Midnight Marauders Open Mic at Innjoy Wicker Park

It attracts all types of creatives from any and every corner of the streets. If you have the need to express yourself vocally or even instrumentally, there is an open mic waiting for you to grace the stage. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there in front of an audience, open to criticism for the first time. For some, however, this is where creative minds learn to grow as artists.

From A Tribe Called Quest LP, one of hip-hop and MC’s most influential group of all time, Midnight Marauders claims the name of our Ever Evolved open mic series. Peppered monthly around the city of Chicago, Midnight Marauders finds a home at Innjoy in Wicker Park on Monday nights. In the house with Lucrative Records, we invite Chicago’s most talented MC’s you may have never even heard of. This is not your average open mic, Midnight Marauders brings artists from all walks of life.

Many times if not most you will see open mics packed with hip-hop emcees ready to get their word out. Midnight Marauders encourages all types of artists from all types of styles to bless the audience and the stage with their hard work and expression. Not just for a one night stand either, we incentivise the best of these dedicated artists with rewards ranging from hours of studio time, photoshoots, artwork, review articles and even a performance spot at a local or out of state event. This motivates the artists to bring their best out and their fans follow with them to support.

These incentives not only bring the young up and coming artists but also seasoned veterans to take advantage of clear and easy opportunity! Veterans than bring fans, meaning more audience for all artists involved. From hip hop emcees to spoken word poets, singers, instrumentalists and even stand up comedians, Midnight Marauders brings them all in numbers. The energy was evident at the our 14th event of our open mic series on Sept 9th.

Starting out as any regular monday night, it would end with not one but two talented individuals to share the prize incentives. William Bolanos on the mic hosting, inviting curious artists to the stage to sign up and get on the mic. One by one the room starts filling up with artists, supporters and onlookers waiting to see who will bring out the best performance. A room full of creatives strangers, connected by music, looking to find out who is worthy and who to connect and work with.

As DJ Hunt sets the energy for the room with some throwback tunes and what ever is hot right now, the room prepares themselves for the first call; first come first serve, one song each. The host calls upon the first names to no response and an eager crowd demand to move on. Its dog eat dog and the ones in the room are ready to eat. One of the first to hit the stage would be a hip hop artists by the name of ST. BLVD, with high energy and composure, what seemed to be some ordinary man explodes with smooth rhythm and lyricism to the audiences pleasure. He follows _Larcin_ with a flow like the late Mac Miller, setting the bar high for the following perfomers!

As the finishes the crowd cheers in approval and the mic is passed to the host for the next act. The man following, looking more for a space for his minds content rather than the incentives, bringing to the stage a different talent. For the next few minutes our audience ready’s their ears for a stand up act by an man named Christopher.a.f. Not showing any mercy, he confidently picks up a few giggles from the shy audience seemingly in tune with his dark humor.

The next few acts would bring on hip hop artists like Stank_Nasty_, CVOJAYEM, TLean, Jah.Damm and Apache. Of course Ever Evolved artists had to show had to show the open mic contestants how to rock a crowd for real. ESSSE and JoSan take to the stage as featured artists with music perfected in our very own Ever Evolved studio. Even Rhymster, Eric Wilhelm, Cmac and Beatrix Kiddo rock the mic for a song to really set things off and solidify the energy for the night.

But the real rewards go to two artists, who not only showed up to perform with their best intent, they stayed till the very end and supported each artist. One artist in particular, comes back to claim a winning prize for a second time. The outstanding K.E.N. with energy on the mic so intoxicating, there is no doubt that he is born to entertain, takes a win for the second time showing us what consistency can do. And Finally Case Move, bringing to the mic his brand of super smooth R&B music. Both not only brought captivating performances, but their patronage as well.

As an artist it is not only necessary to support other performers but it is critical in proving your dedication to the music culture. From crowd control and reaction, to handling the mic, these two did not just bring their best selves on stage but they stayed throughout from beginning to end. They show support to not only Ever Evolved, but to the local artists putting themselves out there. It may be a game of endurance, or straight up motivation to get the prize but these two show what it takes to get what they want. This game only feeds the hungry.

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