A message lost on too many people, living life fast paced, just trying to survive can get you lost in the ebb n flow of society. Artists like Marko Stat$ come back around every now and again to remind us to stand still for a moment and be grateful! Because some times life does not go your way but you got to FACE IT. Coming around to to a realization from his last release ME AGAINST THE WORLD, Marko Stat$ continues to grow as an artist and even, more recently, challenges his vocal range and performance.
Ever Evolved MC RhymSter is back again and with a vengeance with his first release of 2019 entitled Pure Noon. This 5-track offering — which includes a bonus track at the end — sees RhymSter and producer Edmur Quinn finding their pocket by utilizing a lo-fi, nocturnal sound.
The EP kicks off with a banger Maintainin where RhymSter takes his listeners to school by flexing his lyrical muscle over a bright and soulful instrumental. However the pace of the EP immediately slows down after with I Will which manifests itself as the perfect soundtrack for a night-time drive soaked in self-reflection. The closing 2 tracks N.Y.S.M. and Wait For It follow in a similar vein before things pick back up again on the bonus track Watch Out.
Lyrically RhymSter is poignant as usual. On the more hard hitting cuts his wordplay is witty and his delivery is sharp. On the slower, more subdued tracks he is more introspective and personal. He shows himself to be a truly multi-faceted artist over the course of these five tracks. On the production side of things Edmur Quinn presents a diverse palette here while simultaneously maintaining the concise cohesiveness of the project. Tracks such as Maintainin’ and Watch Out are hard hitting boom-bap cuts while I Will and Wait For It are much more moody and lo-fi.
The features on here deliver as well. FAFA, who is featured on Wait For It, croons with sincerity over a gorgeous jazzy guitar. JaiTheArtist shows up on the back end of I Will and her vocals sound angelic floating in the background. RhymSter and Edmur Quinn kept it simple on this project. However in between RhymSter’s witty lyricism and Edmur Quinn’s diverse array of instrumentals, their formula proved to be quite effective.
Kweku Collins comes out of Evanston, Il with much respect and rep. Having worked artists like Jamila Woods, Sylvie Grace, OddCouple, Taylor Bennett, Stefan Ponce, Julian Bell and more; if you have not heard of him you are not paying attention! Following his Grey LP release in spring Kweku takes off on a tour round the states gathering his following. From New York, Texas. Philly and New Orlean Kweku spreads his name and music far and wide, as far as the UK even.
Chicago gets the best of the tour as he repeatedly brings it back home as Red Bull Honors him as well as Dr. Marten, theMID and the Chop Shop. As that slowed down Kweku gets back to makin new music decides on a new release is due. Bringing FemDot in onto a beat the two go back to back with some reflective words.
MFnMelo makin his rounds on the stages following a big release early Oct. Melodramatics makes its way around Chicago as he celebrates his brother John Walt with fellow Pivot Gang members. From start to finish the album is bonafide, you will be bobbin your head before you know. You can even see the vibes with Watcha Feel music video. With the help of Pivots Saba, DaeDae, Squeak and of course the aforementioned DinnerWithJohn – Phoelix, Corey Grindberg and others, an epic LP forged by ambitious minds manifested. Moving foward you will be craving more MuhFuckin music.
Jean Deaux releases some new music for that Wikipedia. Somethin other worldy from her hidden gems produced by ROMderful mixed and mastered at Classick Studio by Lanre and Bryan Shwaller . Following, No Pressure, Stranger Things and her Outer Body EP Jean has another project in the works upcoming. While touring with Smino and independently around North American and in the Midwest supporting locals, she finds the time for new music and collaborations and getting featured in GQ Mag as a notable female artist. Apart of a growing number of active and powerful voices and influences for woman in Chicago. Add that to her Wikipedia.
Stefan Ponce teams up with some reputable locals and fellow friends. Nothing like some Hip Hop and Soul with theMind, Julian Bell, Micah Freeman & Kyle. Few different vocal styles to make make the perfect jam for your favorite girl. This Hip Hop and Soul piece is fit with catchy hooks and verses, uplifting piano chords and lively percussion. Spread the love with this track on repeat!
