(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.
Continue reading Artistic Empathy: Kweku Collins Moves To The Front Of The Class
The Social Experiment
If you’ve been to a festival or accessed the Internet anytime over the past few months, it’s pretty certain that you’ve heard something that’s been touched by The Social Experiment. Chance The Rapper’s in-house band and production team—comprised of Peter Cottontale, Nico Segal, Greg Landfair and Nate Fox—has been busy since releasing Acid Rap last April. That included crisscrossing trips across the country playing sold out venues as well as spending time in the studio with the likes of Skrillex, SZA, Jeremih, James Blake and Justin Bieber, just to name a few.
Producing sonically beautiful backing tracks that are both a play on the pillars of Chicago music thus far and a trajectory forward of where it can go, this group has been able to make hip-hop music that is palpable to the general public. Currently working on the follow up to Acid Rap, each of the members of the collective have plans for solo albums over the next year that should prove to continue the forward-thinking production across the spectrum of music. Continue reading XXL’s Guide To Chicago Hip-Hop: Top Five Producers