Joliet’s 2nd City Son and Chino Bean release How To Raise The Dead.

First introduced to Mike Negus aka 2nd City Son in early 2019 at a showcase featuring Bombay Boyz, Unkle Slump and the EWOKK at the Donut Shop in Joliet. Keeping in contact since and following his music, How To Raise The Dead release got our attention. Longtime friend of 2nd City Son and collaborator Chino Bean provided all the instrumentals. 2nd City Son did all the recording, mixing and mastering! The fact that there were not too many hands involved with the creation of this record give it a really clean cohesive sound; dusty boom bap, back pack rap with crisp, slightly distorted vocals. This record leaves you grinning from ear to ear after all the witty punchlines and references that 2nd City Son cakes throughout the entirety of the raising the dead experience. Or as we like to think – elevating consciousness of the masses through poetry and music.

How To Raise The Dead starts out with a fat bass beat for the first song called Raise the Dead, introducing 2nd City Son and Chino Bean using a unique sound bite that sounds like a sports announcer. 2nd City Son flows effortlessly with a raspy sing song flow beginning the LP off to great start. Awesome Sauce is a dark melancholic piano boom bap instrumental with a cynical raps like, “And I do it again, look inside the mirror like who is this kid?!” and “My life like if I compare it a movie, so do me I’m American Beauty!“. This song sets the tone for the rest of the album being a lyrical piece to reflect on all the references 2nd City Son lays out for the listener. This whole album is reference heavy, giving a listener much to digest in terms of metaphorical ideas.

You Don’t Really is the third song off the record portraying a realistic yet optimistic view of issues ranging from the music industry, lost aspirations and depression. Coining this idea that normal people are not ready for the trials and tribulations that he has had the misfortune to experience – “They don’t really wanna hold this pain!“. Most every song on the record is around 2 minutes long allowing for transitions of ease and a palatable overall experience. Thirteen tracks, most being short and sweet with a couple longer ones to challenge the listener’s patience and attention span.

Hope You Listening is a melodic bell heavy track, offering the listener to come and rock with 2nd City Son – “And yeah we ride the wave, so come and rock with us, yeah come hip hop with us!“. “Tiny awkwardness, hold up my accomplishments, your ears are all hostages!“; This track is a prime example of the overall theme and idea about raising the zombified humans’ consciousness ie I hope you’re listening. Hunters Rule Book was a personal favorite from a lyrical standpoint. Lines like “Rule one number leave it alone if it floats, and rule number two, stay away from them boats, cause all them murky creatures gonna throw you off the ropes” and “tough skin you know we leather bound, lord gnomes its time to settle down… whatever we did, cable capture but in the post apocalypse reign masters” stand out.

2nd City Son starts hitting this next instrumental on his probably most notable track with Too Much. “And I don’t want no cash back, and no i dont want no cash app, back in the day I got back stabbed We don’t want no fucking gats clapped, I want a fun time, I want back packs, i want boom bap, i want skateboards, I want pudding pops, I want snap backs!“. He ends the track with a reference about seeing the underworld. 2nd City Son features Unkle Slump, The EWOKK, and Wilhelm Duke. He saves the three emcees for the latter third of the record as a sort of treat for the consumer, tying up the LP seamlessly. I will save you descriptions because these three tracks are gems just go bump them on bandcamp and donate to support independent recording art!

Slippin is a track with one consistent rhyme scheme he pulls off for almost 2 minutes. Notable lines would be, “Modestly, yeah Im known to release, killing the game i hold the chrome to the beats, all you little chickens you the bone to the meat, and all you little bitches you been known to be freaks.” He continues with, “Im dope, you sold dope to the geeks, we sold os we got boats on the beach, you sold toast you should go brush your teeth, black market hustle we the ocean kapeesh, chosen, golden globes for the week, potion, propellers floating the league, bird bath, put the gold in the beak“. A literal monstrosity of a rhyme scheme that goes on for a while. If you listen close is quite impressive and the metaphors hit that euphoric feeling!

