Chicago Creative Spotlight: Serenity Marie and Her Brand Nitty’s Knocker

Every artist in the Chicago music scene should be familiar with Serenity Marie if they have not already had the pleasure of working with her and experiencing her business acumen. Her connections can get artists into countless events, showcases, open mics, fashion shows, music festivals. She can secure placements for music, get records spun on the radio and offer counsel time. In every sense of the word she is a curator; one who believes in the artist as well as the art and does everything they can to see successful presentation and representation.

Serenity has a weekly radio show, Nitty’s Knocker, Tuesday nights from 6pm to 8pm on Que4.org which is also AM 1680. There she hosts guest artists and discusses everything from the latest pop culture to politics, artists’ brand and projects to philosophy and the always hilarious mentioning of unicorns. She has hosted industry names such as Quentin Miller, Matthew Knowles, Hott Headzz, Van and Dani Jay of Black Ink Chicago, Milk N Cooks and she has even interviewed Angela Yee of the Breakfast Club. Over the last two years Serenity has grown Nitty’s Knocker into a platform that every artist in the city wants to hop on for an in depth interview and solid media content. Serenity has also produced many events with proceeds going to a charity of choice, highlighting a glance at her selflessness. She hosts and curates a lot of women-centric events as well because she supports and empowers her contemporaries.

When you bring artists together you can only imagine the boundaries to be pushed by their collaborations. Serenity Marie is probably vicariously responsible for a lot of art that gets created within Chicago-land area. Armed with an uncanny networking ability, Serenity and her creative brands will find longevity in the arts and entertainment industries because she possesses a sharp mind and a helping hand. In the end art seeks out the kindest of merchants. Follow her content linked below.

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Omg Really!? Its Unkle Slump & Orlando Coolridge

Bar for bar these two rappers embody the golden age spirit, but there’s never a dull moment with their punchlines. I say that for the new heads out there that think the simpler sounding but deeper lyrical hip hop is boring. Both emcees are a part of the Chicago powerhouse collective SlumpGang777 brandishing their swordsman like wordplay over a dusty laid back boom bap instrumental. Unkle Slump and Orlando Coolridge team up to bring a track about their distaste for the attitudes and behaviors of new whack rappers and old heads that all sound the same now. Coined with the onomatopoeia by Unkle Slump “wah wah wah…, everything you say is trash, a bunch of gaga!” comparing these rappers and their lines to little babies and the outbursts that come with being a child. “Most these n****s is speaking in broken tongues, holding drums with the smoking gun” Exclaims Coolridge. “Professor X with the pen, that means my mind can move it!“. Unkle Slump then quips “Shout out to the white people taking over Pilsen!”.

Every line cuts like the searing truth in regards to the entitled whining of certain archetypes and embodiment within the music business. Namely what we know as the prima-donna or diva. My favorite rappers are far from such personalities. If you are not familiar with the Chicago collective SlumpGang777 then the dynamic duo that is Unkle Slump and Orlando Coolridge is not a bad place to start. Sink your teeth in, you will not regret doing so.

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Ayoo Repping For That Low Life

Ayoo did you hear that new beat? The Chicago brothers come back strong with a new remix following the release of Timeline featuring RhymSter back in the summer. Taking aim at Low Life by Future ft the Weeknd hitting the low end of that bass; a deeper sound than their latest singles and it sounds like they are headed in the right direction. Chicago took notice as they opened for Malaa with locals Birthdayy Partyy in the city’s Concord Music Hall following a string of events from festivals to boat parties in the summer. So knowing that you can trust this beat will set off a dance floor.

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Jean Deaux Doesn’t Work 4 Free

Leader of the pack mentality Jean Deaux keeps a team, “a manaj, and she calls them all Nicki”. Sitting at the edge of a desk in flashy shades, acrylic nails, draped in diamonds directing people working back and forth for her is the perfect image. I would feel bad for who ever is lacking on the other end of that line in this Work 4 Me music video. It is clear she does not need you, “Think twice before you ask a verse from me” but you can work for her, she has got moves to make.

