Eve and Queen Latifah. Two queens of hip hop that this week Ever Evolved’s own lovely queen and rap goddess remixed to her own liking. JaiTheArtist is doing a series of releases called Fluffy Fridaze, in preparation for her upcoming debut album FLUFF’S PLAYGROUND, where she remixes iconic hip hop songs with her own Fluffy flavor. Last night, she dropped her version of Queen Latifah’s U.N.I.T.Y., telling a lot of truth about the landscape of the neighborhood where she is from. The lack of community and togetherness that she observes in Chicago. Rocking lines like, “We rocking bulletproof vests for fucking fashion now?, Talking shit on the gram, but can’t cash it out?” She lets it known what aspects of the current culture she doesn’t appreciate or condone.
Earlier this week JaiTheArtist also dropped a remix to Eve’s famous “LET ME BLOW YA MIND” featuring the semi-masculine pop starlet Gwen Stefani. Jai’s version for Fluffy Fridaze takes a bit more of an aggressive approach, expressing her femininity while also reminding the listener that she also competes with the big names in the hip hop. Utilizing lines like, “I don’t need to be entertained, your mumble rap inhumane. I talk my shit go insane, I spit this shit off the brain like… This shit is building like a tumor, Ima have to spill it like a bitch with a ruger.” Line for line our Rap Queen JaiTheArtist bars out and proves how she is creating herself as a staple of Chicago hip hop.
Going over a classic Dre beat that once held Eminem and Xzibit, BeatrixKiddo‘s latest freestyle features her shocking smack talk over boom bap goodness. Besides emulating classic flows she puts her own sauce over the instrumental hitting these midwest chopper pockets at the end of certain bars. It has been incredible to see her growth as an artist over the past year and this latest cut is proof of her skills as an emcee holding it down in an industry largely dominated by men.
“I’m the rock n roll loving, funny, sexy, little muffin. Flirty, touching, bitching, loving, take you back with the repercussions!” Kiddo has a couple of lyrics that stand out. “Every single hating bitch gonna see that I’m something. I’m a mother, I’m a sister, I’m a cousin. I’m the sick bitch doing the coughing all these little rappers bring the robotussin.” These string of rhymes aren’t even her fastest on the record. You have to listen to the whole freestyle to catch all her dope chops. But her flow rides the beat perfectly, BeatrixKiddo continues to impress!
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.
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.
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.
It was a cloudy Chicago day, early Saturday morning brings in the early birds gettin the worm. Downtown Chicago was bustling with traffic, both car and foot, heading on over to Millennium Park as the city comes alive for a day of music. Chicago Park District Department of Cultural Affairs and Special EventsYAS! Fest takes off for a growing youth music movement within the city. This year gives platform to artists like Luna Monet, the Ambi/\nce, popular headliner TINK and one ambitious artist making his rounds across the city.
Earlier in the month, K.E.N made his return to Midnight Marauders Open Mic hosted by us here at Ever Evolved. He did it once and he did it again, gaining top performance recognition, so here we are intrigued and following his next moves. Last time he made an appearance at Midnight Marauders at Innjoy he won, taking away prizes like an event performance and studio time. Taking consistency to another level he is keeping true to his name, Killin Every Note, in every aspect. Attending local events, supporting his local artists and peers and consistently winning, getting himself in headlines.
Just past Michigan Ave and Monroe you can hear the sounds and crowd of YAS! Fest as soon as you come in range of the mist of the Crown Towers waterfall. K.E.N is not unfamiliar to the crowd and stage at Millenium Park, another consistency in his work, he has performed at this landmark area in Chicago through other events like Chicago Blues Festival. The God Level Goat has also worked with Chicago Park District and Teens In the Park consistently as well.
Coming up to the Chase Promenade South stage, just before K.E.Ns performance, the crowd enjoys a freestyle session by the Ambi/\nce as a dance choreographer goes solo in the middle of the audiences. A graffiti artists sprays a mural onto canvas as the Smurfit Stone Building and Prudential Towers overlooks the park. K.E.N enjoys a photoshoot with Windy Indie back stage just before they both go up to perform with each other.
As Luna Monet and her dancers finish up their routine and performance K.E.N gets prepared for the crowd. Aced Spade accompanies K.E.N as his DJ on stage and the God Level Goat hides in the middle of the audience. He is notorious for heavily interacting with the crowd, getting in your face, you cannot stand still as his energy is contagious. Performing a few songs, introducing his new music to fans and dancing with the crowd, you can tell in the eyes of the immediate spectators that they are witnessing a memorable moment.
Of the songs he performed, his fans chanted along together to a familiar piece about his and our city Chicago. Spelling our city rhythmically as everyone bounces to the orchestral blues and funk influenced song, while Windy Indie’s violin adds to the atmosphere. K.E.N got extra hype for his set as well as he performed a new track from his upcoming EP THE PREVIEW. It is great to see artists like K.E.N and the other young aspiring creatives alike be apart of something so significant in helping the youth find their creative outlets and networks to help their future. Even more so to have such an exuberant and talented artist coming out of the Chicago music scene to inspire them!
What is a party without the DJ? Even the live performing artist needs their go to DJ in between setups and songs to keep an audience amused. The radio DJ can make or break an artist. The best of them can traverse genres, no matter who is listening and make their body move. Some can even influence music cultures with their sound and style.
Many times in our publications we recognize the vocal or spotlight artist. Tonight however we highlight the DJ’s role in music through DJ Squadooble. Albeit a young artist she made her way into the nightlife industry with ease. To personal friends and acquaintances she is the life of the party, to her associates in music she is the controller of the party.