I am excited to see more music coming out of 2nd City Son and his camp. He with out a doubt is elevating the taste and reputation of recording artists hailing from the suburbs. He stays true to the craft, offering timeless authentic appeal and a record to digest for any fan of good hip hop. You can listen to the full album on his Bandcamp linked here and below.

2nd City Son | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

CantBuyDeem’s Chili is a Record Worthy of Chicago’s Highest Praise.

Who could perfectly encapsulate what its like to grow up in the South Side of Chicago, ie Englewood, in the most poignant and palatable manner such as Deem Beamon aka CantBuyDeem? First of all, its lovely how this record paints pictures of poverty in a braggadocios and playful manner, not glorification and idolization but instead, a peer into the life of a young ambitious black man weathering the storm of racial politics growing up in Chicago.

Rather than break down the album song for song lets dive into the philosophy of how impactful CantBuyDeem’s story telling can be. He utilizes lines in his first song Alone like “Home alone, all the time momma got it on her own, only thing she couldn’t afford so I started moving shit, corner boy, corner stone of the city that got him enslaving a n***a, but I still do this shit!… and the grind was all I gained from the gangsters”. As well as “they had a n***a try to set me up for a couple petty hundreds…knowledge is pain, I’m a sponge I just soak up the game, so just in case it gone rain, we say be safe instead of see ya later”. A common phrase from Chicago folk implying that the city is inherently dangerous and random in its criminal activity, to take precaution when traversing the concrete jungle.

To continue on this same train of thought, here is more lines referencing the trials and tribulations of coming up in the disenfranchised neighborhoods in Chicago. In STO he quips “grandma used to send me to the store for her cigarettes, with a written note and they would go and really give me it.” In the song he references having to hide his new Jordans or else he would get in heap of trouble. In Saudi he notes “I used to sell weed to the deacon used to smoke bowls with the teacher“. Then he adds lines like “head leaning on the big booty like a beanbag say she cooking up the ramen I want 3 pack.” The way CantBuyDeem mixes punchlines with a storytelling narrative is honestly remarkable. It makes you vibe while thinking of the human experience. Its something un-quantifiable and quite reminiscent of Kendrick Lamar.

CantBuyDeem likes to pay homage to Chicago slang with track names such as Sto, Allcaps, Saudi, OT, IFU, etc. Another addition in painting the picture of Deem’s colorful upbringing. The title track of the album sits at the core of that picture. In Chili every line Deem spits is directly a reference to a Chicago homie or family member of his. If you really know CantBuyDeem then you might understand some of these phrases and similes he uses to compare those that surround him.

In Character, Deem philosophizes the idea of being steadfast to one’s beliefs as opposed to bending to another’s will. The idea of your character being in question if you were to act like, for lack of a better word, a bitch. In that song he still has an overall narrative he is keeping to except he is describing more general instances with goofy types – Or someone in Chicago that acts afraid and nervous all the time which infers that there must be a good reason why. Acting goofy or scary is a Huge indicator of how to progress forward with an individual. This type of archetype and circumstance has been normalized in Chicago.

CantBuyDeem employs a number of peers including Windy Indie, a violinist who has been making waves with her violin remixes of popular hip hop anthems. Chai Tulani, a Kenyan recording artist with a strong African fan base, unique style and rhythm. Illy Muse, Winnie Page, Sleepy Brotha, and SharmonJarmon, to name a few more! This record is as authentic as it gets to perceiving the harsh realities of Chicago living yet still sitting proud and shining through it all. CantBuyDeem makes his art and his craft come off effortlessly and with ease. Deem, Chicago’s playboy, intellectual and savant extraordinaire, following his single Tony Stark has released another record of potent homegrown intimacy and shocking memories.  CantBuyDeem’s “Chili” is available everywhere.

 

Deem | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Youtube

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Roy French Finds A Hi+

Blood is pumping, you are jumpin’ around, actin crazy, dancin’ wildly. Many would consider music a drug and for Roy French, aka MfnYeah, that can be the truth! Anywhere you see him his natural character emits energy that cannot go unnoticed. Unafraid to grab a mic and take control of a crowd as if hip hop and rap is all but second nature. Calling it therapy in the introduction for his music video for his latest release named Hi+ produced by Illa The Illastrator.