Working on her own writing and adding filmography to her resume she directed the video herself with Stripmall, really working the brand she presents. The video itself is apart of a bigger EP project containing many of the familiar crew from Pivot, Zero Fatigue and independent artists like Phoelix,THEMpeople and AMACPacked with wavy & heavy beats and dramatic dialogue in between songs KRASH shows a real sign of maturity in her music and presentation. A real artists flourishing and making moves is rare to see yet Chicago is bustling with artists like Jean Deaux putting in a good name for her city and her work ethic.

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CantBuyDeem – Tony Stark (prod by. Lord Haiti)

It was bound to happen, Deem has too much drip to not relate his stylistic cool to that of Tony Stark; but no iron suit, just straight sauce. Think Robert Downey Jr. right after rehab on the red carpet, triple beam dreaming. Deem always comes with creative and colorfully lush visuals helping to craft his narrative and for this project he collaborated with fellow Drip Gang member Seydina Diop, who’s visual graphics are impeccable. What I love about this video to Tony Stark is how much Deem looks like he is in an archaic style comic book from the original Stan Lee’s Iron Man.

In the adage of age old comics, pursuing a rap career is quite heroic and  everyone loves to be a doubter along the way. Rocking his signature $CantBuyU gear Deem lets you know it is mind over money and spirit over matter. My favorite line of the song, “Tony Stark no armor dog just really hard, couple screws loose how I put this shit together promise it will fall apart.”. Lots of meaning to pull from this line; I think of not needing armor since its only a physical protection and how things fall apart in your mind when breaking certain things down. Think of how humans are heroic without the super powers, ridiculous wealth, or genius science skills.

Deem | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Youtube

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Different Day For An Educated Low-life Radcliff Music

Radcliff builds off the release of his Album Educated Low Life but the flow never ceases from this man so more music is inevitable. You had to have caught ‘Low Lives being hyped up with this spoken word interlude visual with thought provoking lyrics. Releasing the set on Spinrilla making it exclusive to hip hop fanatics off of soundcloud. Not that he is against the platform he has several uploads to his account from remixes to originals and freestyles.  His latest release comes as a music video  for Different Day filmed by OTKST Society. 

Radcliff | Soundcloud Facebook | Twitter 

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Pieces of Mick Jenkins

Not your typical hip hop emcee by a longshot. Not up all night drinking, flashing cars, money & subjugating women. Not that he is above all that mainstream hype Mick Jenkins just travels in another direction. Having already tasted commercial success with his debut album the Waters followed by Waves Jenkins asks, while talking to Billboard, “When the hype dies down, what is there?”. A question for the deep thinker, what makes you when you are not defined by society or a group or class of people?

““Yah, I be up early… If you bring me to a night session I will fall asleep. I will. I might fuck with you, and we might get something done, but I will fall asleep.”

Mick Jenkins has been focusing on a balance between his health and writing career. In regards to people or himself sacrificing their health for his work, “Those kinds of things plagued me. I was always looking back like, ‘Naw. I won’t accept that.“, he noted to Billboard. Now waking up early at 5am and works on his penmanship and his relationships and being Ghost. A great ideal following or more: the anxious, &or more: the frustrations; he conducted himself into one of our generations more lyrically proficient Hip Hop artists representing Chicago.

Now releasing his 2nd full album with a name reminiscing Gil Scott Heron‘s album Pieces of a Man, Jenkins re-imagined Herons work, imitating his deliverance by “oscillating between rapping rhyming and poetry”, as he noted to QuestTV. And he nails it for the most he has followed this flow and ideology since the anxious using a speech sample in C is for Cash Money. Presenting himself like he knows where he is at and you can tell with Soft Porn. With a lot of talent put into this from Ghostface Killah, Julian Bell, Corinne Bailey Raym, BadBadNotGood and KAYTRANADA and more, this is a low-key masterpiece you cannot overlook.

