Detroit and the area surrounding it has found itself in headlines for a variety of negative reasons ranging from lost jobs to toxic drinking water. While the area has been blighted by a decade of malfeasance from a variety of directions, it never seemed to lose its drive, it’s soul, it’s ability to create that manifested itself a generation earlier as ‘MoTown’. While the city has seen a resurgence lately piqued by a millenial generation eager to reclaim the desolation of the Baby Boomer narcissism one voice in particular has stuck out as a sort of forlorn rallying cry for a city on the brink of a new chapter. That person is Tunde Olaniran.
(Originally Appeared for TheseDays)
At this point, it’s a sort of foregone conclusion that Chance The Rapper will only continue to assert his control over the music world at-large with the impending release of his #Chance3 project. That got a further teasing this week with the unveiling of theartwork for the project. Three years since Acid Rapand nearly five since 10 Day, Chance’s new project will be the third installment in what he’s calling his mixtape trilogy, As Chance has grown and evolved both as a musician and a person, the covers of his projects have seemed to reflect each; the music itself following suit. One prevailing aesthetic of each project though has been the cover art, which seems to be artistic takes on distinct points in young Chano’s growth. The reason for that consistency is easy to figure as well, there has been a singular force behind the imagery that finds itself to the front page of Chance’s work and that force is none other than Chicago artist Brandon Breaux. Continue reading Brandon Breaux: The Man Behind The Cover Art Of Acid Rap, 10 Day & Chance 3
(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.
It’s nearing ten o’clock on May 12 and I’m sitting in a line of bumper cars to the right of Chancelor Bennett as he tugs down on his cell phone screen again and again. Continue reading WHAT CHANCE THE RAPPER’S ‘COLORING BOOK’ MEANS FOR CHICAGO AND THE FUTURE OF MUSIC
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
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.”