Ravyn Lenae staying up and active. Making some noise around Chicago with her most recent release. Sticky follows her music video release of Unknown, apart of the much bigger project Midnight Moonlight released in spring. Ravyn’s flow tends to stick to you like an contagious melody. You can bump her LP and it will still sound as fresh as its first release. Doing it again, turning another beat into a timeless piece.
It is not often occurrence when hip hop and soul meets rock and roll but when its done right it is an extraordinary combination of sound and style. Not surprisingly the endlessly talented Jamila Woods involved herself with the Chicago rock group NE-HI to recreate The Times I’m Not There. Previously never working together before Jamila and NE-HI had a mutual interest in each others music. There is more significance to this work than ears can hear.
This song chosen is from NE-HI’s first LP. The two being from Chicago they agreed upon giving the money raised from the song to charity that empowers youth through creative means created by Chance the Rapper named SocialWorks. They all got to talking with Sterogum about the collaboration and shared some words on their experiences. Jamila, coming back from BLK Wednesday & John Walt Day, gave outstanding performances over Thanksgiving weekend that may have topped her LSD video release viewing, treating the crowds to unreleased music. Keep ears open from new music from both these locals.
James Weird of NE-HI On collaborating with Jamila:
We spent some time this summer reimagining the arrangement and rhythmic approach to “The Times I’m Not There”, a song from our first record. The idea was to explore new melodies and textures to shape around the guitar hook and find a different voice to take the song somewhere else. Jamila Woods, being the amazing vocalist that she is, came on and completely led the song into a new life. After tampering around with the edit for a while, what started as an experiment turned out to be a memorable song and recording process. Shout out to Jamila Woods, Dave Vettraino on production, and Dee Lilly on the keys! This being a project between two Chicago artists, we wanted to give all the proceeds back to young people in the city through the arts empowerment charity, SocialWorks
Jamila on NE-HI:
I had a great time working on the song with NE-HI, we had never worked together before but I really like their sound and it was fun to collaborate during the process. I think it’s dope that they chose to partner with SocialWorks for the release
NE-HI | Soundcloud
Knox Fortune is ridin high in Paradise with his latest album release. Following up with a short tour around the states that sold out in Chicago in no time at all. Written and produced entirely by Knox with the help of a well known locals Joey Purp, Cam O’bi, Carter Lang, Nico Segal, theMind, and many other notable artists. KAMI and Joey Purp grab the mic for on Strange Days and Stun. Finally finishing off the 11 track epic with some quality production. Most producers dont get enough attention however this is a rare case and Knox has some real support behind him.
Just cause he can, Ric Wilson releases two tracks randomly. Might mean more new music on the way, might not. This creative soul from the South Side of Chicago just released Negrow Disco EP earlier in the year and he is just following up. Also coming up with a music video for Hangloose from the EP and a collab track with Hurley Mower. Droppin music almost discreetly you just need to keep your eyes and ears open for info like marking down January 4 on your calender.
Every song is different so far as he jumps genres and molds them together, mixing in Hip Hop and Soul, Dance and other elements. You can hear the difference between the two recent releases. What If I Was White, a poem wrote for Sofar Chicago pointing out obvious moral and social injustices in our society compared to We Don’t Know. You can expect his next project to have more hip hop lyrical influence. For now keep posted at the links below for new music and events.
Being honored as one of the many Chicago artists to be presented in Red Bulls 30 days in Chicago Ravyn Lenae is definitely a voice you have to recognize. So talented Chicago is still hooked on her latest album Midnight Moonlight released early in the year. With production handled by Monte Booker the two combined created a masterpiece.
Recently releasing a video for the single Unknown from her aforementioned album, directed by the talented Weird Life crew. A more somber video compared reminding you art varies across all spectrums of human emotion. This follows her Spice video which is more lively, literally, performing the album single for Kinda Neat publishing. As she flirts with the camera naturally she makes singing seem effortless.
Following up on with an interview Kinda Neat reveals Ravyns lyrical abilities starting at an early age. From outperforming at church choirs and high school she started touring at the age of fifteen. Realizing her potential early. Now apart of Zero Fatigue with Smino, and Monte Booker respectively she has performed with other notable artists like Mick Jenkins and No Name and other popular locals. Be on the lookout for her next project and follow her before she takes off!
