Feelin’ Free With Louis the Child at Aragon Ballroom

It was quite unexpected. Ending up in the middle of the dance floor at Aragon Ballroom bouncing to Louis the Child‘s endless anthems. Without even realizing they were back in Chicago for another Friendsgiving event, fate has brought us to the Sold Out Saturday night show. With the help of who can only be referred to as Alex, an eccentric looking character with a patched up pink leather long coat and tattoos on his shaved head, at this point in time with the amount of information there is.

The Aragon Ballroom marquee is lit as well as their big title light that can be seen from blocks away. The fans are making their way off the train and packing up next to the taco vendors under the train at the end of the line. We make our way to the alley where Alex makes his appearance with a big smile to the two familiar girls in the group. Guiding us back and forth to grab tickets for us, all the while security is hassling and giving orders, like a great host Alex readies our group for grand entrance in no time.

Making way to the dancefloor and Louis the Child has their openers rocking the nearly packed (at this point) ballroom. As one act ends we see a familiar pink character make his way onto stage. It is none other than Alex, getting behind the DJ booth as KAMI flashes on the LCD monitors. Turns out he is the DJ for the SAVEMONEY Chicago artist out and as a music reporter for Ever Evolved, the only one to realize the significance of the experience. KAMI in natural fashion, takes over and hypes everyone up. Spitting bar after bar over raw beats, getting everyone jumping.

Louis the Child always has these Friendsgiving events it seems and every time they brings out deserving talented Chicago locals to perform with them. With a massive following of their own, it is like a show of thanks to the city to put everyone on. Well deserving fan base as well as Louis the Child have a talent in creating such an euphoric atmosphere with their music! KAMI may have hyped up the crowd, but the show belongs to the hit makers and they lit up the crowd as soon as they walked out!

A great part of their success is their ability to read and connect with their crowds and their fan base in general. Their music is trendsetting to put it plain and simply. They switch up the vibe with the crowd accordingly from their energetic tracks like LOVE ft Elohim, SPACE JAM, OHHH BABY and of course BETTER NOT with Wafia. They then bring in down in between like a roller coaster with more laid back tracks like their Death Cab remix, Slow Down Love and even throwbacks from releases way back. Unfortunately unable to finish their full set, surely they played strongly into closing off Saturday night Thanksgiving weekend in great fashion. Having everyone feeling FREE for the night, like their latest single with Drew Love

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Throwback Thursday: BeatrixKiddo and TechStyles Pen A Heartfelt Memoir in Emily

BeatrixKiddo and TechStyles released a quite personal song over one of the most famous Mac Miller records ever put out, BEST DAY EVER. That was a gutsy but ultimately good decision. If you are going to pay homage as well as speak about personal memories and tribulations that you have overcome, why not trying your hands at an instrumental from one of the late greats? The name of the track is EMILY, which is BeatrixKiddo’s real first name. 

TechStyles starts out a with a verse focusing on BeatrixKiddo and her struggle with depression and how he views her strength amidst her tribulations. “I made a lot friends, families, and enemies, but I never met someone, quite like Emily!” The ending to his verse leads into BeatrixKiddo’s 32 bars about her battle with loneliness, her ex partner and wanting to give her daughter the best life she can. “Never thought I would end up, holding my bags, at the front door, reminiscing every day, having all these flashbacks.

The loss of someone via breakup is always a painfully ripping emotion that will tear anyone apart. The will to then creatively express yourself about that experience can even be harder. BeatrixKiddo does not hold anything back about the relationship that gave her a daughter and also influenced her to rap and pursue her craft and career. Even through all the hate she receives and the people that do not think she should be rapping, she does it anyway. For herself first and if it spites others, so be it. This is her life to live and lead, no one else’s. Personal and painful music can be the most difficult to put out into the world, for this we recognize and respect!

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Throwback Thursday: North Side Gang Leader Dion O’Banion Killed in Chicago

Chicago is well known for the notoriously infamous Al Capone and his bootlegging syndicate during the Prohibition Era of the United States. Formerly working under crime boss Johnny Torrio who steps down after a fight with the North Side Gang in 1925 to give power to Capone, he expands the bootlegging business, adding onto the many gang wars and battles with police. It was before Al Capone’s rise and fall that Charles Dean O’Banion, popularly known as Dion (in the media), met his fate in which Johnny Torrio may or may not have had some part in.

