In a world were organization and classification rules as a law of nature, musician and lyricist LA Van Gogh journeys out of this societal box by conceptualizing his own style of tunes along with his identity. Identity, duality, and the widely known, “I’m an artist and I'm sensitive about my shit,” attitude are themes LA emits within his lyrical lines.
Chicago Emcee and vocalist, Rich Jones hosted his release party for Vegas, his new EP at Lincoln Hall on January 20th. He enlisted the help of Qari (former member of Hurt Everybody), L.A. VanGogh, Burns Twins and Kaina, Sports Boyfriend, and DJ Skoli.
Chicago boricua Lester Rey has been hitting the road, most recently taking a trip out to Minnesota for a gig. Lucky for us those of us in his hometown, we do not have to travel far to catch Rey and his band, who perform regularly in different neighborhoods, street fests and venues.
This past Friday, Saba hosted his first show in Chicago at Lincoln Hall since he released his acclaimed EP Bucket List Project, which came out in late October. The sold out night featured DJ sets by Ambi Lyrics, Dam Dam, and Squeak Pivot, and featured performances from Dinner with John, Joseph Chilliams, and MFN Melo.
Calid B just released an afrobanger just in time for Kwanzaa. The song, "UMOJA" is a tribute to the first day of Kwanzaa, which strives to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race. This song does just that, with it's catchy hook, and signature Calid B cadence, and he says. "we've got something in common," and its great drums and interlaced with beats, and "afro-hyphy" vibes, which were also produced by him.
REVIEW: TAYLOR BENNETT HOLIDAY BASH @ METRO CHICAGO
Chicago emcee, Taylor Bennett, hosted his sold out Holiday Bash at the Metro the Friday before Christmas, featuring performances from Supa Bwe, Sus Life, Elz the DJ, Morocco Brown, and Evie the Cool.
DRAMA, a dark and passionate musical house collaboration featuring Via Rosa and Na’el Yusef Shehade from Chicago dropped an amazing 8 track EP titled Gallows last month and are set to have their release party this Thursday at Chop Shop. With Rosa's rustic, soulful, and bluesy vibe and Shehade's fine production togethery they combine an ethereal twist to house music.
"A hibernation is a covert preparation for a more overt action.” Check out our winter playlist of songs we've got on repeat for these trying times and the self reflective state of winter. Whether you're re-charging your batteries, slowing down, or cold AF, we hope this playlist helps get you through the changing seasons whether you're weathered from life or from the temperature.
Chime in with us as we bump soulful psychedelic tunes. Fredrianna Harris most commonly know in the streets of Chicago as Freddie Old Soul recently released Freedom Papers, tittled after documents that proved the free status of enslaved peoples and served as a legal affidavit during the 18th and 19th centuries. The EP is an ode to the Black community, to the Shea Butter sisters, Crystal wearers, the kings and queens, and the ones searching for their Freedom Papers.
Since before our last Jazz Series, we've been jamming out to Calez's newest musical creation, Baby which is ironically dedicated to his latest creation, his soon to come baby girl. The album has a very jazz-like foundation, and is wrapped up in excellent production, which he does most of himself. The depth and lyrical storytelling is a great gift, not only to his unborn child, but to fans alike, and surely himself.
Smart Mouf is an art collective based in Chicago, IL featuring seven members that practice dance, rhythm, blues, soul, hip hop, and instrumentation, and the King and Queen, Ace Da Vinci, and L11 have been busy this month. Both have new song releases, and we even have a music video to share featuring other SmartMouf fam off of Da Vinci's popular song that errbody fux with, "ImagoDei."
Chicago's Show You Suck and The Hood Internet solo musically are good in their own respects, so it's only imaginable what greatness resulted from them teaming up to create Air Credits "Broadcasted." We had the chance to check out the listening party set to fog and a fantastic installation light show to elevate the experience. The album has an 80s', futuristic, video game feel streamlined with hard hitting hip hop beats, horns, and excellent production.
Big ups to our Milwaukee brother Webster X! We've been following the evolution of X since his early beginnings and what a journey it's been! Yesterday he made the big announcement that he has now joined with Chicago label, Closed Sessions, alongside some of our other favorites, Jamila Woods, Kweku Collins and Odd Couple. This is big news for Webster X, and will surely take him to new musical heights.
