League Champs Volume 1. Presented by Ever Evolved Studios

Sports and music are heavily intertwined mediums that permeate the fabric of our modern world. Specifically, basketball and hip hop appear to have a more intimate connection than most. In Chicago, we at Ever Evolved have put together a compilation record for your summer listening pleasure called, LEAGUE CHAMPS. A lot of us hit road blocks in our athletic endeavors but now when it comes to Chicago music and beyond, we are the championship team. Ever Evolved and its affiliates have been pushing the forefront of the independent music market for years now. And it is all led up to moments like these, becoming the League Champs. 

Fully produced, recorded, engineered and mastered completely in house; much done by the co-founder head engineer RhymSter himself, LEAGUE CHAMPS is a 26 track LP, including a documentary, skits and more special content soon to come, that will surely pique your interest in one facet or another.  LEAGUE CHAMPS includes appearances from RhymSter, Keem Singing, Hayward, Ivan L, BeatrixKiddo, CantBuyDeem, C-Mac, Ben Rose, Nate Broskii, Kidd of OTKST Society, Essse, Orlando Coolridge, DJ Hunt, DJ Curt Henny, JaiTheArtist, J-Bose, and William Bolanos

Track 1 is an introductory record with a sports-like announcer voice over done by William Bolanos promoting the album of LEAGUE CHAMPS. A well done rendition of that vocal style for announcements. Track 2 is HANG UP, which features a voice over from DJ Curt Henny about a situation where someone is getting sent off at the studio. A typical Chicago type of scenario. “Why’d you hang up on me?” And “You didn’t text me back!” are said repeatedly over a dope instrumental containing a sample of a female singer.

BABY LEG is track 3 on the LP, it is a collaboration between CantBuyDeem and Rhymster, with CantBuyDeem on the hook, and then they split two verses. BABY LEG is a vibey track with strong lyrics from the two Chicago rappers. Essse and Keem Singing composed a surprisingly beautiful melody in GO CRAZY track 4 with the refrain lyrics reading, “Baby, can you fly away with me? Maybe, cause we not the same, we go crazy, every night and day my head crazy, but I’ll be OK!!” Track 5 is a Ben Rose production, INCOMPLETE, another surprise on LEAGUE CHAMPS is that you will hear sophisticated, and banging, heavy metal music! 

Track 6 is a BeatrixKiddo song called ITS A VIBE, you never heard energy from her like this before on previous kiddo beats, and it is a favoritefrom her so far! Track 7 Interlude 2 is the 1st intermission of the LP featuring another VO from William Bolanos, and the artists who were on the first few records screaming shouts of joy in the background. Track 8 is a trifecta collabos between RhymSter, JaiTheArtist, C-Mac, and Keem Singing. “It’s the way your body moves when the songs on,” sings Jai, with Keem coming in with a complimentary “Shake it for me, shake it for me” and a guest verse in the latter half of the track by RhymSter, referencing Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker, Santana, Dusk Till Dawn, Salma Hayek, Desperados, and Missy Elliot all in one verse. 

The next track cuts in immediately with lyrics from RhymSter saying “I made a milli by lunch, life can be great when you live how you want.” A nice lyrical chop by Rhymster on track 8, LUNCH BREAK, with JaiTheArtist bringing in a solid verse as well. SMELLING LIKE THE UNIVERSE, is another strong collab, featuring C-Mac, Cockykidd, Rhymster, and company. The C-Mac line, “You cant have a life if you not really living,” stands out as the main theme from this record. ESTRELLA is definitely a favorite from League Champs, a house record produced by Orlando Coolridge, featuring lovely ambient vocals from Keem Singing. J-Bose comes in on track 11 GET THE DUCK OUT, a superfluous record with amazing chopping and vocal inflection from the Busta Rhymes, Busdriver-like rapper singer. This track has insane energy and flow, highly recommended.