Mick Jenkins | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook Instagram

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Cofresi is Better, Faster, Stronger!

Is it possible to go Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger than Daft Punk? Few dare try and succeed but Cofresi decides to takes up the challenge for himself. With a live midi drum-set setup, he certainly has the resources to match the virtuosity of the legends! Armed with a camera he proves with a live performance that he can indeed pull off a Daft Punk remix with ease and style. Not only unique with his production and execution the man thinks outside the box when it comes to his originals and remixes.

Maybe its to keep challenging himself to other genres or it could be boredom but Cofresi has become a master at these revisions. Not only perfecting a Daft Punk remix, he takes it one step further and challenges some of the gods of Rock N’ Roll, Led Zeppelin, to remix Black Dog. Then upon listening to the beat it was deemed holy for it sounds sanctimonious! After remixing James Black & Bon Iver, Alina Barz & Galimatias,DNMO & Sub Urban, Imogen Heap, Dillon Francis & NGHTMRE and way more, Cofresi has shown time and time again that his passion is unparalleled.

COFRESI @ Sonic Bloom – Led Zeppelin's Black Dog (COFRESI Flip)

Performed my new Led Zeppelin remix @ Sonic Bloom🥁📹 Wayne Schultheis

Posted by COFRESI on Sunday, June 17, 2018

An impressive progression following the release of his EP Faces. Knowing just how to keep his playlist fresh with new music. His EP consisting of 5 tracks is in diligence with vocalists. Each track works with vocalists of different styles from ProbcauseMarcus AllenJofred, Cathy P & Riles and Ehiorobo. Cofresi works around hip hop, experimental, soul and pop vocal styles and lays down a foundation of live future bass production that hits the speakers hard and gracefully. A true mastery in both originals and remixes, this is one act you have to follow.

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New Deem Music To Quench Your Thirst

Since his Third Eye opened Deem has been staying busy with a few projects. Having followed up with a music video for I’m Lownt from the Third Eye EP, he has topped that with another new beat and music video. Aside from working on new music Deem has also been working hard on 106&Clark with Roy French. Together they have been doing a great job spotlighting talented local artists making waves in Chicago. Well into their 2nd season they have interviewed artists like Rich Jones, DJ Skoli, Mani Jurdan, Gxxdstress, Ace Da Vinci and even us here at Ever Evolved.

If you seen Deem live you would know he is quite the interesting dude, not a dull figure at all! Thirsty would be familiar with those loyal fans who have seen the live performance which is equally as entertaining as the recently released video one would say. Music produced by Skeezus the video shot and edited by Gian Frias also featuring artist manager and model at Ever Evolved Ashley George. These cats can probably pull off acting on the big screen, but for now this is what you got and more if you follow the man and catch him live!

Deem | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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CJ Run Is In A League of Their Own


Coming from the UK,  we are graced by the mind of a queer non binary artist with a style coming from multiple genre influences. Expressing them self through the perspective experiences of a black human of their chosen identity in mainstream society through a manifold of styles; UK RnB, Grime, Brit-Pop, Indie rock and more. CJ Run poses a unique brand of hip hop that is unmatched by mainstream culture and even challenges any alternative narrative. Going on a spree this month releasing a few singles, each a different breed of character.

Representing U of I in Urbana – Champaign, IL CJ got connected with a few artists for the journey. Producer yourbeautifulruin works on the two of the three tracks released recently; Indigo and 747. Going over a heart ache in one track while the other boasts future success, not letting their emotions hold them back! You can hear and feel the confidence and energy CJ is emitting in League Of My Own with Glassic. At it for quite a while and giving people hell before they had a CD on the shelf, you can expect more from CJ Run following these releases! Excited to see what is next for this artist.

editors note: CJ Run is not a “chosen idenity” but rather who they are in blood from birth, aside from extremely talented.

CJ Run | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram`

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