Directed by Nish Odak the video brands bright neon colors and lights as Roy French observes some dissociative behavior. This is not unusual for him as creative minds tend to bend the idea of what it is to be expressive. “Can’t feel your down when Im gettin high” he repeats as a catchy hook that can loop in your head without being annoying. “Sometimes I’m fine sometimes I’m not, what do I have to be mad about?” he continues, acting as his own mentor when asking himself hard questions.

Aside from his lyricism his behavior in the video denotes a man on the edge. Seeking an adrenaline rush or simply a dope beat to keep feelin Hi+ and on top. “Fuck my life Lets do if for the thrill, I feel like my death gonna be so kill”. Creative minds tend to be disturbed as the world around them does not challenge them enough, so they adopt chaos to keep their minds stimulated, to keep going. Roy French continues growing and persevering, uncovering deeper layers of himself and his creative boundaries and it shows through work like this!

Roy French | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Ever Evolved | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Young Maxwell and Unkle Slump Get Grimy on “Heart Chakra Treasure”

Young Maxwell and Unkle Slump have teamed up for their new single entitled Heart Chakra Treasure, bringing in Maxwell season with a bang. The instrumental produced by Novmber is atmospheric and laid back. The piano loop in the background is subtle and haunting; the percussion steady in its consistency.

Maxwell’s lyricism is animated and colorful. He muses on his dreams, his demons and of course his drink of choice: Bombay Sapphire. His delivery is dirty and grimy. Possessing a flow that is smooth as butter, Maxwell exudes a sense of easy-going confidence as he drops bar after insightful bar.

Unkle Slump follows up in a very similar vein. His bars are braggadocious, self-empowering and witty. He carries himself with the swagger of the seasoned veteran that he is, while also showing the hunger and creativity of an up-and-comer. With his gruff vocal inflection, Slump sounds right at home on this beat.

The gloomy, bleak feel of the instrumental compliments Slump’s dirty aesthetic nicely. Heart Chakra Treasure serves as the lead single for Young Maxwell’s upcoming EP, which is slated for a June release. Between the dark beat and witty lyricism on this track, Maxwell is showing there is reason to be excited for his upcoming project.

Heart Chakra Treasure is now available on all platforms.

Young Maxwell | Soundcloud | Unkle Slump | Soundcloud

Ever Evolved | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

RhymSter Shows off his Versatility on Ghost (remix)

Patience and persistence. 

These are two virtues that Chicago mainstay RhymSter has used to guide himself throughout the duration of his career in the local underground. With the release of his new single Ghost (remix) these two guiding principles appear to be serving him well. RhymSter took the original cut of this track which was done by Jaden Smith and breathed new life into it. The instrumental has a dark and creepy vibe though, it has a hazy, almost lo-fi aesthetic to it. It possesses a driving sense of energy that RhymSter uses to his advantage.

Lyrically, RhymSter murked this beat with his usual clever wordplay and easy-going sense of charisma. He exudes the confidence of the seasoned veteran that he is as he drops lyrical bomb after lyrical bomb with ease. RhymSter’s flow and delivery are crazy on this song, he shows a full arsenal of flows, switching it up in the middle of his verse repeatedly. Though he mostly delivers his bars in the lower register of his voice, RhymSter plays with his vocal inflections all throughout his verse. This shows that he is thinking about a lot more than just reciting lyrics over a microphone when he is in the booth.

RhymSter has been a lyrical heavyweight in Chicago’s scene for quite some time now. Recently releasing the Pure Noon EP with Edmur Quinn and dropping music videos for Pick It Up & Maintainin’ with award winning visual artists Neorevivalist. However, what really sets him apart from a lot of other artists is his versatility. RhymSter is just as happy to tear a trap beat apart as he is to murk a 90’s sounding boom-bap beat. Whatever the occasion calls for you can almost certainly bet on the fact that RhymSter will be doing his thing with ease.

