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
Ah, Lollapalooza! Like an old friend you’ve grown apart from, the Lolla of today hardly resembles the festival I spent all my summer cash on as a teenager, to drink cheap vodka out of a water bottle and watch Kid Cudi. The Lollapalooza of 2015 is an aggressive beast that appears poised to burst its Grant Park confines and spill into the city at large—as indeed it does every night at 10pm during its three-day stretch. Continue reading My Lolla: Jake Krzeczowski
Originally Appeared on Noisey
“It’s go time! Y’all not acting like it’s go time,” Saba shouts to the people gathered backstage at North Coast Music Festival in Chicago’s Union Park. He turns around with wide eyes, clapping loudly, in a moment of enthusiasm that seems uncharacteristic from the self-professed nerd and career quiet kid. After pacing the distance from his tent to the stage several times, he dips his head and trots up the stairs leading to the stage. As his band goes through sound check, he squints through the stage’s backdrop at the slowly gathering crowd. His feet move up and down, fingertips nervously drumming against his microphone. He holds it tight to his chin. “PIVOT!” he yells, a smile crossing his face as he repeats his clique’s nickname in call and response. “PIVOT” the hundred or so in attendance for the set shout back. Continue reading Saba’s West Side Story Is One Worth Listening To
Chicago’s Mick Jenkins has some pretty serious thoughts about water.
Aside from being the namesake for his highly-anticipated project, The Water(s), the natural resource is also the first thing listeners hear on the opening track “Shipwrecked.” The 22-year-old rapper is the latest to rise from the city with poignant lyricism and a clear aesthetic that is understood throughout his catalog. The difference with Jenkins has been his ability to migrate from the city and grow his brand elsewhere in the process. Continue reading [Review] Mick Jenkins: “The Water(s)”