Throwback Thursday: Radcliff Music’s Drops Get Around

June 25th 2018, Anthony Radcliff aka Radcliff Music, dropped the visual to his single GET AROUND. This is a significant project from Radcliff because it’s good to see the veteran free styler spit bars in Central Park! The string of rhymes that stand out the most is, “You n***as phony, finesse the system looking like a fraud, and I’m just in there, we ain’t sipping tea like the frog, no kermit, you could play the bench like McDermott!” If you’re not familiar with Radcliff Music, start with this visual and then go through his catalog! He has quite a lot of work with over seven tapes of music fully distributed and much performance footage and music videos to be found on his YouTube channel.

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GreediPhresh Releases Yellow Version

A powerfully confident voice that sounds like a cross between Ludacris, E-40, and Killer Mike. GreediPhresh drops a braggadocio song called YELLOW VERSION which can sort of reminds you of the instrumental to YELLOW LAMBORGHINI by Busta Rhymes and Chris Brown. Phresh’s song utilizes swinging hooks and bars laced with clever lines about what sets GreediPhresh apart from the crowd. A favorite line that stands out is, “Me and bro headed to the slot, same goals, main goals to approach the thots, the difference is my self esteem is genuine and don’t come from dependency on dope pills or ciroc!” This line pokes fun at the idea of how people have different methodologies for attracting the opposite sex.

In the case of GreediPhresh, he does not need drugs or hard liquor to break the ice, being himself is the real confidence. He strikes me as the type of rapper that can stir up conversation with anyone at a party and isn not concerned with getting fucked up. Unlike a lot of rappers we all know, GreediPhresh is cool, calm, collected and primarily concerned with fostering a good time and delivering quality music. This is apparent in his latest single, YELLOW VERSION and his previous EP release 32 BIT: GANGLY MEDIUM.

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Gold Symbolizes Divine Protection and Enlightenment: Tweak’G Releases New Single

You might have seen Tweak’G rocking killer live sets at one of Ever Evolved Empower HerStory events. She has a mean flow, hard attitude, strong lyrical structure. Her cuts on a record make Young M.A. seem like literal Child’s Play. Comparing her like that does not even do her sound or image justice.

This new single and visual she just dropped for GOLD is H-O-T! Sporting cut off jean shorts, a white tank and timberlands, Tweak’G flows effortlessly about her upbringing, lifestyle and how nothing she has experienced in her past will affect her spirit or mind. She is strong and persevering. A lot of the music video shows off Tweak’G and her people making ice slushies for sale on the street corner and ripping blunts with her crew around their vehicles. The culture she is portraying definitely comes off authentic and through her flow and energy, you feel what it means to be a Chicago thoroughbred.

Tweak’G philosophizes about the idea of GOLD. By the end of the visual there is a cinematic rating label that resembles a G, PG or PG-13 type of film. It reads, “TWEAK’G, GOLD, GOLD: SYMBOLIZES DIVINE PROTECTION AND ENLIGHTENMENT“. This music video may be the start of her brand’s gold rush. She has solid professional production quality throughout, a seasoned flow and a composition style that might see a lot of biters. If so, imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Should be exciting to see where she takes her career and her unique concepts.

Tweak’G | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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From the Ground Up: G-Sprout Blooms in West Town

Grassroots Chicago has a new home at 1430 W Chicago Ave inside the Movement Gallery in collaboration with MADE. Over the past month Grassroots curated a surprise DJ GRIZ visit, a grand store reopening utilizing the emcee talents of iiimpulsiveee and Wilhelm Duke and various graffiti art from Don Mega, Ekon, Fals, Haku, Jeesh, Kabz, Nerd, Urbl, Seoh, and ShokOne. Coming up on the 27th of September Grassroots Chicago will have their doors open from 5-10PM for the WEST TOWN ART WALK. They will be showcasing music from ROZAR, Glitch Gatsby, Bucknasty and Dub Repvblik with a “secret” special guest with MADE.

It is exciting to see this shop and lifestyle brand now operating in an even more central location. Even more so to witness the growth and adaptation of Grassroots Chicago. The surprise visit and show from GRIZ was a hit! There was quite the line out of the door and more than a hundred people waiting to see him. With his like-able personality coupled with the new shop and its ambiance the shadow meet and greet was a success! The GRAFFROOTS reopening show featuring two rappers, a plethora of graffiti art, wine and beer sponsored by Noble Grape and pizza from Dimo’s was quite the intimate soiree of an experience. Gallery type shows are rare and interactive and the new location is great to cater to that style of event!

