Music always gets people together, there is no better catalyst to use to get people to support good causes and ideas. For the third year in a row Stand Up For Kids hosts its Purple Palooza event to raise funds for homeless youth services. Through their guidance, homeless youth have the chance to get experience and counsel on independence and leadership. Essentially building a strong foundation of knowledge and leading them to great opportunities. With the help of artists and mentors, donating their time and talent, they put together and get people together for a wonderful event dedicated to Chicago’s youth.
Stand Up For Kids volunteers traditionally wear purple colored uniforms so the title begins to make sense. Based in Lakeview, at first SUFK volunteers primarily served sandwiches to homeless youth, eventually becoming known among them with their familiar purple uniform. Now running a drop center almost fully operated by volunteer work, they service up to 100 at-risk youth a month. They provide them with hot meals, access to clothes and personal items, tutoring, counseling and emotional support. At least once a year they would come together, celebrate and raise funds through music at their annual Purple Palooza.
Invited by President of the Board of Stand Up Kids Chicago branch, Felice Schlessinger of Determine Radio, we jumped aboard the opportunity after getting familiar with their message. Pitched near the heart of Chicago, they chose Refuge lounge at 416 S Clark St. for the festivities. In a dim lit setting, guests are greeted at the door with a light up wrist band branding Stand Up For Kids. As many dressed to impressed, a photo booth is setup for people to capture their night in physical memory. To top it off they offer free food and drinks for the gormandizers.
The room is a mix of night life industry patrons to radio personalities, hosts, organizers and big pockets! Host Wild Bill @smashcashent keeps the audience entertained and on their feet, setting the atmosphere and catching B-day celebrations with the help of @djmh2da. The music is a mix of hip hop artists and funk bands from Hot Planet, Ahmyo, Boi Floyd, Earth Radio, Nate Gramz and Pyure Water. Towards the end the whole of the crew that setup the event, the artists and the homeless youth, those surviving till the end, took a picture together. With 100% of proceeds of the event going towards they SUFK foundation, it appeared to be a successful night. Much thanks and appreciation to Felice Schlessinger for inviting us to and putting together the event!
Few artists on Chicago’s scene bring as much heat as DeadstockV1 does. His brand new single GEEK is just another example of that. The instrumental on this joint consists of a pleasant mix of jazz and trap elements. The synth chords sound as if they are breathing and the jazzy piano chords stick out beautifully in more subtle moments. Despite its lo-fi elements the bass and trap percussion hit hard, making this track an absolute banger.
This goes without saying but DeadstockV1 rips this track to pieces. His lines are clever, sarcastic and funny as hell. His cadence is lively and full of spirit, his voice absolutely oozing with confidence. How comfortable he sounds tearing a beat to shreds vouches more for his art than any fan or blogger ever could.
If there is one word that sums up DeadstockV1’s performance on this new track, it would be charismatic. You know he is going to bring the lyrical heat every time he steps to the mic, but it is amazing how much his confidence and personality grow with each new release. He mentioned on his Instagram that this song is the “second step in a much bigger picture,” so this dude is definitely someone you are going to want to keep on your radar.
Radcliff hits another milestone with a pop up collaboration. Working with the Ryan Show on 98.1Urban Heat Radio, a podcast radio in Boston, Massachusetts, Radcliff gives their setup a nice intro track. Working with Ysness to produce a theme song for the radio, they hit the Ryan Show with a one of a kind introduction. Always with the realest rhymes, Ysness balances out Radcliffs street bravado with sensual vocal harmony, over a smooth beat by Cool The Ruler. Aired first on the twenty sixth of September; visuals soon to come!
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.
Before anyone gets to who they are as a person or artist they must go through a transformation. It may be uncomfortable or even painful and other times you encounter no resistance at all. What that maybe for Nando in his latest work AGAINST THE GRAIN is up for discussion! In this 10 piece project Nando goes through some what of a transformation from start to finish. With the help of Little Lion, Kaneo Blak and Syl Messi, Nando gets his word out.
Starting off meloncholic in with SCARS and DISGUISE, Nando expresses grieve, discomfort and a need for change. He appears doubtful and confused, but he lets his mind free with ROSES and in THORNS he finds focus with his growth. It will ultimately be his growth to be known not his struggles, “they never see the thorns, because they just start at the rose“. Nando continues to carry himself confidently more and more as you move to the next track; he even gets bilingual speaking in Spanish tongue. Getting more smoother, quick witted and self aware as he goes one can assume that is where next releases will lead to; so add Nando to your playlist and follow!