APOLLO is a powerhouse, 2 rapper collabos between Hayward of B.B.E. and RhymSter of Ever Evolved. You will want to bump this track for the hard lyrics, paired with the flow and the beat. A hype song live as well! Next on the super LP is another Ben Rose production, SABRETOOTH TIGER, which reminds a lot of Dragonforce’s, THROUGH THE FIRE AND FLAMES, speed and instrumentation. CantBuyDeem featuring Essse show up with another record in KEEP A WHISTLE. A really fun, incredibly catchy tune with memorable lyrics from the Chicago heavyweights. CantBuyDeem references queso, pesos, cucumber in the water, no Faygo, in the beginning of the record, and that string of lines hits so hard. 

BESOS is the next track on League Champs which is a progressive house record with a high pitched vocal sample that only a few might recognize. MY ENTOURAGE flips the famous Eminem and D12 MY BAND melody brilliantly, with Keem Singing at the helm of that record. LAY UP is a strong collab between CantBuyDeem and BeatrixKiddo, who make multiple appearances on League Champs! A major part of League Champs is the Chicago to South Florida connection, thanks to Ivan L Rhymes Well. This record DIS MY SONG features impeccable verses from Rhymster and Ivan L with a flawless hook from Keem Singing. A video is out to this now on YouTube shot by Hayward of B.B.E.

SKIP A BEAT is another super collab on League Champs between CantBuyDeem and Keem Singing. Hayward shot the video to this joint as well, while the Ever Evolved family traveled to South Florida for shows earlier this year. PAIN OR PLEASURE is a Ben Rose production featuring vocals for Essse, who also doubles as a versatile rock and heavy metal vocalist, incredible song. REPEAT begins hilariously as you can hear Hayward continually tell CantBuyDeem to do the hook on the record. A bumping track that will surely have you giggling from hilarity. The theme of REPEAT has to do with the repetition of the rapper lifestyle, to keep it from becoming monotonous we must make dope tracks about it.

BOOTY CALL ends the LP with a low bass voice over on a  house record that will have you dancing and vibing out wherever you are listening to it. DJ Hunt has a special extra exclusive mix attached to League Champs Vol. 1 as well, look out for that during the related content campaigns surrounding League Champs. In the last interlude, William Bolanos explains that there will be a billboard on Cermak and Racine, with all the colorful bobble head characters part of the Leauge Champs compilation record. This was done by graphic designer and artist Amanda MacMillan

Are there any other independent recording artists that put themselves on a billboard in their own city? It is a special one, and it is encouraged everyone reading this to go see it when it is up and completed. Ever Evolved continues to push the envelope in the indie music market based in Chicago Illinois. Chicago is notorious for negativity and hatred in the hip hop scene and culture, but that is disproven over and over again by the collective of Ever Evolved and all its affiliates. Independent people, creating a true civilian based entertainment industry. 

Ever Evolved Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

The Wheel Never Stops: An Evening with BACA Productions.

Walking into the auxiliary arts center off of Belmont and Sacramento, immediately introduced to Young Baca of BACA Productions along with his right hand colleague Sushi of 498TheFam. They introduced a trove of traveling recording artists, including LA up and comers Kasey Allen Yale, Rohblez The One, Slum The Resident, Young Kasper and more! These LA cats all surprised, being wildly different with each set. The hip hop they all delivered was not the hip hop that was anticipated, and was a blessing to hear.

Kasey Allen Yale genre fuses pop-emo rock, like Fallout Boy and Cute Is What We Aim For, with contemporary beats, solid rapping, and new wave production. An incredibly entertaining blend; he is himself, and for that his hip hop cuts and shines through. Rohblez The One is a super technical chopper, that seems to fit more words than one has heard before in a track. Extremely impressive and he pulls no punches about the laziness and lack of masculinity in younger generations. Slum The Resident probably has the most realistic and accurate gangster/drug selling bars you can ever heard. Reminiscent of Young Jeezy, Pusha T, Jay Z, Lil Bibby, YG; his lines were so splittingly true, and reminiscent of a harsh hustling lifestyle. Kasper was a hype, chop rapper, with a great grasp on crowd involving hooks and chants. His style is similar to rappers coming out of the Strange Music and T.D.E camp.