Ghost (remix) is available now on Soundcloud.

Rhymster | Twitter | Soundcloud | Facebook | Instagram

Ever Evolved | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Dark Knight Is Back In Full Force On “Ways To Die”

Fresh off the release of his debut album After Dark, Young XAV is striking the iron while it is hot with his new single Ways to Die. In some ways this track serves as a logical continuation of what made After Dark so great. XAV is teetering on the edge of sanity on this track as he is once again baring the brunt of the rock-star lifestyle he constantly finds himself enveloped in. His lyrics are introspective, dark and vivid in scope. However the difference now is that XAV sounds more convincing than ever driving home his narratives of reckless abandon.

XAV’s delivery is more confident, his wordplay coming off as more poignant and witty. He is coming into his own more and more with each release. The picture XAV paints on this track is a dangerous duality between stopping at nothing to chase your dreams and the dangerous consequences that can come with that. XAV sees dollar signs and will stop at nothing to cash in, even if it means succumbing to vice in the process.

The instrumental is intimidating as it is bleak in tone, possessing the same self-destructive vibe that XAV portrays in his lyrics. This makes for a very moody listen. Whether this track marks the next chapter in the After Dark show remains to be seen. XAV does have a follow up album in the works that he says he is taking his time on. If Ways to Die is a teaser towards a new album it seems like the Dark Knight himself has something big in store.

Ways to Die is now streaming on all platforms.

Young XAV | Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

A Lot (Remix): Dedicated to Palestine and Christchurch

Safi-G, general of the Wolf Mafia recently put out a remix of 21 Savage‘s A Lot featuring J.Cole; his version however speaks upon the tragedies inflicted to the Palestinian people in the holy lands as well as the latest of mass shootings resulting in the deaths of over 50 Muslims at two different Mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. The former being perpetrated by the state-ist Zionist agenda, the latter by an alt-right white nationalist. As you listen to Safi-G’s powerful words and statements on violence and oppression remember there are real world issues at hand with disastrous consequences and we are not as isolated as we think, especially with mass shootings in America. Therefore it is important to remember above all else just how lucky and privileged we are to not be existing in a war zone.

Safi G | YoutubeSoundcloud | Facebook

Ever Evolved | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud Instagram

 

Sutato: New Beginnings For Orlando Coolridge

The No Coast battle rapper and SlumpGang777 emcee of absolutely cool proportions Orlando Coolridge recently put out a project reflective of poetic growth that the filters of Chicago’s taste makers should be hanged if this record is allowed to pass through unheard. Now that the undertones of serious demeanor have been expressed lets jump into the intro track ONSOL. “Its for the soul, because what is it if it ain’t onsol?” is the first line of the hook whose ad-libs vary through a swinging and soulful rhythm. Because what exactly is it if it ain’t onsol and that is when you realize that there really is not much because onsol is light itself. Onsol has multiple meanings if you follow the SlumpGang777 philosophies and their eastern influences. The song is a great introductory to the album so expect to hear more sharp lines and swinging-ly good hooks through out the record.

INNERGY is another song that makes you question and ponder the idea of light. With production completely done by Sean Antidote, Coolridge poses this question to a listener; “If all that glitters is gold, is the light, just like, how it is in the soul?”. A piercingly relevant metaphor especially within the modern day capitalism and post contemporary era. “That shits no coincidence, its a black fist, like an activist!...Blowing up, like you least expect it now at least expect it. More wittiness of his intellectual braggadocio.

“The message they telling us is deceptive, they don’t want us a collective or eclectic”. MAKE$ENSE encapsulates that paranoid and schizo wave length the brain goes on while trying to come to terms that it will never fully comprehend or observe this reality. Yet it will try and do a damn good job carving out lyrical descriptions. “The one’s controlling currency is 33rd degree, population walking dead but they ain’t turning me!”- A line that captures perfectly the idea of the fractional reserve banking conundrum the world finds itself in today and the idea of humans droning through their daily tasks of life.