Gatherer’s line up in front of Schofield flower shop, where Dion O’Banion was murdered.

With the arrival of alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s, O’Banion saw opportunity and organized a bootlegging operation. He started with arranging shipments of Canadian beer and acquiring whiskey and gin distributors. He gained notoriety in the crime underworld after he schemed Chicago’s first liquor hijacking in 1921. Eliminating all his opposition, O’Banion took control of the North Side and Gold Coast, becoming known as the North Side Gang. In his height he would be raking in 1 million a year, famously stealing 100k worth of Canadian Whiskey and 1,750 barrels of whiskey from Sibly Distillery. He would open up a flower shop where as to manage his criminal operations thereafter.

Johnny Torrio, heading the much larger Chicago Outfit with Al Capone at his side, divided up Chicago bootlegging territories among the gangs, leaving O’Banion satisfied with his side of the city, but not for long. O’Banion wanted cut of South Side action and was given some of Cicero’s beer rights and a casino called the Ship, but it was not enough for Dean. He aggravates a potential bootlegging war when he convinces South Side speakeasies to work on his strip. Tensions grew as the Genna Brothers of Little Italy in Chicago cross North Side boundaries and O’Banion steals from them, as Torrio does nothing about the problem. The Genna’s attempted to gain approval to place a hit on O’Banion but their crime boss Mike Merlo denied the request.

More so, O’Banion does more to create hostility towards himself leading up to his assassination. In 1924 after learning of a police raid on Sieben Brewery, where he and Torrio held investments in, O’Banion convinced Torrio to buy his share in the brewery. On the night of the raid, the two were arrested and Dean refused to return Torrio’s money, who learned he had been double crossed. Later that year O’Banion took a visit to Colorado, where he purchased a shipment of weapons, including some Thompson submachine guns. He would come back to Chicago but not long enough live and use his new toys on his enemies. However the first recorded use of the Tommy Gun in Chicago is credited to O’Banion’s purchases.

Frankie Yale, John Scalise, Albert Anselmi

In November of 1924, Dean got into a heated argument with one of the Genna’s over the phone. He threatened Angelo Genna over a debt at the Ship, demanding he pay it within the week. However it was Al Capone that raised to waive the debt in professional courtesy before the phone call even happened. Genna held no more restraint after the insult and with Mike Merlo, who denied the hit earlier, out of the picture due to illness, the Genna’s were free to move on O’Banion. On November 10, Frankie Yale caught Dean clipping chrysanthemums in the back room of Schofield (O’Banions flower shop). As Frankie shook his hand, he held his grip firm and gunmen John Scalise and Albert Anselmi fired two bullets into O’Bannion’s chest and throat. One of them firing a final shot in the back of his head as he lay on the floor. He Is buried in Mount Carmel Cementary in Hillside, Illinois.

Dion O’Banion’s funeral

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Throwback Thursday: WGN and WTTW Hijacked by Max Headroom

Introduced in 1984, Max Headroom is a fictional AI character as the Worlds 1st Computer Generated TV Host, who was portrayed by Matt Frewer; chosen for his improvisation skills. The character originally appeared in the British cyber punk film Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into The Future, with a background story coming from a dystopian near-future dominated by television and large corporations. He was known for his wittiness and his stuttered, distorted electronic voice and was intended as a satire of disingenuous and vainglorious TV personalities. One of his creators, Rocky Morton, describes him as a “very sterile, arrogant, Western personification of the middle-class, male TV host” as well as “media-wise and gleefully disrespectful.” He would also be referenced in pop culture by directors and artists, like in Eminem portrayal in the RAP GOD music video.

On Saturday Nov. 22 1987 Max Headroom would make a reference that was all too real! During the evening hours in Chicago, at two separate times, a couple of television stations would be hijacked. At 9pm during the sports cast segment on WGN 9 News, for about 25 seconds an unknown man sporting a Max Headroom helmet and sunglasses took over the broadcast signal, fit with a rotating background. Then again around 11pm during the Doctor Who serial Horror of Fang Rock on WTTW Channel 11 he appears again this time ending with a slap to a naked puppet butt with a fly swatter. The unknown hijacker was only able to achieve this by gaining a close proximity to WGN’s transmitter located on the Hancock Tower with his own transmitter. The culprits never caught or identified.

