with Trumpet to talk about the group’s path to the final product. Here’s his up-close-and-personal look at how ‘Surf’ came to be.

A House In Chicago, Winter 2013

It was the beginning of winter in 2013. The stark cold of Chicago in November sent Peter Cottontale and Nico Segal — known more famously as Donnie Trumpet, the creative lead on Surf — down from the attic of the house Peter and I rented just north of the Logan Square neighborhood of the city. Setting up shop just outside my bedroom door in the basement, the two began tinkering, laying out
the arrangements and initial imprint of what Surf, Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment’s just-released project, would become.


It was a different time for the Chicago music scene. Vic Mensa had yet to crawl onstage with Kanye West, and Acid Rap — the mixtape that put Social Experiment affiliate Chance The Rapper firmly in the national spotlight, thus setting the stage for Surf‘s hype — was only eight months old. At the time, the biggest thing happening was the breakup of Kids These Days, the seven-piece band that started it all. The group, which featured Segal on horns alongside Mensa and Social Experiment drummer Greg Landfair, cut ties shortly after Acid Rap released in the spring. It was a distinct moment in time for the Chicago scene at large; Kids These Days had blazed a trail right to the stages of Lollapalooza and The Conan O’Brien Show that Chance and Mensa would later build upon, respectively, as solo artists.

Segal was perhaps most affected by the breakup. It was while performing alongside Kids These Days at South by Southwest in 2011 that Chance was “discovered,” and Nico had been a big part of his growth, along with the growth of many other local young stars. I remember being invited to join some of the Kids These Days members the weekend after the breakup announcement on a trip north to a family farm in Wisconsin. Sitting around a fire that night, I remember watching Segal, ahead of going on tour with Frank Ocean, shed real tears about the group’s end. His music is his life — his trumpet rarely leaves his side. In that moment, it seemed his passion for assembling and marshaling a talented group of artists had gone forever.

“The end of the band was definitely hard. That group was all I had known since I was 14 years old,” Segal told me, sitting in the attic where Surf began. “What I realized is that I just love making music with my friends, and I’m fortunate enough that my friends are really, really good at what they do. So as much as the breakup hurt, I was lucky enough to be able to find something that I could really understand and enjoy musically.”

Continue reading Donnie’s Song: The Inside Story Of How The Social Experiment’s ‘Surf’ Came To Life

[Feature] Growing up on Glenwood: An Interview with A Billion Young

Over the past couple of years, Chicago has become a fertile locale for new musical talent. From Chief Keef to Chance The Rapper to The Orwells and all that’s in between, the plethora of music happening in the ‘Second City’ has some residents whispering words like renaissance and golden age. The reason for the progression is the city’s innate relationship with a series of musical movements spawned and perfected within Cook County’s borders. By playing on a cross-section of those influences and the movement created by their peers, production duo A Billion Young have positioned themselves as the next act to emerge from a crowded ground floor. Continue reading [Feature] Growing up on Glenwood: An Interview with A Billion Young