Our October Jazz Series is upon us, and we thought we would serve you up a treat of black girl magic on a platter. This Jazz Series features some of the best emerging black songstresses and emcees. Check out a medley of music from Tasha, Kiara Lanier, Broadway Muse and Aycee Lovely before you check them out this Friday at The Jazz Series, and if you can't make it, jam along with us!
Just a couple of years ago Kweku Collins was a kid in history class in Evanston, Ilinois, learning about the black war hero Nat Love, now he is signed to Closed Sessions, and traveling the globe to promote his latest project, Nat Love, inspired by that very class. Doing what you love for a living fresh out of high school is a dream to many.
We've all felt a little homesick before, but nothing hits the nail on the head quite like Daryn Alexus' new song "Homesick." From anecdotes about food, missing her mother, to places she would like to go, the song is a walk through her own personal memory bank.
We fucks with LA golden boy, Emmitt James. And we hope you do too. James, originally from Milwaukee, took his dreams to the coast and has been making waves. With his jazz and hip-hop inspired beats and his cadence and delivery, you can sense his poetry background, smooth like the sound.
One of our beloved favorites, Sylvie Grace, the self-made girl with the blue, or sometimes pink, hair with the cello and the singing chops, just dropped her first new song in a year. Sylvie is known for her classical meets hip-hop sound, with the layering of beats and looping of her cello. She's also featured with hip hop artists like THE SEVENth, and if Sango is reposting one of your songs on Soundcloud, you're definitely something for the ears.
IN MUSIC: AAHH FEST
AAHH Fest is more than just another festival in the already festival laden Chicago. The festival, presented by Common and Dondas House, is a festival to raise awareness about youth violence in Chicago, and celebrate hip-hop. The recently added Community Day featured some of our favorite local artists, Ace Da Vinci, The Pack Drumline, and was headlined by Taylor Bennett and Tink and even featured special guests, Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa.
Charlotte singer and guitarist, LeAnna Eden shares with us the fruits of her labor and a powerful ballad for black lives in her latest video, "The Protest Song." The video is a reminder to "not give up," and the video spreads this message far and wide to any who need to hear those words.One of our favorite Chicago emcees, SoloSAM is known for dropping fire. His latest song brings on the heat like the wild wild west. "Happily Alone" has got a western twang to it, something fit for a Tarantino film like Django.
Calid B is what you would call a triple threat in the creative sphere. He's a musician, a fire producer, and is the founder of his own clothing brand called Ochio, a combination of his Ohio roots, and his current home in Chicago. His roots don't just lie there, Calid orignally hails from Cote D'Ivoire, and his African roots are most prevalent in his most recent EP, Afrobang.
Summer Sixteen at Pitchfork was a bodily experience. Whether you were staying hydrated with Mick Jenkins, swapping lover’s spit with Broken Social Scene, getting glowed up with Anderson Paak, or experiencing a spiritual awakening with FKA Twigs, this year’s installment of the festival had a little something to offer for everyone.
If anyone should be rapping “Started From the Bottom,” it should be Angel Haze. The 23-year-old Detroit native, who had a rocky upbringing, grew up homeless, lived in the woods, left their label and leaked their own debut album Dirty Gold, which ultimately could have cost them everything, but what is everything to a person who knows what nothing feels like?
Emmitt James makes that everyday people type of music - hip-hop telling stories about lost love, burning rice, ATM fees and his lackluster financial situation. He may be a starving artist, after all his most recent EP is called “Hunger Pains,” but he is wealthy with words of wisdom, and a flow that is rooted in passion and drive, which is priceless.
Seshat Queen Tut crowned herself well before she began performing for the public, but it didn’t take long for the confident emcee to gain loyal subjects. Tut made a splash in her debut feature, inviting listeners to join her artistic journey on the opening verse of AR Wesley’s “Drug Flow RMX.” Since then she’s laced her royal rhymes
Darius Winfield, better known as D-Win, is always winning - at music, at creative vision, at style, and at Kubrick. The Indianapolis bred emcee came to Chicago with a dream and a mission and hasn’t stopped for anyone or anything. Formerly one half of the hip hop duo The Rocketeers, D-Win is no stranger to the limelight.