sylvie grace


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.

dj skoli(DJ Skoli)

DJ Skoli kicked off the night with some mid tempo hip-hop. DJ Skoli is an amazing up and coming DJ who has worked with us, Project 23, and Blackenomics. His connection with artists around the city is what makes him special. He was followed by Sports Boyfriend. Unsure of what to expect, she came on stage with a guitar and a laptop in front of her. Her music had a synth pop chill vibe to it. She was a great opener because she set a relaxed tone for the evening.

sports boyfriend(Sports Boyfriend)

Burns Twins and Kaina, a production duo, performed next and we were blown away by their performance. Their energy was infectious. The musicianship of the group and Kaina was dynamic. The music was so grand because the instruments were had so much depth. The band consisted of guitar, bass, drum, keys, and trumpet. When you add Kaina’s voice over all these

beautiful instruments, it was sublime.

kaina(Burns Twins & Kaina)

L.A. VanGogh performed songs off of his new project Friends First. He is an interesting artist in regards to his talents; he plays piano, sings, and he’s an amazing emcee. You could see the growth musically and with his stage presence. Having seen him perform twice in 2016, you could tell he was in the lab perfecting his craft. He performed a crowd favorite “Bills Paid.” Who can’t relate to being happy because your bills are paid?

LA Van Gogh(LA Van Gogh)

Qari, former member of Hurt Everybody, performed songs off of his new project Space Jam. Qari had relaxed body language while waiting for the sound guy to get the stage ready. This was the vibe for his performance. He brought the energy down in the room in a way where it did not overshadow Rich Jones or bore. Qari’s performance was thoughtful. He even spoke on the current political climate in the United States. He said “whatever you believe in just be kind to one another.” This was poignant for because currently hip-hop is seen as an aggressive art form, yet the roots are social justice and peace oriented, and it’s nice to see a lot of the new artists back to those roots.


Finally Rich Jones hit the stage with some of the members of the Burns Twins to a full house. His story is well known in the Chicago music community. He is the curator of the All Smiles showcase. All Smiles is a known show case to catch some of the best Chicago musicians. Now it was his turn to be all smiles. The band complimented his unique voice. Not only is he an accomplished emcee he’s a great vocalist as well.

Vegas has such a unique sound. It’s not a traditional hip-hop EP. It is also a heavy synthpop album. Nowadays emcees are thinking outside of the box and blurring genre lines. Rich Jones is a prime example of this progressive thinking. The way the line up for the evening was put together shows his appreciation for music of all genres. The show was amazing and the diversity of the performers really shined throughout the night.

Take a listen toVegas below.