A Toast of Moscato with John Renaissance: Artist of the Week

They call him Renaissance for his ability to blend an eclectic mix of styles including R&B, pop, trap, and soul. A singer and songwriter, John Renaissance has placements on NBC, worked on Empire, the Steve Harvey Show and he is a member of the Chicago Federation of Musicians. A multi-talented phenom, his latest record MOSCATO, is a pop smash hit anticipating a long game break in the mainstream.

Eight months ago John Renaissance was featured on a song called, “BOTTLES IN THE AIR“, by an artist named DND. Upon viewing that, it was clear Renaissance could easily take that Usher, Donny Hathaway, Trey Songz, Jeremih and Chris Brown like sound, and push the craft even further. Now since dropping MOSCATO in late February, John Renaissance bodies the song and leaves listeners wanting a whole album of more!

To help break the record to a larger audience, John Renaissance started a “MOSCATO challenge” on social medias. Type in hashtag #johnrenaissance or #moscatochallenge to find it. You can either do a dance routine, a freestyle, or find your own creative way of showing your support to John Renaissance, and his soon to be hit record to the industry.

To get on the phone with John Renaissance was a pleasure, he is a joy to talk to, and very knowledgeable about the music industry. He explained how the Chicago Federation of Musicians is essentially the Chicago union for working musicians and musical performers. Over the course of JR’s career, he has rejected seven record deals; One record deal he declined for the label taking too long to come up with the legal paperwork. Another deal he declined due to the A&R being unprofessional, and sexually harassing a singer he regularly collaborates with. These are certainly commendable decisions, and his intelligence and discernment is something to be applauded.

John Renaissance is a well traveled artist, from New York to LA to Atlanta and hanging out with Lil Boosie; he is full of great stories. He spent the better part of last year working on a cruise ship in the Caribbean as the nightly musical entertainment, performing covers and originals, getting paid to do what he loves to do and live while cruising the Earth’s seas. His perspective on the pandemic, the start of the racial tension, and the BLM protests was quite insightful and beautiful. He said that everyone on the ship was from every corner of the planet, and that there was nothing short of love and unity to experience in that cruise.

John is working on a single called NOAH’S ARK, about how the world is seemingly falling apart, and he is singing on a yacht. He is also working on two other singles, THOUGHTS FROM A PRIVATE JET and CATALINA, and a full project called LIFE IS A TRIP, a Drake influenced style of diary writing. JR will release a precursor EP to that project as well titled, WALK AWAY.

John Renaissance is inspired by Smokey Robinson. He wants to write the records, find the artists, build the empire. He is actually secured two SAG roles for artists of his, NDPNDNT and Aaron Mack, both with roles on EMPIRE. John Renaissance has a quote that will be used directly, it is a fantastic way to sum up his brand in one word when needed: “You can be a jack of all trades, master of none, but me? I’m a Renaissance Man.” JR is inferring that everything he does and touches, is at a masterful level. After listening to his music and hearing his stories, one would undoubtedly have to agree.

John Renaissance | Soundcloud | Facebook | Instagram

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Orlando Coolridge Channels West Coast Melody On AK Like U Kno: Artist of the Week

California born, Chicago based elite emcee, Orlando Coolridge took this latest single to his west coast roots with AK LIKE YOU KNO. A groovy bass rhythm and a clap on the one and the three. Coolridge croons a catchy hook with slight auto-tune to add some accent to the chorus. A member of SlumpGang777, and a regular contender on the No Coast rap battle circuit. When Coolridge is not lighting up his opposition in a battle, or touring with his collective, you can find him rocking some of the best shows in the Midwest, and dropping regular tunes with it.

AK LIKE U KNO brings out a funkier side of the rap battle extraordinaire, and the song still contains the classic Coolridge bar structure. Coolridge raps, “You can probably catch me on the I-5, chronic in the left hand, sliding by the skyline. It’s my time, to show off my divine mind, my style ages like fine wine, Malibus most wanted with the fine dine.” The exceptional way he strings together lines is definitely not void in his latest single, you get classic and contemporary Coolridge all in one record.