Neha Chawla speaks softly in conversation, yet her creations are viscerally expressive. Despite her slight frame she looks tough, adorned in her trademark gothic face paint and a neck full of chains, swimming in a large black hoodie. Bleach spots draw the eye to her low-top Vans, sleeves and hair, all of which bear her fledgling fashion brand 2000zero’s distorted aesthetic. A lifelong painter with a keen sense of hustle, Chawla began customizing clothes for friends and acquaintances to fund the materials for the brand’s initial wave of releases not long ago. Though she will still take commissions personally (act fast, the price is only going up), she keeps the brand separate from her other endeavors, maintaining its lean, organized chaos, stylistic identity.
We meet on DePaul’s campus where Chawla studies psychology, which makes increasing sense as we talk; her mind is as analytical as it is creative.Along with her business partnerLupe, with whom she splits executive responsibility for2000zero, Chawla has built the brand from a nostalgia-evoking concept. Curating a collection of unique, hand-treated garments, that are sold more like art pieces than like typical apparel. In addition to creating 2000zero pieces, Chawla handles social media for the company and sources models for visual campaigns.She is often appearing in them as well. The first two drops so far have featured a limited selection of one-off t-shirts, each designed using bleach as a primary medium. Through a proprietary and somewhat impulsive creative process, about which Chawla is careful not to say too much, every shirt has a completely irreplicable look. With distinct lines, shapes, shades and splatters they create a variety of striking visual effects.
Mastery of technique allows different styles to emerge with logically-assigned titles like THE GRID; criss-crossed by thick, industrial lines and washed out in the middle, resembling a decaying chain link fence. Somewhere between patterned and fully abstract, all the shirts in 2000zero’s current collection offer free-form explorations of texture grounded in (roughly) symmetry-minded sensibility. From the psychedelic, tie dye-inspired rifts of THE SUNSET to the bold pools and streaks of THE BLEEDER. The longer you look at one, the more detail you inevitably find yourself appreciating, not unlike staring at clouds.
Chawla believes the openness of her art to interpretation directly contributes to its impact, since more people can identify with less specificity. Intrigued by 2000zero’s product line and Chawla’s own artwork, I wanted to learn more straight from the triple threat artist, model and COO herself. This interview has been edited for style and clarity.
“How did you get involved in art and fashion design?”“I’ve been doing art all my life but I just started this designing shit like five months ago. I’m from Maryland and no one really has their own style there They’re all kind of wearing the same things. Then I moved to Chicago and all of a sudden everyone is dressing different, so I was influenced by all the streetwear here. Growing up in the suburbs it’s hard to see a lot of individuality there. It’s easier in the city to stand out and be unique, especially when you know how to dress yourself.”“Describe your personal style.”“I try to have everything color-coordinated but not like I’m trying too hard, does that make sense? It really depends on how I’m feeling, but most of the time it’s pretty gothic; I like heavy chains, I like wearing black. I don’t necessarily want to label myself but I would say my style is mostly dark. Art is an expression of an emotion, so the way I dress and the way I make my art are the same.”“Is there a different process to produce each design?”“There is, but I can’t talk about it too much (laughs). My business partner and I both come up with ideas, but sometimes he’ll just throw the bleach and see what happens while I kind of have a little more planning to it. I really value having unique pieces because when something’s handmade and you can get it from the creators, themselves, it’s very personal. Like ‘here’s your pink shirt, you’re not gonna get that ever again,’ you know? We’re really all about being one-on-one.”“So it’s not only a totally individual piece someone gets to own but also an individual connection to you guys as people, that’s awesome. Going back to the beginning, where did the 2000zero brand identity come from?”“My business partner and I wanted to re-imagine the shitty style sense of the early 2000s by making clothes that would have been really cool back then. The early 2000s were such a mess bro, oh my God.”“What does the immediate future of the brand look like?”“We’re not gonna be bleaching anymore after the third drop. It’s gonna be completely different; A lot more eccentric, a lot of bright colors. You can expect that around December most likely. I eventually want to expand out of Chicago and grow national, still have each style be unique but have them in multiple sizes instead of literally just the one.”“What else are you working on artistically right now?”A lot of abstract painting, a lot of ink drawings and tattoo designs for people. I’m also doing some merch for an artist friend of mine. Lately it’s been explosions of emotion, a little bit all-over-the-place. I use different colors based on how I’m feeling and hopefully people will be able to see and feel those differences. I never have a plan for when I’m painting but when I do ink drawings, sometimes those are figures I see in my head. For example I did one drawing of a woman fading away and kind of unravelling into thread. I feel like a lot of my inspirations come from dreams.“Thanks so much for your time, Neha.”
