Surf Or Drown With CMONEYWAVE

Comin’ from the city where they yell Bear Down, CMONEYWAVE has been killing the sound. Poppin’ into the Chicago music scene a few years ago with his MONEY WAVE LP, a legend was born! Lyrically authentic, CMONEY keeps everything on the surface, transparent, as he spits poetry about life and growth. Unafraid to walk down the dark corners of the mind he brings you hip hop that is true to self. Emanating confidence and wisdom, in his latest release SURF OR DROWN, you will be too by the end of the album

Looking at the name, SURF OR DROWN seems to be a metaphor for success; you either rise to the top or you sink to the bottom. Listening to the lyrics you will find he means it both physically and mentally. In the opening title track CMONEY goes through thoughts of jealousy of his partners and being unmotivated with his music, but realizing “thats the devil at work and he was tryin to employ me, if I let him he’d have no problem to destroy me“. It is another level of confidence and awareness to catch yourself slippin’ like that, because you know you are better.

The next tracks you see him back on his right path in his right mind with his people on his side, which includes Tone Jonez, Apache Gross, Nu Jack, Mama Wave and Ka’ron Burgandy. Reflecting and ready to move in READY OR NOT with Joselyn Marie, the 2nd track gets you prepared for the wave. CMONEY really gets into his zone in the body of the LP, where you can really hear the rawness of his perspectives, from the ambitious to the sensual. “You still lackin ambition, how you plan to succeed, if you can’t pass the emissons, how you plan to compete.” In fact from start to finish, his lyrical ability is effortlessly bona fide, with no mercy he really shows what hip hop is about.

The LP is full of lines to keep your head on straight and sober you up. Artists like CMONEY understand the importance of the different aspects of life and the trials we go through. In tracks like AUTUMN you can see where he places his values and DROWNING you come to realize even the the strongest minds go through strong doubts on the road to success. SURF OR DROWN is a real true to self conceptual project with an authentic human touch. You can either turn up to this or reflect with it, but there is a song in here for everyone.

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Chicago to Woodstock: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

This last weekend in the year 1969 saw one of the greatest gatherings of human beings in the expression of music, freedom and love in the history of our country. Woodstock ’69 was four days of non stop music performance and $1 lysergic acid tabs hitting the bloodstream, causing the mass consciousness in the audience to experience the stars of that era in unforgettable fashion. A time spent with the likes of Carlos Santana, Joan Baez, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and many more icons.

There are some wildly unorganized aspects of the festival setup Woodstock the Netflix Documentary brought to light. The curators had major problems with the neighboring towns-folk being against the festival. It was also put together last minute; the stage was not completed until the first actual day of the festival when 50,000 people were already there. Not enough people to set up a fencing perimeter in time caused the biggest free music event, as the masses poured into the field. With food shortages half way in and medical supplies running out, National Guard troops were threatening a takeover. Regardless of all of that, Woodstock has gone down as one of the most unifying moments in music history as the towns people donated food and the guard delivered supplies.

Looking back on events in music history in relation to Chicago, on the 16th of August, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young played in our great gritty city at the Auditorium Theater. The very next day they played Woodstock, Sunday August 17th in up state New York. Knowing that every single artist and band member had to be flown in via helicopter it is safe to assume the folk rock quartet flew to Woodstock from Chicago. Now adding more significance to night they played the Auditorium Theater in Chicago before Woodstock the very next day, it was their first performance with the singer songwriter Neil Young added to the super group! Joni Mitchell was their opener and Crosby, Stills, and Nash had just released their debut record of that May, 1969.

So to think about how life can just fall into place at a speed faster than light. The aforementioned example displays that I believe. A trio drops a record in May, becomes a quartet in August, plays Woodstock the day after adding a new member. From Chicago to Woodstock with love, 1969.

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Woman Crush Wednesday: Jai The Artist

When it comes to comes to confidence this artist shines like her stage presence and her mic handling. Coming into the scene quite recently she has already made a big name for herself in a short period of time. Introduced to Ever Evolved she quickly rose to her role with no hesitation. With a seemingly natural ability on the mic, Jai the Artist easily takes the studio and the stage, opening up for established figure heads!

Jai the Artist gets on the mic and grabs your attention. Coming off strong debuting with ZEN, she quickly racked up her playlist and followed up with OJ, BOUNCE and GAWD. With this set she rocks crowds, recently opening up for Wu Tang‘s Method Man and Redman. Jai also had the opportunity to open of for Chicago’s Tink.

While Jai bounces around the the states performing in places like Florida, Indiana, Los Angeles to name a few, she is perfecting more songs. With her attitude and confidence on the mic, stage and the studio, she seems hungry for more and with her short but significant resume it looks like she is going far! You can catch her next performance at Safari Lounge in Chicago’s Rogers Park area on the 25th of August.

