Ayoo, A Couple of True G’s

TRUE G‘s stay true to their closest people and their city. They stay consistent with who they are and what they represent! Ayoo show their true colors with this their latest tune. Not only are they consistent with their excellent content but they rep Chicago hard, sticking to the local artist on this remix. Ayoo rocks the house music, rocks with the local artists and the city flag. Can you get more chi town than that?

If you love house music you would know Chicago is home to some of the best artists in the game like Saladin. Ayoo comes in and takes TRUE G‘s from his playlist, brings down the tempo a bit gives it a whole new attitude. Their sound gets more crisp as they go, they continue to improve with each release. Following their Lauryn Hill, Groove Delight remixes and having signed their single TIMELINE featuring RhymSter, another Chicago artist, to Artist Intellegence Agency; they have been riding that wave of momentum smoothly.

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Artist Photo: Blaise Production

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Purple Palooza at Refuge Chicago

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!

Stand Up For Kids | Facebook
Determine Radio

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Artist Of The Week: DeadstockV1 Comes Off As Charismatic As Ever On GEEK

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.

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K.E.N Rocks the YAS! Fest Crowd at Millennium Park

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 Events YAS! 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.

Photo: IG @Itsjzhu

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!

Photo: IG @Itsjzhu

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Artist of the Week: J-Bose Debut LP Snowflake Tackles Phobias, Anxieties, and Societal Ills.

J-Bose is one talented individual. He raps something like a Busta Rhymes or Busdriver and sings with a unique timber unheard of before. He crafts lyrical messages using technical styles of hip hop, fusing that with pop songwriting methodologies. The overall socio-economic political message of J-Bose’s debut album stood out in particular.

He seems to be able to create this realistic hero complex of himself. Utilizing the honesty of his own experiences and coupling that with a filter of his interpretations of the outside world. The majority of these being quite socially progressive in nature. J-Bose’s mature reflections of these stereotypical occurrences might come off to some as, you guessed it, a SNOWFLAKE.

What is a Snowflake? One of the most beautiful and temporary examples of sacred geometry that comes with the absence of heat, or cold. Thinking about that makes you delve deeper into the term we use to coin so many moderate liberal millennials as Snowflakes. Are we really so sensitive that all logical debate has now been eroded? Or is it perhaps we are fed up with the supposed universal rules of society we find ourselves with. Just maybe this generation is going to completely alter the path of history? After listening to Snowflake, the latter of those ideas seem possible.

The first track to delve into is Feel Me featuring Kara Dawn. J-Bose layers much meaning, feeling and questions of morality in his writing. He begins with, “I done seen a lotta people with the biggest egos and the smallest bank accounts. Walkin’ round like they a giant, thinkin’ they Goliath, everyone else David now!”. The idea that there is a lot of fakes with inflated personalities but very little to offer, would seemingly be the person opposite of a snowflake. J-Bose continues with, “Could be inside that they’re hurting, thinkin’ this’ll be the safer route“. It could be these same fakes are actually just lost inside and the best defense mechanism is an outwardly egotistical aggression.

To be a snowflake in our current culture’s context is to admit to feelings you have towards things within society that upset you, not to be emotionless brash. In his second verse he makes this point, “See, we gotta learn how to empathize, we don’t know everyone’s situation. Take the judgement, the bigotry and the lies and remove it all from the equation. And treat everyone as an equal, all the time, not just in some occasions. Cuz we are an imperfect people and it’s time we built perfect relations“. These types of inherently idealistic yet purely loving concepts are unfortunately labeled as snowflake behavior, providing others an excuse to not mentally confront the issues at hand.

J-Bose does not tear down those bigoted, fearful, close minded people whom ignorantly project their baseless vitriol. He sees himself in them, sees their humanity and because of that can only judge so harshly. FEEL ME is a melancholic song that forces a listener to wrestle with their personal morality and sense of empathy. It will have you questioning why you judge and think in the manner that you do. 