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I Love The 80’s With The Hood Internet: Artist of the Week

Notable Chicago duo, The Hood Internet, just finished their music time machine! The two have embarked on a journey throughout the 80’s, sampling the decades most favored songs and artists in a handful of songs representing each year of the 80’s. Why has this not been done before? – We just needed genius’s like the Hood Internet in Chicago to manifest this concept obviously. Together they mixed together artists like Kool and the Gang, Rick James, Men Without Hats, Daryll Hall & John Oats, Survivors, Michael Jackson, The Clash, Bonnie Tyler, Eurythmics, David Bowie, Corey Hart, Van Halen, Cyndi Lauper, Eazy E, Dr. Dre, RUN DMC and way more, in a seamless progression. A homage to a decade of that forever shaped the culture of music in countless ways, from disco to hip hop, rock n’ roll, synth pop and countless cultural references from hollywood movies to music icons, perfectly represented thanks to The Hood Internet!

The Hood Internet | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Artist of the Week: Rizzi Konway Releases Morning/Mourning LP, Packed With Chicago Artists

A real lover of hip hop music in Chicago, Rizzi Konway has been very active in the music community as early as 2009! He has created a vast network of seriously talented underground Chicago artists, due to the fact that his style and flow is authentic and unexaggerated. Being multi talented as well, he originally got his start in music producing with ProTools. Rizzi has been getting recognized in front of audiences at handful of venues, performing at spots like Refuge, Olympic Theater, the Abbey, Subterranean, Beat Kitchen, even Daley Plaza for Chicago Sizzle Radio, and frequenting open mics at venues like Uncommon Ground and Innjoy. His efforts thus far has even gotten him an interview for Artist PR.

Since joining Tiny Chain Gang, he has seen more releases, like his projects BLKDMN & DIGITAL, and Rizzi is back with another one called MORNING/MOURNING. This release will feature many popular and underground artists, giving you the scope of his reach within the hip hop music community in Chicago. Names you should be familiar with like BaSkaveli, MOE CYRUS, Will Is Chillin’, Vantablac SOL, EELSIRCC, Rebel Legato and DJ Hool. The first lines of this whole project can summarize his mentality and effort with his music and life, “Workin, workin, workin, never sleepin’. A paper chase is wearing out my feet, can’t take a break cause rest is for the weak. If you cut my pay, decapitate a thief.”

Straight off the bat, MORNING/MOURNING hits you with awe, but to get more of an idea of his complete style and energy keep listening. The very next track, IT’S US, shines light on his more suave side, with an R&B beat, a catchy chorus, and 4+ artist on one song, you can catch a vibe easily, but wait till you hear BET IT ALL. From raw to smooth, he jumps into playfulness, positivity and motivation with enlightening lyricism on the following track, ELEVATE with EELSIRCC and Rebel Legato. “My n*gga we risin up, im living the life I love, so I’m reaching the skies above, we can get high enough.” The first half of MORNING/MOURNING sets you up nicely for the latter half, as he juggles retrospection, raw lyricism and lo-fi tracks that can soothe your soul.

Rizzi Konway | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Artist of the Week: ESSSE Guey Music Is Perfect For Times Like THESSSE!

When it comes to abstract art and artists, most would think of visual art, but ESSSE Guey takes the idea and places it into his music. From his image, to his spelling, to his lyrics and wild behavior. Essse really does not follow the rules, and it works out for him musically and even visually, with his collection of music videos. As a Hip Hop artists he puts his whole mind on display, and he does not shy away from those explicit thoughts either!

His most recent music video, OD Featuring RhymSter, is a perfect visual representation of abstract antics. In the video, you will see ESSSE climbing gates, jumping around a ware house, running around dark rooms fitted with a betelgeuse (Beetlejuice) getup and masks. “Open minded odyssey, anarchy to gravity, higher than a remedy, OD off of-” ESSSE pops in with the chorus. Even the whole format of the video is abstract, with skits in the middle and the end, and even bloopers and behind the scenes footage to really reel you in.