Much of the success of Grassroots Chicago on the ground must be credited to Nicole Graham. She has been the manager of the shop for the last two years, so next time you are there give her some recognition! With the street fest coming up on September 27th I highly recommend any reader who is also a fan of some of the most exquisite street clothes ever seen to make it over to West Town for the WEST TOWN ART WALK and stop into Grassroots Chicago. They will have their doors open from 5-10PM. You will not regret spending the time and energy to give their unique pieces a chance!

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Artist of the Week: J-Bose Debut LP Snowflake Tackles Phobias, Anxieties, and Societal Ills.

J-Bose is one talented individual. He raps something like a Busta Rhymes or Busdriver and sings with a unique timber unheard of before. He crafts lyrical messages using technical styles of hip hop, fusing that with pop songwriting methodologies. The overall socio-economic political message of J-Bose’s debut album stood out in particular.

He seems to be able to create this realistic hero complex of himself. Utilizing the honesty of his own experiences and coupling that with a filter of his interpretations of the outside world. The majority of these being quite socially progressive in nature. J-Bose’s mature reflections of these stereotypical occurrences might come off to some as, you guessed it, a SNOWFLAKE.

What is a Snowflake? One of the most beautiful and temporary examples of sacred geometry that comes with the absence of heat, or cold. Thinking about that makes you delve deeper into the term we use to coin so many moderate liberal millennials as Snowflakes. Are we really so sensitive that all logical debate has now been eroded? Or is it perhaps we are fed up with the supposed universal rules of society we find ourselves with. Just maybe this generation is going to completely alter the path of history? After listening to Snowflake, the latter of those ideas seem possible.

The first track to delve into is Feel Me featuring Kara Dawn. J-Bose layers much meaning, feeling and questions of morality in his writing. He begins with, “I done seen a lotta people with the biggest egos and the smallest bank accounts. Walkin’ round like they a giant, thinkin’ they Goliath, everyone else David now!”. The idea that there is a lot of fakes with inflated personalities but very little to offer, would seemingly be the person opposite of a snowflake. J-Bose continues with, “Could be inside that they’re hurting, thinkin’ this’ll be the safer route“. It could be these same fakes are actually just lost inside and the best defense mechanism is an outwardly egotistical aggression.

To be a snowflake in our current culture’s context is to admit to feelings you have towards things within society that upset you, not to be emotionless brash. In his second verse he makes this point, “See, we gotta learn how to empathize, we don’t know everyone’s situation. Take the judgement, the bigotry and the lies and remove it all from the equation. And treat everyone as an equal, all the time, not just in some occasions. Cuz we are an imperfect people and it’s time we built perfect relations“. These types of inherently idealistic yet purely loving concepts are unfortunately labeled as snowflake behavior, providing others an excuse to not mentally confront the issues at hand.

J-Bose does not tear down those bigoted, fearful, close minded people whom ignorantly project their baseless vitriol. He sees himself in them, sees their humanity and because of that can only judge so harshly. FEEL ME is a melancholic song that forces a listener to wrestle with their personal morality and sense of empathy. It will have you questioning why you judge and think in the manner that you do. 

ONE CHANCE is another appealing tune because the hook is uptempo with a catchy uplifting melody! The song has to do with personal growth and change. These two things are definitely part of the mythos or ethos of what makes a snowflake. “Whether you’re fat, annoying or boring or selfish or lazy, you can identify and make a change and start anew and you can see yourself the way that I see you“. Its the idea of being able to see the light in everyone regardless of the veneer. “But stay humble and if you’re wrong sometimes, and when you are then that’s ok change your state of mind, be honest with your problems and we’ll get along fine, and rejoice we get to share this world and make it cloud 9.

Some people simply can’t hear out a victim’s or an oppressed group’s opinion because they deem it offensive to themselves personally. Today someone could express their feelings of oppression and have those concepts fall on deaf ears because the receiver thinks they are being personally attacked or torn down. Happen all the time on social media! Some people just cannot separate themselves from the demographic they are apart of. But to be honest, you cannot expect too much out of ignorant people or those unwilling to empathize.

Snowflake by J-Bose gets your gears whizzing. There are many questions to ponder and things to think about when going through this record. Off two songs alone you can extrapolate an insane amount of ideas being conveyed. J-Bose really created an inwardly personal yet outwardly political record with extreme relevance to our current American socio-economic political climate. Questions of sexuality, anxiety, societal ills, oppression, self doubt, crippling fear — its all there.