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New Win & Woo Speaks Passion

It is not untrue, Love does often have us running around in circles; what is uncertain is the outcome. With a new release Win & Woo go over these woes in HERE U R. “This is not the way that loves supposed to be, a broken record on repeat“, sings Sara Skinner about hopeful feelings in a doubtful situation. Really about going through the emotions in that kind of scenario, the Chicago producers add an uplifting deep house bass line to keep you dancing away from any of those kinds of doubts and negativity. Following the even more uplifting RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, TEA TIME and a couple of impressive remixes, HERE U R is a wonderful addition to their playlist and yours.

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Cover Photo: Andrew Glatt

GQ the Fool Keeps Us Watching With Powerful New Single

The man is back after a brief hiatus from his solo project. As far as underrated hip hop and rap artist go GQ the Fool is undeniably overlooked. A discography with verses packed with a quick and clean flow, powered by raw wisdom and street smarts. GQ the Fool is one composed artist and it stands to say that nothing will break that. Even though he was under the radar he remained GQ, connecting with artists and perfecting his craft.

Slowly making his come back the Fool makes appearances and works collabs leading up to the release of his recent single STILL WATCHING. Joining artists on a cypher hosted by the former Bombay Boyz and more significantly starts the hip hop duo GoodFellaz with Safi G, who debut with the powerful hit single SOUL FOOD. You can sense something grand was cooking and finally, with DJ Curt Henny, unleash a comeback worthy beat. Reminding us with the power of his words, that he is here and stronger than ever and he will keep you watching!

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Artist Of The Week: Rel McCoy Reaches For Contentment With Peace

Rel McCoy is back with a new single entitled PEACE and the self-awareness he shows on this tranquil jam lands him on him Ever Evolved’s Artist of the Week. The instrumental on this joint is wavy and soulful. The synths croon softly in the background while the percussion keeps a laid-back yet steady pace. The inward vibe this instrumental gives off is perfect for McCoy’s introspective lyricism.

Speaking of McCoy, he proves that slow and steady wins the race on this one. He is not out to flex his lyrical chops or spit at a frenetic pace. His flow and delivery is every bit as patient as the instrumental is. He patiently drops lyrical bombs bar after bar musing on themes of nostalgia, family and his continuous path of life.

Eternia shows up for a feature on the song’s second half and she fits right in. She spits with a little bit more intensity but she keeps the same sense of self-awareness that McCoy shows on the first verse. Rel McCoy is a hip-hop traditionalist. Between his jazzy, soulful beats and super-conscious lyrics, nobody does it better than he does when it comes to keeping the conscious side of hip-hop alive and thriving. PEACE is just another example of that.

PEACE is now available on all platforms. Also Stream McCoy’s new album, A DIFFERENT CROWN which is also streaming everywhere.

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Whethan Adds Heat To The Summer

Summer is still vibin strong and Whethan is back with a new releases to keep the party goin. You know he can rock a hit summer single too working with artist like, Louis the Child and Flux Pavilion. With key remixes succeeding his network, this Chicago natives reputation opens the doors for himself to work with just about anybody at this point. Staying busy following the release of his Life of a Wallflower LP, Whethan has been releasing singles collabs and remixes to our pleasure.

Looks like his flip of SickoMode by Travis Scott and Skrillex got the right attention as Whethan comes back around with an original piece with Travis and Metro Boomin called Overdue. We know he has remixes on Post Malone and Justin Bieber, Lorde and Elohim that would make for interesting artist combinations. This follows collabs with Jeremih and Bearson with Saok and an original piece titled Going Up. Each stand alone works of art, only strengthening his playlist for whats to come!

Back again is frequent collaborator and friend Oliver Tree with the track Do You Feel Me. The two experiment on with thos one giving off a Killers laced Justice vibe. Not long after Whethan releases Summer Luv with the Knocks and thr Crystal Fighters. Two big names to collab wit, Whethan reach is stretching farther than ever before! Exciting to see what he comes up with next.

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Throwback Thursday: Chicago Is Planned & Recognized

August 4th, 1830 is a day regarded by Historians in Illinois as the day Chicago was recognized. Given Chicago’s location by the Great Lakes, financiers looked at the land as an opportunity for a transportation hub. The Illinois legislature appointed James Thompson to survey and plat the town which had a population of about 100 people. He laid out the town for Canal Commissioners in preparation for the sale of lots to finance a proposed Illinois and Michigan Canal; its first sales on Sept. 4, 1830. The filing of the plans marked the first recognition of the municipality of Chicago.