From his image and antics, you can see the Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso esque quality ESSSE brings to hip hop. But more than only his style and attitude, his lyricism brings him a long way as well. Recently releasing a 6 track EP, dubbed TIMES LIKE THESSSE, featuring many local artists like Baggz, Black Joe, BeatrixKiddo, RhymSter and Mike Booth. Pay attention to how expresses himself in his songs, ad-libbing with grunts, growls and barks, bouncing between Spanish and English language. His lyrics can cover anything from being carefree, ominous thoughts and activities, mischievousness, sexuality, hustle and motivation, as evident through just the song titles in TIMES LIKE THESSSE, like NO CHASIN, NO Z’S, DO NOT GIVE A DAMN and SKULLS.

ESSSE | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Artist of the Week: Will Is Chillin’ Conveys What Everyone Thinks With Loitering

Will Is Chillin’ dropped a six track EP earlier this month titled LOITERING. The whole record perfectly sums up what everyone has been feeling the last two months, with the state enforced lock downs due to the COVID-19 historical pandemic. In the first song, I CAN’T WAIT TO BE OUTSIDE, Will Is Chillin’ lays out some very logical and common sense issues that arose because of mandatory business closings. He raps, “Can’t bartend from home, rent due on the first, how am I to make ends?” In Chicago, tens of thousands of service industry workers lost their jobs, and many well respected traveling musicians and artists rely on that as a source of income. Will Is Chillin’ recruited VantaBlac Sol and Rebel Legato, fellow Tiny Chain Gang members on track four, RIVER.

The shutdown definitely has weighed heavily on artists that both perform and work in bars. But not just artists, anyone can relate to these themes throughout LOITERING. Later in track one he raps, “Yes, I’m unemployed and it is out of my control… Wait, I can’t be depressed, need to remain positive but I won’t take a test!” There are many citizens right now that would oppose a mandatory vaccination, or to be tested after being exposed by contact tracing. This line tackles multiple ideas in that regard, Will Is Chillin’ needs to keep it together, smile through it, and hopefully not inundate himself into the medical system too much.

On the last track, APRIL 1ST, Will Is Chillin’ brings up points such as, “Stuck in this predicament, no therapy to cope, daring your eviction necessarily revoked.” This is a line that had one a tad baffled, but the ideas surrounding a lack of access to mental health care, and possibly being evicted due to not being able to pay rent, are extremely relevant given the current COVID-19 crisis. Will Is Chillin’ creates many layers of commentary through each track about our collective fears, anxieties, thoughts, hopes and worries in relation to the pandemic of 2020. If you cannot wait to be outside too, then make sure to give Loitering by Will Is Chillin a spin!

Will Is Chillin | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Artist of the Week: T.Z. Duhh With T.Z. Tuesdays

Consistency is the key to anyone’s success. It is about keeping your brand fresh and ever present, so followers can have a constant flow of your new content or services. Not only that, but you also have to consider the consistency of the presentation that has attracted your following. For artist T.Z. Duhh, this would mean lyricism and output of new music, and he has been taking consistency to a whole ‘nother level!

When people follow an artist, they are constantly hungry for new material, and since the start of the year, T.Z. Duhh has been replenishing the appetite of his followers, every single week. Calling the campaign T.Z. Tuesdays, so far he has not missed a week of releasing beats, a heavy feat for many artists, as a good amount of would go up to a year or more without releasing new content. You would think TZ would get tired of his delivery, possibly straining his lyrical abilities, but he has only been growing stronger and better. This is proven by the play count of his last track SHOPPING SPREE, which gained upwards of 5k views in just a week, which is followed by this weeks release, DEVIL EYES.

Going back three weeks, T.Z. releases ULTRA, a track full of energy and motivating, hyped lyrics promoting his personal values. “I’m here to do the impossible, so you cannot tell whats possible. Never gave up, I stuck to it. Nike I run up a check, Nike the way I just do It, Nike I only want checks.” SHOPPING SPREE is more down tempo, with a little darker, powerful energy to its lyricism, which would feature artist JDP. Finally DEVIL EYES, you can imagine the sinister quality to the track, starting out with a nasty beat and slowed lyrics for the deep effect on the voice. He fires off with; “Starin’ in the mirror, what is it i see? My demons in me, I guess that’s one thing we agree, I guess the demon’s really me. All the hell I seem to bring, crown the fire, guess I’m king. Want the watch, exchange the rings, would you give your soul to me?” A real track to vibe to, and if that is not enough, T.Z. Duhh even released a music video recently for ALL GOOD, keeping you entertained for a while to come. Stay tuned for more T.Z. Tuesdays!