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I Ain’t Going: Dat Bizness Is Back With Authentic Hip Hop Style

The visual to this record has to be one of the most touching music video intros you have seen. Dat Bizness shows off his family, unafraid of presenting himself as a father, a proud black man who provides for and loves his family. He is even matching with his youngest son, AJ.

There is a lot of negativity perpetuated as a form of self expression from the experiences that young black men go through coming up in Chicago. Dat Bizness takes these experiences and flips a lyrically positive spin. He still makes it clear these are very real times to be alive and negative things are still obviously going on. With the main phrase and theme of the record being I AIN’T GOING, there is much about the surroundings and lifestyles of Chicago that Dat Bizness is rightfully against.

I AIN’T GOING presents lines that pierce the emotions and thoughts of the listener like, “Black girls going missing, times real!.. White man pulling me over while I’m behind the wheel, but I ain’t dying today, that’s what my mind wills!” Followed by “Grew up with the gods but the devils call us n***as, either or, even odds!.. Jo, this is top shelf from the basement though, this that smoking blunts in staircases flow, scarred faces, stressed thoughts, broke dreams, turn some to kings and queens, turn some to dope fiends!” Dat Bizness has been in the Chicago hip hop community for a while now but this new record and visual is elevating him quickly; reminding the rest of us to focus on the craft and the pen game first.

Dat Bizness | Youtube | Facebook

Video & Header Photo: Johnny Garcia

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Chore Boy and Brad Kemp “Nosce” ft. CantBuyDeem (Music Video)

Chore Boy and Brad Kemp recently dropped the visual to the hit single NOSCE featuring CantBuyDeem, on their LP “STORIES YOU CAN TELL YOURSELF“. This music video, directed by Patric Coakley, is a simple but brilliant visual expression of the three rap verse song, including sound bites from what you can only postulate is Alan Watts since the timber of the voice in the audio is a popular archaic tone. Chore Boy and CantBuyDeem give so much wittiness throughout.

Chore Boy starts off with a fast tight flow and high technical skill “They just like me for the weed, they don’t like me for the rapping!” Later in the same first verse, “I leave my lid open like some stale chips and I skate by like a stale fish, you on stalemate while I nail shit, whats an earthling to an alien!” Chore Boy takes the first and last verse, giving CantBuyDeem the middle. That was only a taste of the wit Chore Boy co. has on this one record.

CantBuyDeem starts off with this line that will make you laugh everytime, “I put in 5 brought back 10, that shit felt like MAGIC!.. Hear a lot of boss talk, but they got no sauce, gotta put the packet in the ramen at the right time!” Followed up by, “Jumped off the porch like a skydive, I be smoking spliffs feeling like I’m in the ozone, standing round a room full of squares trying to phone home, trap phone, cell phone, main phone, same phone no ringtone but that bitch stay buzzin!” Can’tBuyDeem per usual, drops a verse thick and rich in humor, style and banter. His first line is significant because, think about the idea of being an entrepreneur that can flip a product and how it is like literal magic. In CantBuyDeem’s case, he puts that work in as a recording artist and gets more back. Basic simple math having to do with a sonic return on investment.

Chore Boy’s third and final verse has more density packed into it! “Took a D.A.R.E. class, but my dawg double dared me, talk isn’t scary, everyone who’s watching went from awestruck to wary. And they be taping everything like caution so carefully, I’m lost in the sauce but I’m found at the scene!” His little play on drugs and crime is interesting, it seems to be an ode to the 90s public school war on drug culture, as well as metaphors for his mind and acumen when it comes to rapping.

Brad Kemp’s production and engineering is top notch as always and really helps brush out the flavor of the recording artists he works with. We are all for more Chore Boy x CantBuyDeem records! Hip hop such as this record and visual are vital to the life line of the culture. If you can get anyone to bump, dance and think. Well then you have done your part.