Over the period of 3 years Jovan has been growing, evolving and adapting to changes in her life. Growth is the collective experience of those years expressed through music and sound. It is built together by the hard work of strong woman such as herself, Fury, Ell Virtuoso, Belladonna Devereux. Others joining her album are talented locals her band the Land, G.O. Owens, Noble Warrior, Mykele Deville and more. Topping off the project Jovan showcases her own production skills showing taking that Note To Myself seriously, pushing the limits of her purpose.
Jovan grips the mic with purpose to release her message of self identification, self love, growth through perseverance as she takes the stage. The Tonic Room filled with exuberance as the crowd bounces to her beats and mouth the lyrics. You would think they would have been tired out after energetic performances by Me’Chelle and Fury but Jovans energy is reciprocated throughout the crowd. An amazing live experience to live through you should definitely catch her live.
You can add Philanthropist to Monte Bookers’ list of accomplishments with his most recent release Silver. Alongside Soulection they are donating proceeds to hurricane and earthquake relief in Central America through Global Giving. It is a very smooth track as most of his are but his style is dynamic and continues to evolve. Cannot go wrong with Monte music. Alway making good beats and now when you bump his tracks you can trust that you support a good artist.
Making the world a better place one beat at a time, Monte has been consistently releasing quality sound nonstop. Working with Smino, Jay2AintShit, Ravyn Lenae and Phoelix has been getting him huge support from artists like T-Pain who joined the Smino-Booker beat Anita. Recent collaborations like Chinchilla and Lui Kang with Jay2 and single releases like Drunk and Yellow + sprinkled all over his soundcloud has gained nearly 75k followers on soundcloud. While most producers go fly under the radar people continue to recognize Monte Bookers sound more and more and with good reason, he gives back real sound and action.
They two are instantly recognizable, Smino voice and style is one of a kind. Monte Booker unique production style is fresh and original. The two artists working together, that is an untouchable force! Their history go back before BLKSWN, Soulection. Before Kajun was on Menu. From the start these two did not miss a beat to completely take control of and influence Chicago Hip Hop.
Monte Booker himself has a an army of local artists like Jay2, Saba and others to credit him; not that he needs it tho. His music speaks for itself. So much so the best kind of unexpected manifested; a collaboration arose over a Smino-Booker collab track from BLKSWN. Following an invite to share the stage with none other than T-Pain, the two drop a remix. Anita gets a new flow from Smino and with T-Pain on the beat it add a new layer of energy.
Sorbet on the other hand is a produced by Sango, preluding with a Happy Birthday recording by friend Akenya and that rides into a smooth jam. Smino hops on the beat doin his thing with Birthday confidence as he instructs to enjoy, dance and smile to it! Raw track to be heard . Meanwhile while we wait for new music you can follow Smino on IG closely as hes traveling between shows and podcasts radio shows and the likes.
Following the Healing Component Mick Jenkins has been busy spreadin love with the music. Keeping himself busy on stages and with collaborations. In the mix of all of this Jenkins has been at work behind the scenes on his new album. From the looks of his twitter feed it is on another level and the hype is building proper.
Letting the good vibes permeate in the studio with some amazing artists. Keepin it local with THEMPeople producing a smooth track and Jenkins lights one up spits something ill for a Layover. Out of left field Exmag, popular with Lowtemp collective, Manic Focus and Probcause from the city, coming in with JNTHN STEIN on a production that has nothing but good vibes. Mick Jenkins tops it off with the smoothest collective of words to perfect Spliff Temple.
Changing up the pace on his most recent track. Bringin in raw talent and attitude, GreenSLLIME lays down the foundation to bring out the Vampire in Brooklyn. The young verteran flexes his hip hop lyrical ability, letting this foreshadow the quality of his upcoming album. Mick Jenkins is about to level up get prepared and hit that and replay.
Stumbling upon Loona Dae I find another wonderful and passionate voice of music. A singer songwriter and producer from St. Louis, reppin Chicago, comes with mellow tunes with strong yet innocent quality in her music. Her lyrics are a breath of fresh air as they harbor real emotion relatable as her words sooths your ears! Breathe in this tune and let the playlist bleed into Phases, her EP project released earlier this year that is a daydream.