There were even more amazing performances by other artists being represented by BACA Productions, but these 4 gentlemen’s sets stood out. Kudos to every performer that night, because there is nothing easy or simple about traveling to different places, putting yourself out there, being vulnerable on the mic and sharing your story. Everyone in BACA Productions brought to Chicago did just that. They spread their narrative and did it through the mutual love of hip hop music. 

Getting to know the strategy behind BACA Productions was enlightening. They have shows and residencies nightly in LA and every 5 weeks they travel to a different city and host an event. After two days in Chicago; Baca and company were due to land in LAX again that Sunday May 30th, every move posted to IG, inferring that the wheel does not stop. And for the recording artists of BACA Productions, it really does not, they proved it that Friday night at a DIY spot in Chicago Illinois. The machine never stops for Young Baca and that is a key to success. Unparalleled consistency. 

If you are a recording artist and reading this right now, reach out to BACA Productions when you decide to perform in LA, it could be the best decision you make. 

Young Baca Productions | Twitter | Facebook | IG
Ever Evolved Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Novatore and G-Mo Skee Connect for Mask Up

Novatore recruits Californian-Bay Area rapper G-Mo Skee for MASK UP, a hard hitting boom bap track with piercing mandolins, or sitars, which gives it that Asian influenced, Wu Tang vibe. A 5/5 in terms of production, lyricism, theme and overall feeling. Novatore hits this wicked flow with, “I’ve been maneuvering, getting through to the root of them, who would knew I’d get through to them, who’s the brutalist hoodlums?!” Later in his verse he also drops lines such as “Been called a skinny fag, never been a lumberjack, but one punch convert a back packer into mumble rap!” Novatore is known for piercingly hardcore lyricism with a slight raspy tone, and an old school boom bap flow.

The overarching theme in this record is the idea of dawning the mask before it was socially acceptable, or shall we say, socially forced upon us by big brother at large. “Filth and dirt, dirt and filth, get your mask up. You don’t want no blood spilt so back up, covered our faces before the days of the virus, don’t try to fight us, there’s a rage up inside us.” The chip on the shoulder that mask wearing has now become normal and they were rocking masks prior is felt intensely through the vibe of the hook.

G-Mo comes in with an insane verse, starting out comparing his skill to the crack that hits ones lips when smoking from the pipe. He has a distinct voice that sounds harsh in a way but he compliments Novatore’s flows and lyrics perfectly, the track is equal footing for both emcees to show off their honed skills of many nights, blacksmithing the right words to lay over a boom bap piece. This track is a solid old school vibe, surely to have you bumping more than once. The replay value is high, and the emcees pairing makes for great music. Novatore’s catalog is quite immense as we have covered him before and do not hesitate to go check out his collaborator G-Mo Skee! Bravo!

Novatore | Spotify | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Twitter | FBIG
G-Mo Skee
Ever Evolved Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

RhymSter’s Overly Dedicated; Chicago’s Premier Live Performance Platform.

You might have heard of or have even listened to OVERLY DEDICATED, the legendary mixtape by Kendrick Lamar. In slight homage and reference to a portion of the great K.Dot’s catalog, RhymSter, the co-founder of Ever Evolved, started the Overly Dedicated Concert Series in Chicago Illinois to push artists live acumen, keep them sharp and create a community of music industry networking. Already on their 5th installment of the virtual shows, Overly Dedicated is raising the bar for live performances in the Chicago music scene.

Co-hosted by Scotty Rocks at his Dog & Pony Show TV Studios, together they bring in both local and national talent to perform via Twitch and Facebook live stream, to a vast online audience. They have featured recording artist talents you may have seen before such as Orlando Coolridge, CantBuyDeem, Hayward, Charmaine Makeda, Ro$e, RapCrush, Ivan L, Keem Singing, and many more! Overly Dedicated 5 airs once a month, last show being Friday May 21st at 7PM, featuring Chicago artists Big Homie, Azmattic, Essse, OG Poe, Pharoah, Monsoon Staraw, and Frostee Cavanero with contributing sounds from DJ Curt Henny! Reach out to Ever Evolved and RhymSter if you’d like the opportunity to perform at a live limited audience (also exclusive) Overly Dedicated event!

