Consider the Soul Trap movement in full effect. Starting in 2012 with Chicago’s MC Tree’s project Sunday School, we have been consistently graced with the chopped soul sampling production that has come to define the 30-year-old artist. Recently, he teamed up with fellow Chicagoan Chris Crack for the much talked about release, TreeSwag, which dropped earlier this month (get it here). Continue reading |VIDEO| Tree x Chris Crack: “CUTS” + Two New Songs
Alex Wiley burst onto the Chicago Hip-Hop radar last year with his debut project, Club Wiley, as the initial signee to local independent label Closed Sessions. Since the new year, Wiley has dropped a steady line of content, and his latest video for “Ova”, shot by Visual Mecca, is a reflection of that growth. Continue reading |VIDEO| Alex Wiley: “Ova”
If you happened to spend time in Chicago’s Logan Square over the past year or so, Netherfriends and his three-fingered salute shouldn’t be wildly unfamiliar to you. To be honest, there aren’t many places unrecognizable to the wildly eclectic 27-year-old producer/performer. Having crisscrossed the country several times and one-upped Sufjan Stevens by writing a song in every state, Netherfriends has grown a truly grassroots following among indie fans, electronic heads and rap aficionados alike. His latest working, “Uptown Boys” is a rumination on time spent in the north side neighborhood of Chicago, known for its upscale music venues and dark corners and alleys, the video, shot by Elevator, is a sort of montage of Netherfriends live shows, intense personality and off-the-wall disposition. He’s kind of a weird guy, but it’s what makes his music so endearing, you can feel every ounce of him poured into each track, a tall order for someone who seems intent on working constantly.
Well, if you haven’t heard, love is in the air. Adding to the Valentine’s Day spirit is Mike Golden & Friends out of Chicago. The soul rock group adds another layer to the already heightened sense of the four letter word with another well-crafted video from the talented Elijah Alvarado. Never one to do things the same twice, Alvarado begins the video with Golden beginning a wall of dominoes, which then pace the first few moments of the visual depiction of the band’s song “Every Morning Love”, eventually sparking a mechanism, seemingly out of the opening scene of The Sandlot, that announces the title in one of the most creative ways I’ve ever seen it done. Remember when the song title and artist name were just white writing in the bottom left corner? It’s 2014, people. Basically, Golden and Alvarado set up a girl’s dream Valentine’s Day morning set to a single off the band’s latest project, Utopia. Check it out above.
Back in 2012, while looking for a different sound to add to their latest project, electronic gods Daft Punk turned to Panda Bear, the somewhat leader of Animal Collective, the progressive, experimental group of artists including Geologist, Deakin and John Maus have consistently pushed the envelope, merging traditional instrumentation with specifically electronic aesthetics and world influences to create an end product that is a departure from much of what hits the airwaves today, and also influencing much of what comes afterwards. Continue reading |Video| Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks Announce Tour & Album with “Little Fang”
King L’s latest banger, “Tony”, off his recently-released mixtape Drilluminati 2 is a mafioso dream cut with shot of L’s harrowing live shows donning a three piece suit. The song and the video create an interesting aesthetic for the 27-year-old artist from Chicago and calls to mind a young Jay-Z going the same route when his career had hit a breaking point, a decision which ultimately vaulted him to the top of hip-hop for years to come and allowed him to re-write the narrative that had followed him to that point. The points in career are much different, King L largely holds his destiny in his own hands, but perhaps the sentiment makes sense. “My name is Louie, but they call me Tony” is simple, yet packed with meaning and braggadocio and the suits and overall motif may well be a direction King L wants to keep traveling down. While the video gets the overall aesthetic right, it misses an opportunity to take this song from up a notch by using the mafioso and Tony Montana motifs a bit further. Chance also makes a cameo, keep an eye out for that. Full video, from WorldStarHipHop below.
Chicago’s West Side produced one of the city’s quickest-rising stars last summer when local artist Z Money dropped a pair of mixtapes, Rich B4 Rap and Heroin Musik that took the underground hip-hop scene by storm and placed the 20-year-old restauranteur firmly in line as the next thing to blow from the Windy City. Currently preparing to up the ante on his dual release, Z Money is currently hard at work in the studio preparing to release a trio of projects simultaneously, while also getting ready to travel south to Austin for SXSW. Continue reading |Video| Z Money: “Ignorant”