James Thompson plat of Chicago

Originally the area was inhabited by native Algonquian people including the Mascouten and Miami. The name Chicago came from a French version of the native word Shikaakwa, or Stinky Onion, due to wild garlic growing abundandlty in the area. The first known reference of the area of Chicago came in a memoir from 1679 by Robert De LaSalle, noting the abundance of Chicagoua. Chicago’s first permanent, non-native settler is a black man that goes by the name of Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable and regarded as the founder of Chicago. The farm he built at the mouth of the Chicago River near Lake Michigan is now a national historical landmark at what is now 401 N Michigan Ave, Pioneer Court.

On August 12th, 1833 the Town of Chicago was established with a population of 350. One year later the first Schooner named the Illinois from New York enters the harbor, marking Great Lakes trade relationship between the two booming cities. Rich farmlands attracted many Yankee settlers that overnight created a city through real estate and trade. The city quickly grew demanding warehouse, rails and dock yards to be build for transportation and trade, by 1850’s over 30 rail lines entered the city making Chicago the transportation hub of the United States. Chicago was granted a city charter by the state of Illinois on March 4, 1837 and the city of Chicago was born with over 4,000 to its population.

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Artist Of The Week: Blaqrock Reigns In A New Era With Their New Single Mass Appeal

Ever since releasing their hit EP NO LOVE FOR BLAQKID back in 2018, Chicago rap-rock band Blaqrock have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with on the local scene. Having performed at some of the biggest indie venues in the city, Metro and Cubby Bear just to name a couple, this band has garnered as much clout as anyone. And what is even more impressive is how they have done it in such a short time span.

Back on August 2 Blaqrock closed the door on the NO LOVE FOR BLAQKID era with the release of their new single MASS APPEAL. This gem of a track possesses the same passion and energy as the material on their debut EP, except here everything is turned up a notch. In between the explosive cohesiveness of the rhythm section and lead singer, Gardner McFadden‘s feverishly intense vocal performance, Blaqrock has shown a great deal of growth and progression.

The passion and energy I spoke on before translated into an unbelievable live set at the MASS APPEAL single release party back on August 1 at HVAC Pub. Though it was a Thursday night and they did not go on until almost midnight, the venue was packed full of Blaqrock enthusiasts anxiously awaiting the arrival of their new single. There was a certain energy in the air and they tapped into it from the very beginning of their set.

Right around midnight with the crowd standing shoulder to shoulder in eager anticipation, drummer Danny Delgado let it rip on the opening drum hits to MASS APPEAL. What took place over the next four-plus minutes can only be described as magical. Every drum hit from Danny Delgado‘s kit was jaw-crushing. Every note from Myles Bacon‘s guitar was a searing streak of light penetrating your soul. Austen Goebel‘s poignant bass playing was a gentle staccato hum you can feel at the bottom of your feet. And of course, Gardner McFadden’s frenetic vocals strike you to the core to the point of numbness.

Between the intensity of Blaqrock’s performance and how the crowd reacted, the noise levels at HVAC bordered on deafening. There are not too many artists who can accomplish that on a random after hours show on a hot, muggy August night but Blaqrock showed that they are more than capable. For this reason, if you follow the Chicago scene, then I can guarantee you that Blaqrock is an artist you most certainly will not want to sleep on.

“Mass Appeal” is now available on all platforms.

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Throwback Thursday: Martin Luther King Jr. Stoned During Chicago March.

On August 5th 1966 Martin Luther King Jr., during the fair housing protests in Marquette Park, is met with 700 angry white protesters and gets struck by a brick.

MLK was in Chicago that day advocating with his demonstrators that this leasing office on 63rd Street in the South Side sell properties on a non-discriminatory basis in the mostly white Chicago Lawn neighborhood. Bricks and bottles thrown, racial slurs hurled, pushing, shoving, cops in-between King, his demonstrators and the large white crowd from Chicago’s local south side. At least 30 people were injured and 40 were arrested. Apparently after this whole ordeal King was unafraid and un-shaken stating, “All in a day’s work“.

MLK Jr. ducks as he is struck by a brick as aids rush to prevent another attack.

Post 1964 America with the signing of the Civil Rights Act was hopeful for the future of its minority citizens. However the ghettoes in northern cities were still quite affected and mandated by Jim Crow laws. King even promoted this issue by moving into a Chicago apartment in 1966 infested with rats and roaches. This was ideally to expose the segregated housing and redlining issues that were designed against blacks and minorities largely prevalent in major American cities, especially Chicago.

Segregated cities are still an issue today, albeit laws and ordinances against such civil illnesses. Today let us remember that MLK Jr. was working tirelessly to improve the equity and lifestyles of black Americans and all those that shared in his vision of peace and unity.

Martin Luther King during a rally in Chicagos Soldier Field July 10, 1966, kicking off the Chicago Freedom Movement.

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