Tag Archives: op/ed

Double Door Closes, Signifying End Of Wicker Park As We Knew It

And so it is. After a long and well-documented battle against current landlords, the owners of the Double Door were finally served an eviction notice, delivered by the sheriff who subsequently had the locks changed. So ends a chapter in the history of Wicker Park, once a bastion for local artistry, now simply a continuation of the nearby Loop that seems to be creeping increasingly upward along Milwaukee Ave.  Continue reading Double Door Closes, Signifying End Of Wicker Park As We Knew It

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In Response • Chicago Sun-Times Embarrasses Itself, Further Alienates Young Readers With Irresponsible Chance The Rapper Cover Story

In 2017, the City of Chicago has found itself in need of heroes. With skyrocketing shootings, rising socioeconomic disparities and a city teetering on the edge of bankruptcy where fraud runs rampant, the city is desperate for someone to show us a way forward. Lately, 23-year-old Chancelor Bennett has emerged as the catalyst for what’s next by championing individual rights, helping organize communities from the ground up and, just this week, putting $1 million dollars of his own money towards closing the massive funding gap within the Chicago Public Schools. So, it seemed odd then to pick up the Chicago Sun-Times, the paper I first wrote about Chance The Rapper for, to see a story by Mary Mitchell essentially belittling the Grammy winner’s contributions by pointing to problems he allegedly had with the mother of his child. That the story, which is wrought with reporting holes and an honest understanding of the situation, ran on the front page is an affront to not only what Chance is doing, but where many of those living here would like to see the city go. Continue reading In Response • Chicago Sun-Times Embarrasses Itself, Further Alienates Young Readers With Irresponsible Chance The Rapper Cover Story

Spike Lee Continues To Defend Chiraq, Further Revealing Ignorance

Godamnit Spike, I thought we were done with this.

After months of constant bullshittery about how much good your satirical look at a problem that affects hundreds of thousands of people each year has done for the affected, after you tried to tear down one of the purveyors of goodness in this city, after you convinced everyone in NYC that we here in Chicago actually use the word ‘Chiraq,’ you’re still not done?

Op/Ed • Kanye West Passes The Torch to Chance The Rapper With ‘SNL’ Performance

Here in Chicago, there are two distinct movements when discussing the local hip-hop scene. For most, there are two important eras that pace the scene: the Kanye wave and the ‘New Age’ wave. The former took place from roughly 2002 to about the time ‘Ye became a household name capable of upsetting even the President of the United States. The second is still going. Having developed over the last five years or so, it has grown out of a combination of separate movements in the city that culminated this past week in the crossover of Chance The Rapper as West appeared to pass the torch in a way on the stage of Saturday Night Live. It’s a collaboration that has been dreamed of by those locally for years and comes at a time when each is at the most influential points of their respective careers. It’s a collaboration that essentially sees ‘Ye interacting with the embodiment of his own influence. More than anything though, it’s a closing of the gap between the pair of movements that have positioned Chicago as the next great center of music and hip-hop.

Continue reading Op/Ed • Kanye West Passes The Torch to Chance The Rapper With ‘SNL’ Performance

TO PIMP A GENRE: HOW RAP IS DEFINED IN MEDIA

Last week, it was reported that ISIS member Denis Cuspert was taken out by drone strikes in Syria.

What does this have to do with hip-hop? One headline for the story read: “German-Born Rapper Who Joined ISIS Was Killed In U.S. Airstrike.”  I immediately clicked the link, scanning the story for any mention of an actual affiliation to music, and unsurprisingly I found none. As has been the case for years, media outlets love to use the genre of rap and rapper as an occupation to push an agenda associated with violence, anti-government and mayhem. Continue reading TO PIMP A GENRE: HOW RAP IS DEFINED IN MEDIA