Rhymster | Twitter | Soundcloud | Facebook | Instagram
Scotty Rocks | The Dog + Pony Show
Ever Evolved | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Andreaus Haley Reminds Listeners What It’s Like, When Things Get Grizzly: Monday Majesty

Born and raised Chicago, Andreaus Haley formerly known as Dat Bizness is pushing new music and projects, now that he is been rebranded by the forges of the pandemic lock downs. One of his latest projects, GRIZZLY is a peer into some of the regular experiences of growing up in this concrete jungle.

Look in the eyes of the people, I see real fear, my mom passed away I still cry real tears… They trying to kill us all off, but we still here. Trying to make us hate eachother but the love is still there. Jo, the streets turning grizzly like a real bear. My whole style was developed on the steel stairs. Fuck your mean mug, ice grill, and steel stares. Peace to the K-Town homies posted on Kildare. RIP to the homies that got killed there. Murder on the beat, choke the bass line, kill snares.

— Andreaus Haley

That has to be one of the best strings of lines you have heard from a Chicago hip hop artists in a while. Every line references something about the harsh realities of Chicago life. Andreaus Haley brings all of that together from a place of experience, knowledge, real pain and passion for the craft which shines through in his music and poetics. Haley has always been a lyricist, whether he tows the line between simplicity, or not, is up for debate. He willl tell you he is not trying to be sophisticated, so as to make his music reach a wider audience. That being said, It can be assured that he is incredibly lyrically gifted.You could definitely bump an Andreaus Haley track, forget about the lyrics, and just vibe out to the dope voice, and flows he lays over instrumentals.

You could also pay attention, and open your mind up to all sorts of true life stories. Andreaus reminds us all, do not f**k with the veterans of Chicago hip hop, they really have the best tampered steel. “Shorties holding 30 shot blickys, just know you against me if you not with me, in the studio blowing big pot sticky, we grew up in the zoo, that’s how we got GRIZZLY“. The hook references young kids in Chicago, toting guns and automatics. Obviously something most of our readers are aware of is the gun and gang violence happening in Chicago, the city is also referenced as a zo or jungle, due its violent nature and danger. The hook is Tupac like with its dark inferences yet such a cool tight flow over the beat.

Andreaus Haley is rolling on all cylinders with GRIZZLY available for streaming everywhere!

Andreaus Huxley | Youtube  | Soundcloud | Twitter | FB | IG
Ever Evolved | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Accident Prone with The Homie Q

Coming off his earlier release of COFFEE & CIGARETTES II, The Homie Q is back with even more feel good tracks for your adult soul. ACCIDENT PRONE is a 5 track EP that dropped May the 4th, The Homie Q includes a direct homage to Star Wars with the cover art.

The intro track is a slightly megaphonic-filtered, autotune sing flow for the hook. He sing raps it really fast going into a bridge before his first verse where the Homie Q raps in a more conversational tone. “Blowing up my line for nothing, she say that she miss me, cruising with my Cali bitch, rolling up the Nipsey.” That line stood out for its Nipsey Hussle reference, calling some of the best Cali weed, Nipsey. This intro track has a lot of vocal switch ups which keep the song fun and different, nothing on this first record is expected, completely surprising.

BOY MEETS WORLD is one those fun bravado, lady killing songs. The song sounds like it samples Dance Dance Revolution. The Homie Q goes through reference after reference about his relationships with various women. A bright track filled with unique vocal runs of The Homie Q crooning! Track 3 is titled I SLEPT WITH THQ AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS T-SHIRT, which is a hilarious name that stands out. “Fuck me with the lights on, shootings stars shoot right on. Nothing lasts forever, baby come on, this is your song. Fuck with me the lights on, she can go all night long. I want this forever, baby come and get your shine on!” An extremely catchy chorus that will have you assuredly singing back and feeling yourself.