T.Z. Duhh | Spotify | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Artist of the WeeK: Na$im Williams

The DJ is the back bone for any artist or venue, especially when it comes to Hip Hop. A selfless title, the DJ makes sure the party is entertained, playing and promoting music from a wide variety of artists and genres. Even during lock down, while all live performing artists and venues are held back, the DJ is thriving still, through live streaming and mixes. Artists like Na$im Williams move to take advantage of the time, connecting with artists and putting his city on.

Na$im has been putting many artists on for a while, and some prominent names too, as he juggles music production as well. Creating a combination of boom bap and soulful beats, his production has taken him from the East Coast in New York, to the West Coast to LA. He has produced tracks for many Chicago artists like the Savemoney collective, ProbCause, Rich Jones, Lili K and more. All the while Djing for various Chicago nightlife spots, opening up for the likes of NaS, Travis Scott, Vic Spencer, and popular names; Na$im does not skip a beat.

Today he premieres his latest release here at Ever Evolved, where we promote Chicago; Na$im delivers just that, all in an hour long mix. From start to finish, you hear nothing but local Chicago Hip Hop, Rap & Soul from the best artists in the city, many being unreleased tracks. Starting off gritty with DRUGS by Doc Supreme, transitioning into the R&B vibe with GOODNIGHT by Sisi Dior, for a nice balance in energy. He turns it up a bit with a raw beat and quick lyricism by Radcliff Music, and gets even more hype with next track, MONEY CALLING, by WorldInKaos. He keeps it going like this throughout the mix, promoting popular artists in the city like MOECYRUS, Novatore, Vic Spencer, as well as Ever Evolved artists Radcliff, RhymSter, JaitheArtist, Essse, Wilhelm Duke, J-Bose and BeatrixKiddo. The smooth transitions ensures a quality hour of hip hop music, from artists in our own backyard, this mix carries a real vibe throughout.

Na$im Williams | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Artist of the Week: the Ambi/\nce

The Ambi/\nce is another diverse artist making moves in Chicago. You may have seen him performing at random venues in Chicago or just out supporting the local artist culture. He helps keep it moving forward as well throwing & hosting events and even being apart of larger city organised events. He can certainly catch the attention of a crowds whenever he starts to make some noise.

Introduced to the Ambia/\nce at Millenium Park performing at T.I.P. (Teens in the Park) by YAS! Fest (Youth Art Showcase). From there the Ambi/\nce energy was instantly noticeable, and then on invitations to Ever Evolved events were met with success. Consistently winning over crowds at competitive open mic events, showing off his diversity live as he plays guitar, vocalizes and raps to the crowd with songs like his recent release REGULAR. Always coming up with something catchy to get the a crowd hyped and responding, REGULAR creates a balance between satirical and hyped lyricism.

the Ambi/\nce | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Artist of the Week: Brad Kemp Music

Brad Kemp recently dropped a half hour beat tape, LISTEN IN HEADPHONES, that made some rounds in the Chicago underground rap circuit. He has already been making some waves in a more mainstream market being 1/3 of Handsome Naked. They have appeared on NBC and have done some considerable numbers on the internet. Their album DOORS charted #2 on iTunes comedy albums charts!

You also might be familiar with Brad Kemp from his collaborations with Chore Boy in STORIES YOU CAN TELL YOURSELF, MISTAKEN FOR GRANTED, and EXORDIUM. He has also collaborated with a host of other Chicago names including CantBuyDeem, Vagabond Maurice, TomCat Trumpet, Glitter Money, MFNmelo of Pivot Gang, Femdot, and many more. Wilhelm Duke recently dropped a song produced by Brad Kemp called, RUN THE GAME, a soulful bombastic lyrical essay. Brad Kemp is also premiering new original instrumental production every other day on his YouTube channel. His consistency with putting out quality music and collaborating with a wide scope of peers is why he is deserving of Artist of the Week!

Brad Kemp | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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