As The Clock Neared Midnight On December 31, 2016 Kaina Castillo, Clutching A Microphone In One Hand And Bottle Of Champagne In The Other, Led A Packed Room As She Counted Down The Final Moments To The New Year…
To her right was a set of fresh-faced twins named Eddie and IZ, emphatically jumping up and down with the passing seconds. To her left, horn players Sen Morimoto and Sam Veren urged the crowd before them as the countdown hit three, and then two. A moment later, the whole group stood under a shower of bubbling champagne as Castillo exclaimed “Happy New Year,” popping the cork from the bottle in the process. As the suds rained down on the group of young friends from the ceiling, it was immediately evident that 2017 would have plenty in store for the central figures in what’s quickly becoming the next wave of Chicago music. Continue reading Chicago Renaissance Continued: Meet The City’s Next Wave Of Musicians
It’s 3:30 in the afternoon on a sunny Fall Tuesday in Madison, Wisconsin and I’m about three feet deep in a decades-old tweed couch. To my left is 18-year-old Davon Prather, better known to the world as Trapo; the only artist that’s pried us from the bustle of Chicago since our foray to Milwaukee a year ago.
Ahead of me, one of our crew, Westley, sits perched on the edge of the adjacent couch leaning aggressively into a Nintendo 64 controller, squaring off against Tray, who’s apartment we find ourselves in. Set amongst the high-pitched hum of the Super Smash Bros. backing track, Trapo tells us of making a name for himself from humble beginnings while carefully rolling a blunt on the table before him. Continue reading The Trapo Story: Madison’s Finest Gears Up For His Next Chapter with ‘Shade Trees’
It had already been a long day by the time I arrived at the Chicken Shop inside Chicago’s Soho House. Continue reading STRETCH & BOBBITO: RADIO THAT CHANGED MY LIFE
Man, Spike Lee might want to stay away from Chicago for awhile.
On Tuesday, the trailer for his much talked-about film Chi-Raq was released online, immediately sparking quite a fervor on Twitter and beyond. While we definitely can’t make brash judgements on the film’s concept as a whole given we’ve only seen a two minute and 31 second trailer, there are some questionable aspects of this first glimpse of the comedy that seem ill-suited for the subject matter. Continue reading SPIKE LEE’S “CHI-RAQ” TRAILER JUST ANGERED AN ENTIRE CITY
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
The city of Chicago has become synonymous in recent years with exceptional musical talent led, in large part, by the city’s vibrant hip-hop scene. While acts like Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa and Kanye West enjoy the current limelight, pacing music both national and beyond, the path to the top wouldn’t have been possible without pioneers like legendary group Do Or Die. The trio, made up of Belo Zero, N.A.R.D. and AK, developed the blueprint of hustles necessary to make it musically in a city without a true industry. And now they’re continuing to prove they are capable of making the kind of songs that brought them to prominence over 20 years ago with the Sept. 18 release of their first studio album since 2006, Picture This 2, on Rap-A-Lot Records. Continue reading Chicago Legends Do Or Die Reflect On Their Influential Career – XXL
Hip-hop has always been a storyteller’s game at heart and 23-year-old DMV native Jay IDK has plenty of his own on his sophomore album, SubTrap released in July. IDK, which stands for “Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge,” is the baseline from which the project emanates. Stitching together a series of experiences he garnered during a five year journey from high school to prison to college, IDK tells the stories of those he came in contact with as a way to explain middle America in 2015. Continue reading The Break Presents: Jay IDK
Age: 19 • Neighborhood: Blue Island/Alsip • Follow: Twitter // SoundCloud
At 19, Ric Wilson possesses a voice and worldview years beyond himself and isn’t afraid to take a stand with his carefully crafted raps. Having only popped up on our radar in the last six months, Wilson has made a splash with a recent run of singles and videos that resulted in his PennyRaps EP which caught the attention of outlets across the country including Ebony, The Source, BET and more. Continue reading Ric Wilson Proving He Has What It Takes Heading Into 2016
The DC/Maryland/Virginia area, affectionately known by locals as the ‘DMV’, has been a solid outpost for hip-hop music for some time, producing well-known talents such as Wale, Pusha T and Pharrell as well as progressive new-age acts like GoldLink, Fat Trel, and Kali Uchis. While not necessarily a hotbed of talent, the locale is consistent if anything, which makes sense that it also birthed current rising star Jay IDK. Continue reading Respect The Neighbors • Jay IDK