ONE CHANCE is another appealing tune because the hook is uptempo with a catchy uplifting melody! The song has to do with personal growth and change. These two things are definitely part of the mythos or ethos of what makes a snowflake. “Whether you’re fat, annoying or boring or selfish or lazy, you can identify and make a change and start anew and you can see yourself the way that I see you“. Its the idea of being able to see the light in everyone regardless of the veneer. “But stay humble and if you’re wrong sometimes, and when you are then that’s ok change your state of mind, be honest with your problems and we’ll get along fine, and rejoice we get to share this world and make it cloud 9.

Some people simply can’t hear out a victim’s or an oppressed group’s opinion because they deem it offensive to themselves personally. Today someone could express their feelings of oppression and have those concepts fall on deaf ears because the receiver thinks they are being personally attacked or torn down. Happen all the time on social media! Some people just cannot separate themselves from the demographic they are apart of. But to be honest, you cannot expect too much out of ignorant people or those unwilling to empathize.

Snowflake by J-Bose gets your gears whizzing. There are many questions to ponder and things to think about when going through this record. Off two songs alone you can extrapolate an insane amount of ideas being conveyed. J-Bose really created an inwardly personal yet outwardly political record with extreme relevance to our current American socio-economic political climate. Questions of sexuality, anxiety, societal ills, oppression, self doubt, crippling fear — its all there.

J-Bose then takes all that and is still able to portray a silver lining. He does so exceedingly well in songs like ONCE CHANCE, ROY DEE THE GIFT, and DOUBLE LOVE.  The record is emotional, visceral, piercing, honest, brutal, and eye opening. Snowflake by J-Bose is as pretty as it is structurally sound, but unlike a snowflake, this record isn’t temporary, its here to stay. 

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Woman Crush Wednesday: J. Solaye

Whether you are looking for the ONE romantically, want to feel ONE with yourself spiritually, need to take that ONE step towards ONE project. The loneliest number can hold much significance, in many ways! J. Solaye knows this very well as she hits a milestone releasing her first EP entitled ONE. This soulful artist, singer and songwriter has been on the rise in Chicago and she has been making her name mainly with single releases up until now, with her first about 3 years ago.

Introduced to music at a young age through her parents, as many of us have, she was lucky enough to be brought up around good music taste. With enough Hip Hop, R&B and Chicago House to influence her she decided become one with the music. At just the age of six, she starts practicing singing and songwriting seriously. Piano and choir practice in grade school will lead her to perfect her craft till High School, where she starts performing confidently. Fast forward to today and J. Solaye has grown into a seasoned artist, with countless performances in various venues around Chicago.

With the release of ONE, J. Solaye notes to her fans that it was a proud piece representing herself as one whole human being spiritually. Confident in her music journey as inseparable from her identity, she has the freedom to express herself without hesitation. ONE is certainly a project for the lovers, with her personal inspirations being artists like Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill and Mariah Carey, she does not drift far from her influences as her sensual voice stands up to match up with legendary artists. In the 6 track EP, from Light Me Up to Cold World, we get a idea of the the very personal experiences of J. Solaye’s mind. Experience her romantic world vicariously with ONE.

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Throwback Thursday: Chicago Becomes Incorporated

Considering the fact that Chicago boasts a present day population of over 2.7 million people, it is hard to believe that there was a time where it was nothing more than a tiny village. However such a time does exist on the historical record. On August 12, 1833, Chicago became incorporated for the first time as a Town. Sporting a population of just 350 people back then, the Windy City covered less than half of a square mile confined by Kinzie Street, Des Plaines Street, Madison Street and State Street.

Rare view looking west on South Water Street possibly in the 1830s. Hogan’s store was at South Water and Market Streets, while Wolf Point Tavern can be seen in the distance.
From a painting owned by the Chicago History Museum

It was during the years after its incorporation where Chicago’s population truly started to blossom. By 1837, Chicago’s population had exploded to over 4,000 people. It was the 92nd-largest city in the United States and it was only getting bigger as schools, churches and businesses were popping up everywhere. One of the other reasons Chicago’s population expanded at such a fast rate is its newfound prominence as a transportation hub. The Illinois and Michigan Canal came to fruition in 1848, making it possible for ships carrying consumer goods to pass through Chicago from the Great Lakes en route to the Mississippi River.

