Tag Archives: jake krez

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

Catching Up With Lil Uzi Vert at The Metro

Originally Appeared in FLAUNT Magazine August 2016

With forty-five minutes left to go before the ten o’clock curfew for the sold-out show at Chicago’s Metro Lil Uzi Vert is nowhere to be seen. A surprise performance from Lil Bibby and subsequent set from DJ Oreo keeps the crowd moving with a consistent offering of turn up songs that has the room moving in frenetic dance circles, albeit without the name on the marquee. With just under forty minutes to go and organizers looking around nervously, the small ball of energy that is Lil Uzi rockets onto the stage. Reacting immediately, the temperature in the venue seems to rise exponentially. As Uzi works his way through the first single joined by none other than Famous Dex, I prop myself up on a folding chair to get a better view. Reaching to the ceiling for support my hand slips on the condensation from the pure energy in the room. Looking around one can see the future of hip-hop. While everyone in the venue seems to know all the words to every song and dance move to boot, all seem to do so without ever looking at the stage. Instead, a sea of cell phones light up the room, most screens flipped inward, the fans watching themselves enjoy the music for their followers. Continue reading Catching Up With Lil Uzi Vert at The Metro

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

Editorial • Let Dej Loaf Live!

As a writer that often focuses on hip-hop music, I tend to pay attention to things that wouldn’t make it onto most others’ radars. Like, who the first artist with a ‘Lil’ name was, what ever happened to the ‘real’ Rick Ross, or the non-fictional motivations behind Drake lyrics. It’s a symptom of the habit. Sometimes, though, tracking these trends, news items, and rollouts can get tiresome and boil over into straight up cynicism. Lil Durk’s forced ‘celebrity relationship’ with Dej Loaf is one of those items: I just can’t fuck with it anymore.

Continue reading Editorial • Let Dej Loaf Live!

THE STATE OF CHICAGO HIP-HOP: NO END IN SIGHT

Three years ago things were just getting exciting around Chicago. Chief Keef had just made the country take a collective gulp as he shoved guns into the lens of a Handicam protected by his thick mop of locks, Kids These Days had just dropped Hard Times and were preparing their proper full-length and a kid named Chance was beginning to get some attention for his recent 10 Day mixtape. The spotlights were on their way, quickly tearing themselves from Atlanta long enough to get entranced by the almost creepy sound of drill, packed full of real-life assertions that played on America’s penchant for struggle behind glass. Fresh off of journalism school I arrived in Chicago, the local scene seemed set for big things and I was at the center of it, reporting at the time for the Chicago Sun-Times. Continue reading THE STATE OF CHICAGO HIP-HOP: NO END IN SIGHT

Chicago’s Hurt Everybody Brings Grunge To Hip-Hop On ‘2K47’ Mixtape

The Hurt Everybody movement is in full swing.

A year removed from their debut release on July 4, 2014, the trio of Supa BWE, Carl and Mulatto Beats have built a large and dedicated fanbase through their constant releases on SoundCloud. The group’s 4th of July release 2K47 recently demonstrated their feverish work ethic. The sophomore project, more importantly, positioned the group as one of the next up from a crowded Chicago scene.

2K47 arrives as a much sleeker, tightly-wound unveil than last year’s debut. Whereas the Hurt Everybody EP was a collection of favorite tracks recorded and released for short periods of time online, 2K47 comes packaged with an understanding of over-arching themes that pace the project. “F*ck you I’m amazing” is prevalent throughout, both a boastful declaration and a serious assertion. Continue reading Chicago’s Hurt Everybody Brings Grunge To Hip-Hop On ‘2K47’ Mixtape

SURF’S UP! DONNIE TRUMPET, NATE FOX, AND PETER COTTONTALE DISCUSS ‘SURF’

Originally Appeared for Vice/Noisey

Last Thursday night, Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment’s album Surf appeared as a free download on iTunes (reportedly the first Apple had allowed), its arrival sudden yet highly anticipated. Promises that the album was coming soon—before the end of the year, then “soon,” then “very soon”—had been floating around since Chance the Rapper announced it in an interview with Billboard last fall, and hip-hop fans were eager to find out what the project that most saw as the follow-up to Chance’s acclaimed 2013 mixtape Acid Rap would sound like.

Surf sounds like a party. It’s a different sonic world from any other hip-hop album released this year, and its cast of contributors is impressive, featuring local Chicago friends like NoNameGypsy, Saba, and Joey Purp as well as big names like Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, Big Sean, and J. Cole. It’s also—although he’s the most well known name attached to it, and The Social Experiment is his touring band—not a Chance the Rapper album. It’s a collaborative effort with other band members Peter Cottontale and Nate Fox, overseen by Donnie Trumpet, a.k.a. Nico Segal.

“What I wanted to accomplish on this project most was to convey to people that I’m a producer and not just a trumpet player in Chance’s band,” Segal told me last Friday morning, groggy from an all-nighter scanning Twitter and reading initial reviews. “This is supposed to be the beginning of something, the first of its kind for something new.”

Continued below… Continue reading SURF’S UP! DONNIE TRUMPET, NATE FOX, AND PETER COTTONTALE DISCUSS ‘SURF’

[VIDEO] EDC Chicago: Hardwell Interview

While at the inaugural Electric Daisy Carnival Chicago in Joliet, Il covering for the Chicago Sun Times I had the chance to interview EDM superstar and current No. 6 DJ in the world, Hardwell. Linking up with The Frontliner for visual help I visited Hardwell in his trailer before he hit the stage Saturday night. Check out the video below.

THELONIOUS MARTIN: INTERVIEW

By Jake Krzeczowski

In another collaboration with IXI Chicago (SideBySide Collective), we bring you a look into the mind of Chicago-based producer, Thelonious Martin. Peep the video and profile below – video by Bryan Lamb – words by Jake Krzeczowski.

Names can get tricky for Chicago producer Thelonious Martin. Often confused with Theophilous London and Thelonious Monk, the 19-year-old Columbia student has gone about establishing his own name in music over the past few years. Continue reading THELONIOUS MARTIN: INTERVIEW