Grassroots Chicago has a new home at 1430 W Chicago Ave inside the Movement Gallery in collaboration with MADE. Over the past month Grassroots curated a surprise DJ GRIZ visit, a grand store reopening utilizing the emcee talents of iiimpulsiveee and Wilhelm Duke and various graffiti art from Don Mega, Ekon, Fals, Haku, Jeesh, Kabz, Nerd, Urbl, Seoh, and ShokOne. Coming up on the 27th of September Grassroots Chicago will have their doors open from 5-10PM for the WEST TOWN ART WALK. They will be showcasing music from ROZAR, Glitch Gatsby, Bucknasty and Dub Repvblik with a “secret” special guest with MADE.
It is exciting to see this shop and lifestyle brand now operating in an even more central location. Even more so to witness the growth and adaptation of Grassroots Chicago. The surprise visit and show from GRIZ was a hit! There was quite the line out of the door and more than a hundred people waiting to see him. With his like-able personality coupled with the new shop and its ambiance the shadow meet and greet was a success! The GRAFFROOTS reopening show featuring two rappers, a plethora of graffiti art, wine and beer sponsored by Noble Grape and pizza from Dimo’s was quite the intimate soiree of an experience. Gallery type shows are rare and interactive and the new location is great to cater to that style of event!
Much of the success of Grassroots Chicago on the ground must be credited to Nicole Graham. She has been the manager of the shop for the last two years, so next time you are there give her some recognition! With the street fest coming up on September 27th I highly recommend any reader who is also a fan of some of the most exquisite street clothes ever seen to make it over to West Town for the WEST TOWN ART WALK and stop into Grassroots Chicago. They will have their doors open from 5-10PM. You will not regret spending the time and energy to give their unique pieces a chance!
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!
Punting Baxter is making their Ever Evolved debut with their new single, WEDNESDAY and this song is GROOVY. The rhythm section is incredibly at ease throughout this one. The drums are steady and consistent in their pacing, holding down the fort incredibly well. The bass and guitar riffs are bluesy and rhythmically poignant, simmering like a midsummer barbecue. There is a certain heaviness to these riffs, yet the laid back aesthetic presented here should remind the listener not to take life too seriously.
The vocal performance here feels dreamy and animated. The lyrics are full of colorful imagery while the vocals sound heavenly in their faded tone. The way they punch through the weighty tone of the rhythm section creates a really nice blend. With WEDNESDAY Punting Baxter has yet another gem of a single on their hands. They have been busy lately between doing shows and dropping multiple singles but WEDNESDAY is a sheer indication that they are enjoying the ride.
It is well known that Wrigley Field is one of the oldest stadiums in all of a American sports. However what is probably a little less known is that Wrigley Field was not originally intended for the Cubs. Wrigley Field first opened its doors in 1914 when it was called Weeghman Park.
The area occupied by the stadium was originally settled by the Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary. Surrounding it was Eliza Hall, the presidents house, St. Marks Church and other buildings. Early as 1905 rumors of the minor league American Association planned to franchise in Chicago. With the Sox on the south side and the Cubs in the west at West Side Park, the Northside was ideal. After construction of the first elevated train lines leading to thr northside, the Lutheran seminary abandonned their expansion projects seeking quieter environments and sold their property to AA owners.
As the AA owners failed to capitlize on their efforts to franchise, Charles Weeghman aquired a 90 year lease on the land. He built Weegham Park soon after for the Chicago Whales, the baseball team he owned. However the Federal Baseball League folded at the end of the 1915 season as well. The Chicago Cubs started playing at the stadium the very next season.
In 1920 the stadium was renamed to Cubs Park. A year later in 1921 William WrigleyJr. took complete control of ownership of the Cubs. Soon after he would rename the field to its current namesake, Wrigley Field, in 1927.
During the stadium’s first season under the rebranding over 1 million fans flocked to Wrigley to watch the Cubs play. The franchise became the first National League team to ever achieve that feat. Making this fest all the more impressive was the fact that the upper deck was not even finished at that point. In 1929, the Cubs put together one of the best batting lineups in baseball history and attendance rose to over 1.5 million as a result. For the next 17 seasons, that stood as a record.
Many years and many renovations later Wrigley Field still stands loud and proud as the home of Chicago Cubs baseball. Though it does not have quite the same look as it did in the 20’s and 30’s, it indeed has never lost its charm as one of America’s most iconic sports venues. That it shall remain for many years to come.