Despite the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Chicago only kept growing. By 1890 it was the second largest city in the country, following New York, even after most of the city had to be rebuilt because of the fire. Coming from such humble beginnings, Chicago has always been known for its grit and resilience. It does not hold the flashiness of say New York or LA — but it has a certain edge to it in the sense that it can face anything that stands in its way, and will always come out on top. I would not count on that changing anytime soon.

Chicago Traffic 1833, Wolf Point
Wolf Point Tavern (Left) Millers Tavern (Right)

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Surf Or Drown With CMONEYWAVE

Comin’ from the city where they yell Bear Down, CMONEYWAVE has been killing the sound. Poppin’ into the Chicago music scene a few years ago with his MONEY WAVE LP, a legend was born! Lyrically authentic, CMONEY keeps everything on the surface, transparent, as he spits poetry about life and growth. Unafraid to walk down the dark corners of the mind he brings you hip hop that is true to self. Emanating confidence and wisdom, in his latest release SURF OR DROWN, you will be too by the end of the album

Looking at the name, SURF OR DROWN seems to be a metaphor for success; you either rise to the top or you sink to the bottom. Listening to the lyrics you will find he means it both physically and mentally. In the opening title track CMONEY goes through thoughts of jealousy of his partners and being unmotivated with his music, but realizing “thats the devil at work and he was tryin to employ me, if I let him he’d have no problem to destroy me“. It is another level of confidence and awareness to catch yourself slippin’ like that, because you know you are better.

The next tracks you see him back on his right path in his right mind with his people on his side, which includes Tone Jonez, Apache Gross, Nu Jack, Mama Wave and Ka’ron Burgandy. Reflecting and ready to move in READY OR NOT with Joselyn Marie, the 2nd track gets you prepared for the wave. CMONEY really gets into his zone in the body of the LP, where you can really hear the rawness of his perspectives, from the ambitious to the sensual. “You still lackin ambition, how you plan to succeed, if you can’t pass the emissons, how you plan to compete.” In fact from start to finish, his lyrical ability is effortlessly bona fide, with no mercy he really shows what hip hop is about.

The LP is full of lines to keep your head on straight and sober you up. Artists like CMONEY understand the importance of the different aspects of life and the trials we go through. In tracks like AUTUMN you can see where he places his values and DROWNING you come to realize even the the strongest minds go through strong doubts on the road to success. SURF OR DROWN is a real true to self conceptual project with an authentic human touch. You can either turn up to this or reflect with it, but there is a song in here for everyone.

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New Win & Woo Speaks Passion

It is not untrue, Love does often have us running around in circles; what is uncertain is the outcome. With a new release Win & Woo go over these woes in HERE U R. “This is not the way that loves supposed to be, a broken record on repeat“, sings Sara Skinner about hopeful feelings in a doubtful situation. Really about going through the emotions in that kind of scenario, the Chicago producers add an uplifting deep house bass line to keep you dancing away from any of those kinds of doubts and negativity. Following the even more uplifting RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, TEA TIME and a couple of impressive remixes, HERE U R is a wonderful addition to their playlist and yours.

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Cover Photo: Andrew Glatt

Whethan Adds Heat To The Summer

Summer is still vibin strong and Whethan is back with a new releases to keep the party goin. You know he can rock a hit summer single too working with artist like, Louis the Child and Flux Pavilion. With key remixes succeeding his network, this Chicago natives reputation opens the doors for himself to work with just about anybody at this point. Staying busy following the release of his Life of a Wallflower LP, Whethan has been releasing singles collabs and remixes to our pleasure.

Looks like his flip of SickoMode by Travis Scott and Skrillex got the right attention as Whethan comes back around with an original piece with Travis and Metro Boomin called Overdue. We know he has remixes on Post Malone and Justin Bieber, Lorde and Elohim that would make for interesting artist combinations. This follows collabs with Jeremih and Bearson with Saok and an original piece titled Going Up. Each stand alone works of art, only strengthening his playlist for whats to come!

Back again is frequent collaborator and friend Oliver Tree with the track Do You Feel Me. The two experiment on with thos one giving off a Killers laced Justice vibe. Not long after Whethan releases Summer Luv with the Knocks and thr Crystal Fighters. Two big names to collab wit, Whethan reach is stretching farther than ever before! Exciting to see what he comes up with next.

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