Joseph Chilliam pulls off an incredible album featuring a handful of local collaborators. Henry Church together Jamila Woods, Pivot Gang, NoName and Supa Bwe amongst others. The fellow Pivot-Gang co-founder shining light on West Side Chicago talent, didnt need much but his reputation to promote the LP. Coming out of a sold out show, his first ever to headline in Chicago to attest to that.
The message is clear he will not come to conform to society be real and true to yourself; and fuck Bow Bow. Henry Church is filled with wordplay, pop culture references, jabs at celebrities and some real talk. An LP than to define Chilliams character, he brings some loose comedy, west side attitude, and inspiring ambition to the mic. Of course it cannot go on without honoring the fallen, friends to family most notably John Walt Aka DinnerWithJohn and fellow Pivot Gang co-founder.
From the start its relaxed and playful; Setting the tone with Fergie, pulling his own spin off of a Fergalicious sample and demonstrating versatility in his flow. Then inviting MfnMelo on mic to get Buck. West Side meets the South as the mic is passed to Jamila Woods on Shake My Ass, with a seemingly reversal in roles between the two artist to make a statement about sexual consensual perspectives. Chilliams gets real with NoName and Supa Bwe on Kale standing tall against music labels, who really makes the culture? And kicking it back with FN – 2187 for a laid-back tribute track with SKYLR and Sen Morimoto.
Such is the attitude of the full LP and that only the one third of the LP. Layered with diverse lyricism and live instruments between raw production. The project appropriately concludes with a DinnerWithJohn outro. Hannah Vernier on cover art perfects the image of the Henry Church. Find you favorite track and put it on repeat.
Ethos is the characteristic spirit of a culture, era or community. Is he a single representation of a growing community of creative geniuses coming out of Chicago? Or an activist and a voice echoing the resistance of ideologies and labels society places upon groups of individuals? Maybe a poet with deep perspectives on love and life?
In the beginning of the month, from Chicago, Ethos releases his debut album appropriately titled August. More than a musical measure it is filled with poetry defining creativity, beauty, power and change. A love note to Chicago in his own words. On the album are a series of collabs including Smoko Ono, Ashe Om, Tasha, Morimoto, Chul, Happie and Cosmo. Loaded with local talent this LP’s unique presentation challenges traditional album projects.
Jovan Landry is a photographer, filmaker and emcee coming up in Chicago. On her own an inspiring individual; To woman in chicago and persevering artists. Always about a positive and strong message. The multidisciplinary artist flows with an old school hip hop and boom bap style with contemporary influence and conscious lyricism. With all her projects aside her music career is growing and getting stronger as she flexes the limits of her creative abilities.
Releasing an impressive project, the Concious EP, in 2016 she has been consistenly releasing singles and working with locals. Collaborating with Mykelle Deville on a few tracks and Fury as well. Recently released Note To Myself, a boom bap beat produced by M-Phazes with powerful words reminding you to challenge and believe in yourself to rise above any obstacle.
Talking to Chicago Tribune she has mentioned the release of her upcoming album. A project to be created entirely by creative women in photography, videography, production and MCing. Made possible by a grant from a WeWork Creator Awards, the album should be defining challenge for Jovan and should see a release soon after already a couple years in the making. It should be the first of 2 albums to be created simultaneously!
The Cool Kids have been building up much anticipation since releasing their first couple of singles off of their upcoming re-union album. Since Connect Four and Running Man, the duo released two more singles Check Out and TV Dinner accompanied with music videos to raise the excitement. Chuck Inglish and Sir Michael Rocks have been busy working and promoting their projects. Their forth coming album Special Edition Grand Master Deluxe recently saw a pop up shop at Congruent Space closing in on the release date soon to come.
How ever that is not all the Cool Kids have been working on. Amongst touring around the states and appearing on publications like The Price Is Aight and radio show with Hannibal Buress promoting themselves they got one more idea that makes this reunion one of the greatest. These two not only have talent in production and lyricism but this Labor Day weekend they will be adding acting and comedy to their resume. The Shit Show a Sketch Comedy show created by Jimmy Regular that will star the duo will take things to the next level in their career in entertainment.
— The Cool Kids (@theCoolxKids) August 7, 2017