J-Bose then takes all that and is still able to portray a silver lining. He does so exceedingly well in songs like ONCE CHANCE, ROY DEE THE GIFT, and DOUBLE LOVE.  The record is emotional, visceral, piercing, honest, brutal, and eye opening. Snowflake by J-Bose is as pretty as it is structurally sound, but unlike a snowflake, this record isn’t temporary, its here to stay. 

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Artist of the Week: Tyler James Logsdon with New Policy

Chicago’s Sonic Illusionist, the elusive traveler of recording artists. A jester of mystery, formerly known to some as Flynn. Tyler James Logsdon has re-branded himself and dropped a record reminiscent of 80’s super synth pop. There are a lot on this record that can remind you of, depending on which track we look at from his 14 song LP New Policy, artists such as A-Ha, Depeche Mode, Daft Punk, Robert Smith from The Cure, Interpol, Pulp, Chrome Sparks, Explosions in the Sky, Chicago’s The Drum, Royksopp, TRVST, Chris Isaak, Nick Cave, Kavinsky, Imogen Heap, and even one of my personal favorites, Brian Molko of Placebo.

Now that’s a lot of artists to compare the likes of him to but I guarantee that if you listen to this record from front to back it will feel like a lush bright mixture of all of those sounds, feelings, voices and progressions creating this all new, all too unique experience from Tyler James Logsdon. What I appreciate the most about this album is that its not only conceptual but its made to be listened to from top to bottom. It is an experience to be absorbed, not to just pick a couple songs from the record that were more popular or did better as singles.

That being said, TJL does have major single power potential on a lot of the songs on the record such as my personal favorite PLASTIC, and then STARDUST, REQUISITE, BLIND, BY MYSELF, and REFLECTION definitely can stand alone, but paired with each other on a full length project they do even better. Not every track has vocals, a few of the numbers on the record are just a great composition of instrumental. These instrumental numbers offer a dynamic texture to the album. You get 2-3 songs of TJL smooth crooning’s and falsettos for every one uptempo 80’s instrumental.

You can hear and feel so many different influences when consuming this project and what is more impressive is that everything is entirely produced and engineered by Tyler James Logsdon himself! He seems to channel Kavinsky, Daft Punk, and TRVST on the record STARDUST. STARDUST is a roller coaster ride of a song that makes you feel like you are playing the Rainbow Road level of Mario Kart or you are Garrett Hedlund driving a futuristic motorcycle in the film Tron: Legacy. The song Plastic sounds as though the Norwegian pop band A-Ha and the Swedish artist Royksopp fused into one for that record to come to life.

TJL uses strong memorable sounds for his melodies that bring you back to that 80’s era while also progressively bringing you further into our time with epic electronic dance pop. It cannot be quite explain it; but his sound is both new and old, progressive and retro, archaic and cutting edge. It is as though he is taken the timelessness of what we miss and loved about the 80’s and combined that with new pop composing techniques of today. Back to the Future, or Forward to the Past? Nostalgia and hope seem to be these ethereal feelings he exudes in his album. That is how I interpret the name, New Policy. TJL has created a newer type of sound by pulling from esteemed golden eras of music history.

Epic: A humble word to describe the music by Tyler James Logsdon. He can program drums in the manner that I have seen Chrome Sparks play live and sing deeply in the style Nick Cave or Leonard Cohen on the record Reflection. He sounds like Robert Smith from The Cure on the record Blind. And some records Tyler’s layering of his vocals remind me of James Blake or Lana Del Rey songs. The talented Mr. Logsdon capable of palpable tunes that present themselves as a blend of some of your favorite most inspiring Swedish dance pop records.

The replay value of this LP, NEW POLICY by Tyler James Logsdon is extremely high for a few reasons. It is a sonic and compositional variety that seems to draw from a plethora of artists. Its production value is pioneering what you remember and love about 80s synth pop. It’s genuinely a record that will have you singing, dancing, laughing and even crying (just wait till you get to song number 13 with Take My Hand)!

Tyler James Logsdon is chosen as Artist of the Week because I believe what he has done with his full length record, NEW POLICY, deserves spotlight and praise. His fused style of progressive and retro offers a listener an amazing sonic time. Tyler James Logsdon will be playing shows in the near future around the city of Chicago. I hope you are lucky enough to see his records performed live. Here is to growth and better futures, here is to A NEW POLICY.