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Throwback Thursday: Igor Stravinsky’s “Symphony In C” Premieres in Chicago.

Today in 1940 on the 7th of November Igor Stravinsky had his famous SYMPHONY IN C premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall.

Igor Stravinsky, born June 18th 1882 in Oranienbaum, Russia and died on April 6th, 1971 New York City. Stravinsky’s recognition first arrived because of his ballet scores such as PETRUSHKA, THE FIREBIRD and RITE OF SPRING. But in 1920 he took up composing orchestras, namely “SYMPHONIES OF WIND INSTRUMENTS” and was later commissioned (reportedly $2,500) by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss and Mr. John Alden Carpenter to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during the 1940-41 season.

SYMPHONY IN C consists of three flutes and a piccolo, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones and tuba, timpani, and strings. Performance time is approximately twenty-eight minutes. During the time of its composition Stravinsky went through the most horrific times of his life. His daughter Ludmilla passed away from Tuberculosis, his wife Catherine and his mother also passed on from tuberculosis within three months that same year. To say that SYMPHONY IN C was the only thing keeping Igor Stravinsky alive and composing during that period, is no exaggeration.

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Artist of the Week: Relic The Bully Gets Busy with ‘Fiend’

Relic The Bully is an artist who has been on our radar for a minute. An MC who has bars for days and a delivery full of conviction to go with it, it is long felt that it was only a matter of time before he starts getting the recognition that he deserves. With his new single FIEND, Relic is now one step closer to making that come to fruition.

The production on FIEND is incredibly moody. The synths are dark and nocturnal, the production forceful and bouncy. There is also an element of spaciness to this instrumental that allows Relic the room he needs to do his thing. Lyrically, Relic gets busy on this track, his rhyme patterns are absolutely insane as he exudes much confidence on the mic. His voice is sharp and his flow is a gun busting slugs at a rapid fire pace.

For Relic The Bully, the world is his oyster. On FIEND he proves his worthiness as one of the crown jewels of the Chicago underground. Few hip-hop artists possess the combination of raw lyricism, rapid-fire flow and the amount of confidence Relic has. For this reason, it would be wise to not stand in his way.

FIEND is now available on all platforms.

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Throwback Thursday: When Chicago Ruled Baseball

It would be 1906 when Chicago gets their first play in the World Series of baseball. It is Chicago’s game in every sense of the word since the teams versing each other are exclusive to the city. The Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox face off in what is a first championship series for both teams. What would end with the White Sox defeating the Cubs in game 6, would start a cross town rivalry unmatched by any other!

There are a few more significances to this game aside from being our cities first championship. For the Cubs it will be the first of 3 games in a row and while the White Sox returned later in 1917, the Cubs fail to win the championship, famously, for well over 100 years. During the series, the first 5 games of, for the first time had the road team take the win. This would not be duplicated again until 1996, exactly 90 years later. Finally, being early in the baseball history, the games were held at both West Side Grounds and South Side Park, before Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park became home to each team.

West Side Grounds

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MoneyCantBuyU: CantBuyDeem’s 2 Year Showcase Anniversary

CantBuyDeem wrapped up two years of throwing showcases for the hip hop community at Cole’s Bar in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood just last Saturday. He booked Ever Evolved contemporary J-Bose who began the night with a live 3 song set from his debut LP SNOWFLAKE (streaming everywhere, highly recommend). After J-Bose we got a few joints from CantBuyDeem, one from his LP CHILI that he dropped in May of this year, OPTIONS and a newer track called “PAYMETHO“.

CantBuyDeem booked a high energy trio straight out of Elgin, Illinois called Watch City. They brought an amazing live performance and it is recommend to check out their music and social medias. One of their emcees Angrous does a weekly song release and performance via his Facebook and Instagram. CantBuyDeem’s two year anniversary show saw Dre Skeezus on the 1’s and 2’s. Skeezus is also producing a mix tape for CantBuyDeem coming soon. The songstress Laje and a performance from Cado San and more!

Congratulations to CantBuyDeem for continuing to show out and support the Chicago hip hop scene with his generous curation. We look forward to more endeavors out of the MoneyCantBuyU camp!

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