Orlando Coolridge makes music for people who read; let me just insert that point of observation here. MAKE$ENSE is a favorite from this record with old school track references like “Cash Rules Everything Around Me, CREAM, Get tha money, dolla dolla bill y’all”,  and “make money money make money money money”. Coolridge intertwines hip hop history with an elevated perspective on global economics and modern money mechanics. RYZE! is the point of the album when your blood starts to boil from the epic and emotional nature of the build up in the instrumental coupled with Coolridges spine tingling intense black power affirmations. Every line in this song smacks you with the thought that maybe you need to go read up on Paul Robeson, Marcus Garvey and W.E.B. Dubois. RYZE! is for every patriot and compatriot of the black American disenfranchisement.

The next song on the record is a super clever tune called A.L.L.A.H., playing off many triple entendres involving the idea of God. This including the acronym ALLAH which in the song stands for Arm Leg Leg Arm Head. Not only is this song layered in metaphor but also narrow enough for the simple minded folk to jam to since every rhymed ends with g-o-d. Another personal favorite from the Sean Antidote produced LP.

The song THENIGHTTIMEBUMP is Coolridge’s love making lullaby of the record. Making allusions to drug usage, meditation and night time moods with the lady; writing lines such as “the third hour odd minute when the moon is the light, when the freaks come out if you’re doing it right.” Right after the love lullaby comes a song about finding love and the divine feminine with LUHMADEME. Brush strokes of metaphors posing hard questions and evoking wondrous ideas of what love is or even means. The epitome of the ultimate philosophical doubt of love is held within this one line by Coolridge; “Yo if it wasn’t for the love is there a reason to rock, is the lack thereof, any reason to not?”. Beautifully put, getting to that line almost encircles the entire rest of the song and brings you back to the starting point of the endless rabbit hole wondering if love even exists?

The last two records are GOTTALUVEMALL and FEELTHELOVE! Where the former is a sensual seduction via boom bap goodness and the latter an upbeat tune that exudes positive feelings. Orlando Coolridge hit every possible frequency, vibration and wave possible on his LP Sutato. With all instrumentals from the Sean Antidote camp, the production quality sounding stellar, paired with legendary status hip hop songwriting Sutato should find longevity, respect and love within the Chicago hip hop community and beyond.

Orlando Coolridge | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Good Fellaz Don’t Shoot

Comprised of three underground Chicago artists we got GQ the Fool, Safi G and RhymSter joining forces to make Goodfellaz. RhymSter takes a seat back and focuses on the production for this project while Safi and GQ take the mic to spit the rawest of verses. With many live performances under their belt already, few releases and music videos they are making big moves.

These last two months has seen a couple of revisits from the trios debut Goodfellaz EP. They pick Soon As Im for the music video treatment. The raw beat features Mama Yaya and creates a real urban vibe while they cruise streets of Chicago for the camera. Their latest Don’t Shoot music video acknowledges the Chicago violenc,e not excluding police brutality, in the streets and they use their platform to spread a good message. “Put your guns down we gotta protect the youth” Safi and GQ preach on the hook. Working with production team Planarity with the waveform to promote on their youtube page.

Good Fellaz | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Essse Guey All Day (Music Video)

Everybody has an artist they listen to all day on repeat no matter how many times they have heard them. Come across ESSSE Guey and you might find yourself in a similar predicament. Fusing a bit of Hispanic culture and lyricism into Hip Hop he adds a unique touch to his already outlandish persona. A persona that videographer Lonnie Edwards captures nicely, again through imagery with a second music video project for ESSSE following his V.I.M.M. (Let It Reign) music video.

Linking up with fellow Chicago Hip Hop head who recently released his own EP dubbed Pure Noon, RhymSter hits the first verse heavy after letting the beat run off. ESSSE ends it strong with a catchy flow leaving you feeling like hitting that replay button. He releases this track as his first single off his forthcoming project DREAMWORXXX which, judging by this song, is likely to be filled with plenty raw and authentic hip hop and nothing less. No official release dates yet so lets stay updated on his links & browse his latest releases.

Essse | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Ever Evolved | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram