Artist Of The Week: K3NSWAY

At first glance, just as anyone, you may not know what it is to K3nsway aside from the fact that he dresses well. Far from just well dressed he is a talented Hip Hop artist, not just any ordinary either. More of a conceptual artist as his songs take you through the motions. Many of the ideas sit in the titles of his track like TORTURED MAN and HERE COMES THE TRUTH and NIGHTMARE. Recently he released two more tracks follow more of his personal story through music.

As stated, his titles play on the song idea and these two are no different! His most recent X FILES is most definitely not about some ghosts. Equally as scary though, he runs through his thoughts of ex lovers. DEEP MASON may be more metaphorical as a Mason is either a about stone or Freemasonry. Maybe he just goes as hard as both? Either way its a track packed with raw bravado that will get your head boppin.

K3nsway | Soundcloud | Twitter | Instagram

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Kaskade & Lipless Team Up To Create My Light

Consistenly bouncing back and forth between his old and new style of dance music, Kaskade has the ear to satisfy just about anyone. Following his REDUX 003 DELUXE release, the Chicago native is back with a deep house beat. Teaming up with Lipless, MY LIGHT starts dark in tone with feminine vocals, brandishing “You are my light” into your head, up the the climax. The main body of the track is a gentle but dark bassline humming under melodic synth work, giving off a very sensual and mysterious energy!

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Woman Crush Wednesday: Freddie Old Soul on Soul Work

Her status reads, “As I prepare for the release of this dope ass content, I hope all my friends and fans understand my distance. I’ve been working non stop on making my dreams come true.” Following Freddie Old Soul can inspire, given her unapologetic freedom of self and her spiritual perspectives. Too imperfect to be called a conscious rapper however her ideologies seep into her rhymes driven by street smart bravado. Simply put, she is as real as they come!

Old Soul been on hiatus but don’t you worry because she got everything that you need in this mother f**ker. She comes back strong after leaving everyone with a taste of HONEY with a music video. In her silence she has been putting together her SOUL WORK, while managing her life and motherhood. She is easily a strong figure and influence for women in hip hop and music in general, just by being herself. Old Soul has put together a listening party for her upcoming project SOUL WORK, along with a documentary of her writing and experiences as an artist in Chicago with SurrealChi at 3101 N Sheffield this November 24th at 8pm.

Photo by: IG @lvcastorres

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Radcliff Music Sets The Bar

No two men are one in the same and that especially rings true for Radcliff Music! Where many would faulter, Radcfliff thrives. Could be his raw mindset etched in lyrics like, “I’m going to keep on dropping music bitch, I’m good on the fame“. This mentality allows him to rise above, no matter what the situation, because his dedication to his authenticity. Influenced by no man but himself, he spits his words in raw form in a spree of releases this month.

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Artist Of The Week: Janet Blackwell Tries To Pick Up The Pieces With Still Looking

What is one to do when they find themselves stripped of all sense of familiarity? For singer Janet Blackwell the answer is searching for consolation in anything that will keep her spirits up, even if just for a moment. Her new single STILL LOOKING is an authentic look at what it means to try and pick up the pieces, when all that once made sense is now lost and broken.

Instrumentally, STILL LOOKING finds honesty in minimalism and improvisational spirit. The piano lines cascade downward like tear drops. The foundation set by the double bass adds a layer of depth that carries this song forward, adding a lot of color. There is an endearing sense of conversation taking place between the piano and bass playing that adds a raw sense of emotion to this song. It serves as the perfect complement to Janet Blackwell’s vocal performance as she places her soul on wax for the entire world to see.

Janet Blackwell is second to none when it comes to conveying how she truly feels. Her lyrics are blunt, getting right to the core of whatever emotion she is feeling at a given time. She appears wounded and confused. However, there is a tinge of optimism here. Maybe — just maybe — she realizes that better days are ahead.

With STILL LOOKING, Janet Blackwell is indeed searching for something or someone. Whatever it is, it is clear that she is trying to accept the notion that heartbreak can open new doors, even though she only sounds convinced about half of the time. At points on this song, the grief is consuming her however, her inner-strength, her fortitude and passion for discovery is all there. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

Still Looking is now available on all platforms.

Janet Blackwell | Instagram | Youtube

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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.

Ayoo | Soundcloud Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
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.

DeadstockV1 | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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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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