theMIND may be one of if not the more recognizable names out in the Chicago local music scene working within THEMPeople. He can be found just about every where you look, just about ruling his own world. Working with the likes of Pivot Gang, Zero Fatigue and SAVEMONEY artists, NoName, Stefan Ponce, Mick Jenkins, Knox Fortune, Burns Twins; the influence is every where. When not workin with others his independent work is flawless and you can hear why he is such a pillar in the community. Recently with production by Matty Joynt, EW2RTW soothes with a calming guitar melody and vocals a great song to add to your playlist.
Bringing together a collective of talented artists Emily Blue writes a piece following the Las Vegas tragedy honoring all the victims of any tragedy with a song of peace and love. Collecting all proceeds to Cure Violence Chicago, using her influence to fuel a good cause. Chicago can always use the positivity, bringing together as much as 15 influential local artists really sends a message that there is a community within the city. Following the release was an Empower benefit show at a sold out Shubas with Yomi and Anna Agosta. Below is a list of all the other artist you have to look out for this year that took part of this project.
Yomi – Anna Agosta – Matthew Santos – Olive IV – Nehemiah Harris Joslyn-Marie – Good At Bad – Dan Durley – Raven Byerly – Gem Tree – Carlile – Ric Wilson – Moonrise Nation – JDP – James Moore Evan Ireland – Evan Opitz – Ben Montalbano – Mariel Fechik – Joseph Meland
Usually PDA is underappreciated or downright frowned upon. London Lo turns that around with her deput EP giving a new definition to the acronym as only an artist can. With her debut EP Public Display of Artistry she affectionately displays sound and emotion with an acapella performance. Immediately putting her in the spotlight for such a distinctive project. The Chi-town raised Texan gets close with her audience with her powerfully soothing vocals.
Introducing the EP with a melody expressing wide vocal range, talent as strong as her passion. She wanted the project to be stripped down and exposed, yet regal and elegant as her cover photo represents, and you can feel it in her voice. Singing about the struggles of an artist but recognizing her place and what life has awaiting her, carrying a very hopeful vibe. The album recorded produced entirely by herself. She had friend Brian Cabanatuan to mix the whole deal as well. Is it just me or would seeing this performed live on a loop station be a dream come true?
Not forgetting about the producers this year. They are getting the right recognition and starting with Aced Spade, he is doin it right. Equiped as a producer, DJ and dancer and maybe some other hidden talents we have yet to find. Someone give him a mic lets see. Ringing in the new year with Marko Stat$ at Subterranean in Wicker Park at Ever Evolveds Cold Front stage with the crowd rocking to new music.
Feelin’ the new year vibes he releases a remix that is Not Bad, Just Boujee days following the Cold Front. Afterwards Outta Sight Clothing would announce a cypher beat created by the one and only. Then Aced would just come back and one up himself with another remix. Taking aim at up and coming Chicago artist Simone, whom just recently dropped the Ready EP. Good Girl is the perfect track to meld into Aced Spades dynamic style. Set to perform at the Beat Kitchen you can hear these dope tracks there follow him for the info!
Chicagos’ Marko Stat$ gets on the mic and spits off the top. Hopping on an old school boom bap styled beat Stat$ reminds us of his skills on the mic. We get a little hint of his politics in the tracks cover art. Following his Power music video release Marko has been having a good month to start off 2018. Ending and starting a year on stage at Subterranean in Wicker Park at the Cold Front presented by Ever Evolved, we will be also be seeing a cypher upcoming with Outta Sight Clothing and more music in the works. Just to start out , this is one artist to keep an eye out for this year!
The road to self love and discovery may not always be the brighest path, battling between history, ambitions and self worth. Malcolm London is no stranger to these circumstances and as an artist he creates dramatic imagery of his perspective through words and music with his new album release Right Away Series. Coming back from his pevious project Opia he switches up his intentions with this release. In an interview with DJ Booth Malcolm breaks down the LP.
With this project, I feel like I could do something that’s just authentic to me and not too focused on proving anything.” Malcolm expresses in interview. He references to his previous LP Opia how he was trying more to prove as a poet he can rap dynamically. With Right Away Series he integrates poetry, rap and music allowing himself to express a range of ideas and emotions in his own style. A real representation of being your pure self un-apologetically.
Catching himself in the mix of Chicago local releases yet again like Deem, Mick Jenkins, MfnMelo, Probcause, Rich Jones and others. Like his last project Opia, Right Away Series features a handful of talented artists. Produced fully by BAD CXMPANY, production duo, they are joined by local vocalists Tasha and Marcus Anthony Johnson. So its worth a celebration as London showcases the release at a listening party among friends and artists. Catch the recap below.
— BLACK POWER ranger (@MalcolmLondon) January 18, 2018
A recipe for pure poetic justice. As you are listening you can hear a mix of political commentary, emotional struggle, love poems. You can also hear London challenge general norms in society and hip hop like masculinity and injustice. “I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to be my whole self at all times”, he explains in the interview, referring to him being an educator, activist, poet and rapper. Not leaving any piece of himself out of this LP, he speaks his mind.
In the opening track iSearch, London express doubt though he has made himself and his name recognizable to a great extent especially locally in Chicago. All too familiar to every independent, artist, entrepreneur at one point or another as Mick Jenkins expresses similarly in his recent release. His human side gives into to his activst mindset quickly as he starts Talking Too Much and you find he has too much on his mind. This LPs succession of ideas seems to flows as if of the top of his head, thoughts leading to another.
Work While You Sleep stumbles upon the idea of love and relationships. The following Just To Be Clear goes over the idea that love & emotions makes men weak & vulnerable in hip hop and society generally. Interesting perspectives for society to look over as a whole and contemplate; As a poet, rapper and activist should invoke. Ending the beat on a high note with Chicago’s Tasha and some hope as an artist should.
Solo Sam is on the Come Up in Chicago getting recognized by multiple local media outlets as he releases some new tracks. It is hard to pass up a flow so authentic over raw production self made on most tracks. He has been releasing singles here and there following the project Epoch where he has been plotting the Come Up since people been asking Who Dat Boy!
Getting some more activity from Solo Sam in recent days dropping a music video for a track released a few months back. Fast meets the screen emphasizing a hustlers lifestyle directed by Stripmall productions. Settin the mood for his upcoming project ITIS. Adding some more hype with another release with the aforementioned track! Lets see what his next move is leading up to this big release.
Coming out of Chicago these Angry Blackmen pop into the scene alleging the first local super duo. Certainly coming out with the energy to convince you of this claim. They are trying to start a RIOT! Get angry and ring this track to your next anti-war, anti-hate, anti anything protest. Armed with a Smile and OK! a couple more originals, it sounds like they can really rock a crowd and inspire; cannot wait to hear more!
To Smoko Ono he would probably just consider these daily tasks, you however might refer to them as Superstar Moves. Teaming up with KAMI the two Savemoney stars drop a beat that will rattle your speakers heavy. Flowing over a dark bassline like its just a regular day. Does this mean more new music soon? Stick around with us and listen for it.
Any and every artist has felt it before. The doubt, the anxiety, the wonder if your art, your labor, your ideas are good enough. For Mick Jenkins, explaining in an interview to WGN Radio, the more time passes between releases the more gets uneasy he gets, whether it because of the label or timing. What he forgets or does not realize is that time has little to do with relevance. The quality of the work what makes a piece timeless.
Mick Jenkins prepares for more releases, projects and collabs as he sees fit but as he explained to WGN, he has to release music. Or More; The Anxious is that compromise; to release the music without the grandeur for now. Filled with dark vibes and cryptic lyrics, these seven tracks underlines Jenkins position in Chicago hip hop fiercely. Reminding you that he has not gone anywhere.
Yes Jenkins been done made his presence known among the top Chicago hip hop artists and emcees like Probcause, Rich Jones, Saba, Chance, Vic Mensa, Rhymster and everyone within those circles that have made this Chicago music renaissance what it is. Influencing newer music artists like recent collaborators Lowca$e and Tosa Brooks, Jenkins should leave a legacy. Imagine the imprint he will leave when we releases in his imagination a perfect project.