Introduced into house parties, she quickly becomes popular with local promoters. Her diverse genre base welcomed her to spin at popular local clubs and lounges such as Debonair, Lokal, Simones, Harbees and even made her way to local neighborhood festivals over a short period of time. With a variety of genres from latin influences to hip hop and dance music, if you are in the vicinity of her sound she will make your body move! Making a return to Simones in Pilsen this third weekend of September she will be a judge for a twerk contest under the Ever Evolved banner spinning alongside DJ Hunt, rocking the crowd and backing up features artists like ESSSE, T.Z. Duhh, I C Y and more.
The mix below is old news but the magic is in the present. Follow her pages below and get in tune with DJ Squadooble and catcher her spinnin live.
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.
In an industry of hyper sexualized and misogynistic music coming from both men and women, as read from her bio, Fury represents raw and unfiltered hip hop. Through passionate lyrics about life, relationships and perspectives, Fury does more to preserve authenticity in hip hop than the mainstream does as a whole. A powerful voice with an old school flow her lyricism is unmatched and inspiring, giving voice to many women who aspire to be music artists. As more and more women filter into Chicago’s music industry we recognize Fury’s fearless influence.
When Fury started releasing music almost 6 years she would be entering a scene mostly dominated by male artists. She would have to do more to get noticed, but that did not bother her because she would bring something different to the table. With street wise lyricism and flow comparable to Tupac and Lauryn Hill, coupled with her ambition, she would set it off. Nothing would stop her once she got connected to the right people and started performing live and collaborating with other artists.
Introduced to Fury at an Ever Evolved Empower Herstory event at AMFM Gallery, she takes the stage and the audience with ease. Her ability on the mic is undeniable and her stage presence is unforgettable. At the time having few LPs and a handful of singles in her back pocket. Today she performs live with a band with her latest LP BLACK MAGIC, fusing hip hop and rock music genres and finishing off a tour to work on new music for 2020. From her first releases like FEAR all the way to BLACK MAGIC, she holds the same fire in her soul and she really lets you know; I would recommend you going to a show, see below.
The title of RUNNING THROUGH FEELINGS, the latest solo project from nIgelof cloud rap duo $ U I T, is a perfect summary of a listener’s experience throughout the concise and varied tape. Echoing vocal clips haunt the first few tracks’ intros. Reinforcing the spacey, distant feel evoked by the the rapper’s conflicted lyrics, djuniverse’s ethereal production loaded with fairly minimalist instrumental samples and wavy synth loops. nIgel told Ever Evolved, “I had a lot of bad relationships, interactions and dealings with women at the time when I was writing Running Through Feelings. It kinda just came to together on its own”.
He pours equal measure of soul and sauce on this 12-track project, expressing different forms of commentary on love in each track. “I gave her space, all she wanted was peace, you can leave love right there up in the streets”, he raps on ESCAPE. A song that parallels ambition for musical recognition with the pursuit of romantic interest, two paths inevitably full of rejection. Switching pace on WE MEET AGAIN to an infectious bounce, pain turns to contempt, with critiques to hypocrites like “you claim to kick the cup, but now you wanna act”. A subtle double entendre that touches on the sometimes addictive nature of a passionate relationship.
After an earnest appeal to a crush on FOND, $ U I T reunites for WITNESS. A perplexingly smooth yet hype bop laced with quicker-paced flows and light flexes as NePh punches in seamlessly, adding vocal texture to the track. Originally started rapping to follow in the footsteps of his grandmother, a poet and choir singer who he played the saxophone with, nIgel references her while affirming his greatness and his growth on CHOSEN FEW. Starting by admitting “I had to change the approach; I barely did anything, used to be determined to boast”. By the end of the brief but introspective song, not nodding your head in a silent amen proves challenging in the face of nIgel’s deep-rooted sense of purpose.
The next four tracks are the most indulgent on RUNNING THROUGH FEELINGS, beginning with the leaned-out BORED AND BORING. “You got me sleepy snoring, she not from here she foreign. I’m on the social scrollin’”, sighs nIgel in this trap house equivalent of a lullaby.Featured artist Bruc€Pill$ turns the opioid factor all the way up with his slurred flow, fittingly aspiring, “I just wanna put my face on Fader”. EASYBAKE is the rapper’s chance to demonstrate a boundaries in the relationship he describes by refusing a superficial connection through convection, aka an easy bake. This is followed by the otherwise decidedly chill tape’s most mosh worthy joint, TENSEIGA. Bars like “they need the clout, they can chase it. I’m high booking new engagements”, drip with confidence and solidify our protagonist’s drive and self-sufficiency.
According to nIgel the goal of this album itself, an unofficial sequel to EARLY MORNING TUNES, was to “show versatility and a different sound”. Both those boxes are boldly checked. Trailing off with a hazy-eyed, coarse yet heartfelt farewell on FROM ME TO YOU, the final two tracks RELEASE ME! and NEED ME! underscore the theme of contradiction that traces through the whole project. The former has nIgel disavowing critics, fake friends and even himself, suggesting he feels trapped in the world that is built up around him. RUNNING THROUGH FEELINGS closes out with a melancholy guitar that evokes nostalgia for rosier times and despite the title, NEED ME!, reading like a command, the final refrain of the song is “I’m here if you need me”. This speaks to the emotive stoner’s soft spot, a passive gesture of unconditional care no matter how thick the smoke clouds get.
Catch $ U I T at Gallery Cabaret this Saturday, September 7.