99PLUS1 is the fourth record on the project and contains The Homie Q’s only feature for the EP, Kasual OWNLY. This is another crooned banger, Kasual OWNLY comes in with a similar complimentary style and tone to The Homie Q. They take auto tune crooning to a whole new level on this track, very fun song! “I keep it 100 with you,” This project is chock fill of vibes for the ladies, full of vulnerability and masculine braggadocio. This is music you can bump at a party but also listen intently to.

Never let ya go, never let ya go, no. Till I say so, till I say so, never let me go, never let me go, no. This means more than I know.” A heartfelt and emotion filled hook sung by The Homie Q for the last track on the project titled THERE WAS MORE THAN ENOUGH ROOM FOR JACK. The project is perfect for summer rides and evenings, lots of slightly melancholic yet more sensitive vibes from The Homie Q, and poetry geared towards one’s love life that seems to always be tumultuous. A short and sweet listen but is easily put on repeat, especially if you rock with the auto-tune crooning style of hip hop, uplifting melodies, and catchy choruses. Do not forget to stream “Accident Prone” available everywhere and don’t miss out on his previous project which we also covered titled “Coffee and Cigarettes II”.

The Homie Q | SoundcloudFacebook | Instagram
Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

SevenSevenThree Release The Breakup Song

The smash single from Chicago’s favorite duo starts in with Khalid Reed rapping two verses with Kevin Wiley on the infectious and super catchy hook. Svn Svn Thr33 perform in an all white background similar to the popular YouTube series, Colors. With the duo at two standing microphones, they give a sensational performance for their lady killing hit, THE BREAKUP SONG.

I know I’m the person you said you never needed, but how come when I left you alone I had you heated.” Khalid Reed starts in with the first verse, inferring how attached his lady was to him. “I be feeling like this ain’t been work, and I don’t know how to tell you that!” Kevin Wiley comes in with the smooth and rhythmic vocals on the hook, “You been wondering when I’m in my phone, got you asking me where my head’s been at!” Khalid Reed raps a second verse, with Kevin Wiley on a two part bridge to connect the progression to the final chorus. “Came to you at my lowest, but your actions they were lower than that, girl I promise I ain’t ever look back!

Khalid Reed ends his second verse with these gut punching bars, and Kevin Wiley glides in with “I’m sorry it had to be this way, I’m sorry that I can not stay, I’m sorry that it came to this, I’m sorry but this how I feel! I don’t wanna waste your time, but I can’t keep living a lie!” The lyrics are quite relatable in this modern era of dating, with all the social media apps and technology. Svn Svn Thr33 promise it is nothing personal and it is sometimes just how relationships need to go; no hard feelings, just brutal honesty. That theme shines through exceptionally well on their hit record THE BREAKUP SONG.

SevenSevenThree | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Ever Evolved | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

ChanSe NFO Ruffles Feathers with Karen: Artist of the Week

ChanSe NFO recently dropped a single with an intense music video along with it called KAREN. ChanSe’s flow breaks through with a biting speed. The slight distortion on his voice makes for a signature sound and style that is been enjoyed in his previous records. The editing of the visual sticks out because ChanSe does not make the typical choices that a lot of hip hop artists make. The black and white color scheme, strobe lights and lyrics smashing into the frame make for a ride of an experience. 

I keep a 40 on me just to gargle when my breath stinks,” is the first line that smacks almost immediately, and it is quite humorous to imagine. ChanSe then follows up later with, “Then go and run his mouth about the shit you did, WEIRD, lets be CLEAR, you ain’t about the mission then you rear view MIRRORED.” This line refers to guys that act tough, fake being hard and boast about their fighting skills, or embellished exploits that obviously never happened. The rear view mirror reference has to do with the one in the car that is too scared to go through, with whatever mayhem is about to occur. So they are looking in the mirror, wishing they did not decide to ride with the real ones that day. It is a strong visual line.