 Tyler James Logsdon | Youtube | Soundcloud | Facebook | Instagram

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A Weekend of Memory: Wu Tang Clan and Pilsen Fest

How could hip hop be dead, if Wu Tang is forever? Unfortunately Method Man could not make his performance at Joe’s in Rosemont due to some scheduling conflict. Regardless of the legend’s absence, Red Man showed up and proved why the golden era hip hop is here to stay. RhymSter, Radcliff Music and JaiTheArtist of Ever Evolved all had opening sets for the legendary honorary Wu Tang member known as Red Man (unofficial Wu Tang member).

Each artist brought out other members of their collective proving the selflessness and community driven philosophies of Ever Evolved. RhymSter brought to the stage Eric Wilhelm, Mike Booth and ESSSE to rock the mics during his set making a phenomenal impact. JaiTheArtist brought out CMac and they both got the crowd turned up! Radcliff came in right after with track after track of lyricism fit for the golden era legends. It was an incredible, unforgettable night. A night to prove that Chicago breeds real emcees and artists that perpetuate the authentic hip hop culture.

Getting off the stage, riding the high of the night, every member of Ever Evolved met fantastic fans and supporters ready to give their input and thanks for delivering impeccable entertainment in preparation for Red Man. The very next day — back at it again. Rhymster had a whole 45 minute set at Pilsen Fest and brought on every member of Ever Evolved, including a saucy DJ Curt Henny set. Seeing throngs of people walk by off 18th and Loomis start gravitating towards the Modelo Stage due to RhymSter’s performance was inspiring to say the least. This is nothing new, if you are at an Ever Evolved event, there is nothing but charisma and rapport with the audience. That is a given. That is Hip Hop.

The next day Aug. 18, last Sunday, two of our members and affiliates DJ Hunt and DJ Curt Henny also had sets for a dope showcase at Underbar. A weekend jam packed, literally, with hip hop events and experiences. Words cannot explain what it like to experience it as a whole. Ever Evolved is going to change the game for hip hop, artists in Chicago and how we as artists and entrepreneurs approach being successful in the music industry.

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Photos: Mike Booth, Mikebooth_87, truedeal_tv

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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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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Throwback Thursday: Happy Birthday to Verdine White; Long Time Bassist of Earth, Wind and Fire.

The year is 1951 on the 25th of July. The bassist Verdine White, who is most known for playing with Earth, Wind, and Fire, was born in Chicago Illinois. Verdine White is ranked as being the no. 27th all time bass player by Bass Player’s List of the 100 Greatest Bass Players of All Time. He started playing with Earth, Wind, and Fire at the age of seventeen due to his older brother Maurice White being the founder, main record producer, and co-lead singer. Today his net worth is over 10 million dollars. These are the types of success stories that define Chicago music and culture in history.

In an interview with Microphone Check with Frannie and Ali, Verdine White got to sit down with the platform to give a little insight into the history of himself and the great band that became Earth, Wind, and Fire. His older brother Maurice and Ramsey Lewis originally were going to name the band Salty Peppers (Salt N Peppa ended up being a thing years later ironically enough) until Maurice decided to name the band after his astrological chart which did not contain the element water. It only had earth, air, and fire; Maurice decided to rename air to wind. And thus a legendary band is born.

According to Verdine White his older brother Maurice instilled a foundational sound and musicality in the group through his extensive study of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. He credits Maurice with his and the entire bands legacy and success. Verdine White’s father was a saxophonist and a drummer by passion and a doctor by trade. He instilled an attitude of strict proper musicianship in his sons according to Verdine. Maurice was ten years older than Verdine elder and the two technically did not start playing together till they were out in California.

Verdine says Maurice was always encouraging and always took him seriously although, Verdine was not ready to keep up with his brother for years. One day Maurice told Verdine, “I need you at the studio in case the bass player doesn’t show up“. Even though the bass player did show up that day, the energy that Maurice wanted to give Verdine and uplift his little brother as a musician was definitely there! Even though it took years for Verdine White to end up playing with his beloved brother, that is now past on, from age ten onward Verdine’s life has been nothing but music.

It was interesting to read about his experiences in Chicago through the 60’s, according to him music related things were happening constantly. Whether Verdine was practicing to keep up with his brothers and father, attending shows with his mother, putting on events for Maurice, or just studying and learning from his older contemporaries, Verdine was always entrenched within the culture of Chicago music. And to me the most awesome fact is that, according to Verdine, he was completely sober and focused through his teen years due to what was required of him as a musician. He did not party, he did not do drugs, there was only one thing he had to do back then and that was play music. Happy birthday to a real Chicago legend, Verdine White of Earth, Wind, and Fire!

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