Chanse NFO ends the song abruptly after one more string of rhymes. The track is 1:30 in length and guaranteed to have you replaying it right away! The instrumental is produced by Theisy, and the visual was shot by Theisy as well, then edited by Jnicoo Productions.

ChanSe NFO | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Ever Evolved | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Kastaway and Krikit Boi Link Up for Revolutionary Record, El Pilon.

Regular colleagues in hip hop, Kastaway and Krikit Boi, put out a record in late 2020 that addresses social and racial issues, while celebrating the union between African American and Latino culture. Kastaway peppers this 14 track record, EL PILON with strong and notable features, while also bringing nothing less than excellence himself to the song writing table. CULTURAL COALITION is the first song where his strings of rhymes smack you in the brain with overwhelming thought. “Sink or swim, no you better think again, pretend it’s a grenade before you pull the pin,” or, “This is no gimmick this is soul spirit mixed with prolific pro spitting.

In track 4 of EL PILON, Kastaway brings on Chicago heavyweight, WRDS for his song, KINGS. “Knowing that the black out is part of my youth, melanin is menacing ,they taught ya in school,” raps Kastaway in the first verse of the song, in a fast and uptempo manner. Later following with, “Yeah, it’s true. I was raised on the hot blocks, where my father left me for the hot rocks.” Every track is filled with racial and political points, woven into the lyricism. Every song on the record has purpose, and does not waste time to be honest and truthful, in regard to the opinions of African and Latin Americans, and the struggles they face collectively.

The next song on the record, LIVE YOUR LIFE, is a brilliant and gutsy song. Skirting the lines of whats acceptable in the new normal world we find ourselves in. This song features vocals from Lester Jay. Track 6, MY FRIEND is a lyrical and melodic ode to an old friend that Kastaway had a falling out with. The song serves as a way of healing and forgiveness to this individual. The hook is super catchy, and the verses make you think about past friendships. The song features Stig Van Eijk.

Track 10, THE FEEL features a familiar cohort in Mic Logik! Altogether Kastaway features at least 12 listed artists on the 14 track record, and that is impressive to be able to organize a track listing of that density. EL PILON is a lengthy, lyrically dense, thought provoking, feature heavy and politically charged record, that deserves any hip hop head’s ears for a listen! The union between African American and Latin American culture as being part of the concept to the album is a poignant statement of self discovery and community building. Bravo, and kudos to Kastaway and the producer Krikit Boi!

Kastaway | Facebook | Instagram

Krikit Boy | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Ever Evolved Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Father Darko – Don’t Worry, This Will Pass Too: Artist of the Week

Father Darko, who also is known as Mikal Bae for visual work and music videos, recently put out a 3 song, ambient, trippy, jazzy, dusty, boom-bap fusion, instrumental project. Father Darko has put out at least 9 records since April of 2019, and he deserves more recognition for his consistent output and additions to the culture and community. It is always fascinating to see more Father Darko tunes alongside slapping music videos from his visual brand, Mikal Bae.

It is Quite surprising in how fast this project can be consumed. You will unknowingly have it on repeat before you can process what you have heard. Track one, I DIED IN MY DREAMS AGAIN, features a range of complex composition culminating in a Travis Scott sample, that blends quite well with Father Darko’s drums, melodies and extraneous sounds. Track 2, WHEN IM AFRAID TO LOSE MY MIND, has a more sweeping luxurious, quasi melancholic sound and feel to it. Father Darko features Nelo Sahd on this song, who is assumed to be the screaming vocals towards the end of track.

The third and final song on the 3 track record is DROWNING, IT’S SOMETHING YOU’LL GET USED TO. The drums on this record sound like whips cracking, coinciding with these distorted, high pitched feminine sounds. It is an extremely interesting blend and feels highly futuristic or something right out of the video game, PORTAL. There is a depressed, ominous, robotic vibe that seems to glaze the entire 3 song project. A cohesive record of music that allows one to really ponder, and has one inside their own head for a time.

Mikal Bae/Father Darko | Spotify | Youtube | Instagram

Ever Evolved Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram