AMINÉ & PELL: Day 18 - 30 Days in Chicago presented by Red Bull Sound Select

reppin: amine - portland // republic records // 2014 - present //// pell - nola, usa // independent // 2013 - present

pell | metro, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.18.20 | @thefaakehipster

pell | metro, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.18.20 | @thefaakehipster

sounds like: amine - a bubble bath in the middle of a clam city intersection // pell - the smartest kid in the classroom who's into the coolest tunes and then snatches your girl

last albums drop: amine - good for you (july 2017) // pell - LIMBO EP (nov 2015)

featuring: amine - adam // pell - jared

you’re beautiful...i know!

The chanting back and forth between the hyped Amine and engaging crowd was almost a euphoria of what a concert should entail. The Sound Select scene was in full force again at the Metro and it is safe to say that the energy in both the performers and diverse crowd was on top display. Another sold out house of all ages just ready to dance their faces off all night. It was not just a show about the hip hop sound, but infused with jazz, rock, soul, funk and much more. Cait and I just arrived in time to see Pell take the stage as you could feel the crowd was ready to bust out their dancing feet and let the good times roll.

amine | metro, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.18.20 | @thefaakehipster

amine | metro, chicago | 30 days in chicago | 11.18.20 | @thefaakehipster

First up was up and comer Pell who is the perfect example of how you mix hip hop with the sounds of your hometown. The foundation of his music spans the spectrum in what New Orleans music has to offer and when he put his flow on top of it, it is quite salivating. Having bused out into the scene in 2014 with an incredible album, “floating while dreaming,” he has since dropped track after track that make you move in different ways. There is one theme to it all...the positive energy, no matter what the lyrics, are spun into an energetic and close-knit kinda set. Whether it was his new track “chirpin,” the dancy and funky “queso,” or the poplar “Eleven:11,” he nails every note as he runs side to side on stage. Not many artists can command a stage as he does with just a drummer. Jared is truly a young, unique musician with a ton in front of him and my favorite part about him is that he is always level with his fans, feeding off their energy.

No matter how you try to pronounce Amine, he is still going to blow your ears away with his unique style, stage presence and ability to get a crowd moving. Much like Pell, being hip hop first, there is so much more in types of sound beneath the surface. His honest and happy vibes can be felt throughout and it is so apparent how much the crowd responds to each one of this tracks. If you can tell how much fun that artist or band is having up there, then it is almost impossible for the audience to not match that. Backed by a DJ, drummer, guitarist and keyboardist, Amine takes you on a honest journey through honest and confident lyrics. At one moment you think it is a Sublime cover as his guitarist adds a whole other dimension, but then the next he goes R&B and starts belting out those high notes. A true rapper and singer, he’ll keep you on your toes dancing. You can tell that everyone in that building was surrounded by the emotion of his tracks the whole set. One of the better nights of 30 Days so far.

suggested listening experience: party down time // road tripping with friends // weekday pick me up

listens: amine - caroline // spice girls // veggies // yellow // wedding crashers // heebiejeebies // squeeze //// pell - eleven:11 // got it like that (remix) // queso // basic beach // chirpin’ // patience // monday morning

amine // fb // spotify // sc // ig // twitter //// pell // fb // spotify // sc // ig // twitter

30 DAYS IN CHICAGO Preview presented by Red Bull Sound Select

reppin: chicago, usa // red bull sound select

sounds like: a mountain bike race - strap yourself in for a wild time, but stop to enjoy the view here and there

Music is such a beautiful part of life. It is worldly, it brings us together and spans the spectrum amongst the types of feels it gives us humans. That amazing principal of life is going to shine here in Chicago during the cold month of November. Summer is over and the leaves are changing colors, which usually can bring a cloud of “shit, I have to be inside for 5 months now” kind of thinking. Fuck that. In this city, we are strong souls who deal with winter to embrace summer, but staying inside is just not an option this month.

rbss_chi_facebook_keyart.png

It is time to embrace what music has to offer this month. Red Bull Sound Select is taking over just about every venue in Chicago with genres spanning the spectrum. It is an amazing chance for any music lover, no matter what level you are, to come together and be amazed by some of the best up and comers this country (and a few international) have to offer. Along with myself, my beautiful, singing girlfriend Cait and some close friends will be covering just about half of the shows.

So, if you have been closed minded about some new tunes, or simply have not had time to listen, open your ears. If you have never floated your ears into a genre, it is time to explore the unknown. And what I feel is above all, if you feel like you have not felt something in some time, take a chance on experiencing your emotions in the live setting.

To sort through the wide range of talented artists, here is your key:

Rock Out // get ready to have your face melted

Fuck You, I Just Want To Dance // Time to sweat your face off

Twist One Up // Get ready to have your face lifted

Netflix & Chill // I just want to sit down and not do anything with my face

 

whitney // NE-HI // mt. Joy // nov 2 // metro // sold out // whitney blog post, nov 2016

reppin: chicago // chicago // phili

whitney | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

whitney | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

netflix & chill

What to expect: overall, one of the more solid lineups of the month from bottom to top. Groovy folk and indie rock beats, delicious vocals all around. While Whitney wowed the world with a nearly perfect album last year, get there early to check out fast rising Mt. Joy and drown in there swaying folk rock. NE-HI will step it up just a tad and get those feet moving over their lo-fi indie rock

spotify: whitney // NE-HI // mt. joy

kehlani // nov 3 // the riviera // sold out

reppin: oakland, ca // atlantic records // 2009 - present

fuck you i want to dance

From the start of every track, kehlani’s voice takes over in such a natural way over just about any beat. Having spent some time in the teen group, Poplyfe, she has matured extremely quickly at the young age of 22. Mixing pop with R&B and soul, she is so worth the watch

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

mitzki // hazel english // nov 7 // lincoln hall // sold out

reppin: nyc // oakland, ca

twist one up

Soothing indie and lo-fi rock at its finest from some stellar female fronted groups will be rocking out at lincoln hall next week. This gig features some incredible song writers that will have you closing your eyes and begging for more. Miya Folick will also be performing so be sure to get there for the openers!

spotify: mitski // hazel english

hazel english | photo cred: newsickmusic.com

hazel english | photo cred: newsickmusic.com

ibeyi // nov 10 // metro // tickets

reppin: cuba, venezuela & france // XL recordings // 2013 - present

twist one up

These sisters smother you in a dark poppy sound against their melodic soft vocals. Having lived in so many different places, they offer a wide range of influence and sing in numerous languages. They have certainly separated themselves from the pack and will be a sight to see at the legendary metro.

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

sabrina claudio // nov 12 // schubas // sold out

reppin: la, usa // sc entertainment // 2016 - present

netflix & chill

The mixture of pop, indie and r&b/soul will have you at your knees. And holy shit, sabrina’s voice stands out from the rest. The music makes you sway side to side giving you positive and upbeat feels. It will be an amazing setting in the intimate schubas venue as we approach the halfway mark of the month

pell | lincoln hall, chicago | 3.11.15 | @thefaakehipster

pell | lincoln hall, chicago | 3.11.15 | @thefaakehipster

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

parquet courts // meat wave // nov 15 // the empty bottle // sold out

reppin: brooklyn, usa // chicago, usa

rock out

For all you head bangers out there, it is time to come out and show it off. Parquet Courts brings a funky feel to their post/punk-rock sound as they have released all sorts of music. Meat Wave will be taking the stage before them, a fast paced Chicago punk group that leaves everything on the stage

spotify: pc // mw

amine // pell // nov 18 // metro // sold out (pell blog post, may 2016)

reppin: portland // new orleans

twist one up

Two truly young, talented wrappers will grace the stage this night. Amine has that song “caroline” streaming hundreds of millions of times across the internet and offers up a smooth flow. I’ve been a huge fan of Pell for some time, who brings soul, funk and jazz to his tracks with his incredible rapping ability. You’ll be hearing about these two a lot more in the near future.

spotify: amine // pell

lizzo // nov 19 // thalia hall // sold out

reppin: detroit // atlantic records // 2012 - present

fuck you I just want to dance

I don’t know if I have come across a rapper that has the blends of beautiful vocals and rapping in awhile. It is almost like she is singing as she raps with a demanding yet welcoming voice. Bouncing around from Houston to Minneapolis to Detroit, you can hear the midwest vibes, soul train fever and southern beats. This is going to be a party.

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

noname // buddy // nov 21 // concord music hall // sold out

reppin: chicago, usa // compton, cali

twist one up

If you haven’t come across noname yet I am honestly jealous as her flow and soft beats are mouth watering. She bleeds Chicago hip hop and soul. Then there is Buddy who brings the west coast vibes, the kid who has worked with just about every big name in the genre. This is going to be a fun, upbeat show.

spotify: noname // buddy

jacob banks | sxsw, 2017 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, 2017 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks // nov 22 // lincoln hall // tickets (jacob banks blog post, aug 2017)

reppin: birmingham, uk via nigeria // interscope // 2012 - present

netflix & chill

Probably my favorite soul singer in the game, this dude mixes it up with blues and R&B with vocals that are out of this world. Only in his mid-20s, this dude has so much in front of him. Let him sooth you as somehow this show is not sold out, so go!

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

kweku collins // nov 25 // space // sold out (previous blog post, oct 2016)

reppin: evanston, il // closed sessions // 2015 - present

kweku collins | metro, chicago | 3.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

kweku collins | metro, chicago | 3.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

twist one up

A kid on the rise fast, playing in his hometown during an incredible music month. It does not get much better than this. Kweku raps from the heart about issues that matter to the world. He also has delicious rapping vocals and a flow to match

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

jungle // nov 27 // metro // metro // tickets

reppin: london, uk // XL recordings // 2013 - present

twist one up

You’ve certainly heard their track, “busy earnin,’ all over the place. This neo-soul band creates an almost electronic, chill-wave feel filled out with soul. They have a worldwide vibe having their album chart just about everywhere. Again, how is this not sold out!

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

xavier omar // nov 28 // chop shop // sold out

reppin: san antonio, tx // soulection // 2012 - present

netflix & chill

I am really stoked to close out the month with Xavier. He has dreamy soulful vocals that almost give you that 90s feel with modern beats. I love his funky beats, melodic verses and honest lyrics. Watch out for this dude and his next album

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

encouraging your ears to discover new sounds

Go see live music

chicago // SHOWS ON SHOWS ON SHOWS: oct 3 - 15

*a look ahead at some rad shows to kick off october*

explosions in the sky // 10.3 // empty bottle (sold out)

reppin: austin, tx // temporary residence limited // 1999 - present

sounds like: a mural of the world and its secret landscapes that defines us

explosions in the sky | photo cred: rtrfm.com.au

explosions in the sky | photo cred: rtrfm.com.au

A band that has grown from playing small bars and venues to big arenas returns to their roots in Chicago for a special night. A constant evolution of instrumental post-rock, these guys tell a story with every track they write.

listens: your hand in mine // first breath after coma // so long, lonesome

japanese breakfast // 10.4 // subterranean (sold out)

reppin: eugene, or // dead oceans records // 2013 - present

sounds like: walking through a futuristic forest

After spending time in her outfit, Little Big League, Michelle took what she learned from playing and turned into her solo project. Her indie rock/pop sound is a tad on the dark side, yet so fulfilling in an upbeat kind of way. Her latest album, “soft sounds from another planet” has earned her universal acclaim from critics.

listens: everybody wants to love you // road head // diving woman

flor // 10.5 // bottom lounge (tix)

reppin: hood river, or / la, usa // fueled by ramen // 2015 - present

sounds like: sitting down with mother nature and having a deep chat

My ears strongly feel that these kids have put out one of the friendliest sounding debuts in some time. Those vocals, poppy hooks and beats that make you sway will have you loving seeing this band in real life form.

listens: guarded // hold on // warm blood

jr jr // 10.5 // house of blues (interview coming tomorrow) // tix

JR JR | photo cred: Travis Shinn

JR JR | photo cred: Travis Shinn

reppin: detroit, usa // warner // 2010 - present

sounds like: sitting with a group of friends reading an adult children’s book

Sometimes when you are fucking around with friends in a basement, not worrying about what the public thinks...you make music that humans respond to. Easy on the ears, JR JR brings indie pop tunes that make you want to grab onto someone close and hold on tight.

listens: same dark places // gone // if you didn’t see me (then you weren’t on the dance floor)

touche amore // 10.7 // subterranean (tix)

reppin: la, usa // epitaph // 2007 - present

sounds like: a teddy bear shaking you of your fears then holding you close

Lyrics you can hold close to your heart, vocals you can feel in your chest and a post-hardcore that is friendlier on the ears than you may think. Their riffs, energy and emotion have been at the top of their game for nearly ten years now and I cannot wait to see them live again

listens: flowers and you // palm dreams // new halloween

zola jesus // 10.8, thalia hall (tix)

reppin: merrill, wisconsin // sacred bones records // 2006 - present

sounds like: a shark hunting its prey in the depths of the ocean

Nicole has been far and ride and reached deep to bring her tunes to where they are. A voice that haunts you in all the right ways, is just dark enough to keep you hooked and not scare you away...or maybe she will. She is going to light up Thalia

listens: soak // skin // exhumed

zola jesus | photo cred: tunefind.com

zola jesus | photo cred: tunefind.com

conner youngblood // 10.9 // schubas tavern (tix)

reppin: dallas, usa // tunecore // 2012 - present

sounds like: swimming through the air in the middle of a lively forest

conner youngblood | photo cred: stereofox.com

conner youngblood | photo cred: stereofox.com

I had the pleasure of meeting Conner a few years opening for Pell and his ice cream swirl that is ambient and rhythmic pop. For me, it’s a dream, and he can prove it live as he’s put out amazing track after track

listens: australia // everyday // higher

nicolas jaar // 10.10 // concord music hall (tix)

reppin: nyc, usa // other people //2007 - present

sounds like: a safari ride through a disco hall

This dude can make your feet move in a funky way with this out there experimental electronic tracks. Having played the role of DJ, producer, composer and more across soundtracks and explorative concerts. This one should be a good ol’ fun time

listens: mi mujer // el bandino // time for us

yoke lore // 10.10 // lincoln hall (tix)

reppin: Katonah, New York // B3SCI Records // 2013 - present

sounds like: a morning bath in a deep forest spring

Adrian Galvin, formerly of Walk The Moon, throws a stirring style of indie pop into your ears that meets in the middle of true pop and psychedelic. A talented dude who can play all of the instruments with vocals to match, he is amping up the touring.

listens: hold me down // goodpain // only you

r.o.e // 10.12 // emporium arcade wicker park (interview to come) // free show

reppin: brooklyn, usa via chicago // rising over envy music // 2009 - present

sounds like: hanging out in a room with classy carpet on the floor and walls

R.O.E has a flow that immediately stands out from the moment he hits the track. An old school vibe with a new school attitude, you’ll find his smooth flowing raps over soul, R&B, indie and more. Catch him as he returns back home to play some of his latest from “a backpacker named R.O.E”

listens: cruise // good times // the gloves - mathien

rac (remix artist collective) // 10.13 // the metro (tix)

rac | concord music hall, chicago | 11.13.15 | @thefaakehipster

rac | concord music hall, chicago | 11.13.15 | @thefaakehipster

reppin: portland, usa // counter records // 2007 - present

sounds like: having your own personal red carpet runway to do as you please

What started as Andre creating hundreds of remixes across the board of genres has turned into a feel-good dancy project with a tourning band. Mixing in some originals, the dude knows how to make you get up and move while putting a smile on their face. I always have a good time seeing them.

listens: let go // back of the car // i still wanna know

misterwives // 10.15 // the riviera theater (tix)

reppin: grand haven, michigan // interscope // 2010 - present

sounds like: being miniature in a big kids world

Ever since "reflections" dropped this band has been on spanning the spectrum of indie rock and pop. Their latest album, "connect the dots" is ballad after ballad you can easily get up to and sing along with.

listens: reflections // chasing this // our own house

chicago // shows on shows on shows: SEPTEMBER 18 - 30

*a new feature focusing on all the groovy shows coming up in chicago*

naomi punk // the hideout // 9.18 // interview to come!

reppin: olympia, wa // captured tracks records // 2012 - present

sounds like: acid trip jounrneying music (according to travis)

Travis, Neil and Nick like it slow and loud. Crazy song structures, amps that will blow your ears off and attention to detail to boot. These guys want to take you to another dimension.

listens: the spell // cardboard // thru the trees

 

asgeir // bottom lounge // 9.19

reppin: reykjavík, iceland // one little indian // 2012 - present

sounds like: floating on a fluffy bed made of clouds across the ocean

Asgeir follows a trend of delicious voices coming out of the Icelandic region. He mixes bouncy, fun poppy beats into his acoustic goodness that will have you smiling the whole show.

listens: king and cross // unbound // stardust

modern vices // tonic room // 9.20 // interview from april 2017

reppin: chicago, usa // unsigned // 2013 - present

sounds like: crying to the Pet Sounds albums in a moldy basement but at the same time getting off to Joy Division

These dudes are making old school look good these days. Bringing a stylish and unique version of older sounding rock, mixed with pop and killer vocals. This will be as intimate as it gets with them at Tonic Room.

listens: smoke rings // baby // keep me under your arms

modern vices | subterranean & beat kitchen | 2017 | @thefaakehipster

 

el ten eleven // space // 9.21

reppin: la, usa // fake record label // 2002 - present

sounds like:  a collection of waterfalls in the rainforest in the early morning of a summer day

I've been a fan of these two for years as they are one of the most unique bands out there. Doublenbeck and fretless basses, beautiful song structure, crazy loops and no vocals. It is heaven coming out of amps.

listens: fanshawe // my only swerving // bridges

 

kweku collins | the metro, chicago | 3.24.17 | @thefaakehipster

kweku collins | the metro, chicago | 3.24.17 | @thefaakehipster

kweku collins // chop shop // 9.22 // previous story from Oct 2016

reppin: evanston, il // closed sessions // 2015 - present // 19 years old

sounds like: posting up at a campfire in the middle of the big city...the perfect mix of chill, inspiration and the evolving sounds

Not going to beat around the bush here...you need to catch this guy before he jets out of the city around the world. He is next in line to bring a positive flow to hip hop and at such a young age, he has everything in front of him.

listens: international business trip // death of a salesman // vanilla skies

 

davy knowles // space // 9.23

reppin: isle of man (currently resides in chicago) // blix street records // 2007 - present

sounds like:  hanging out in the middle of nowhere with your pickup and dog

davy knowles | space, evanston | 10.21.17 | @thefaakehipster

davy knowles | space, evanston | 10.21.17 | @thefaakehipster

I've said this since the first time I saw this guy shred live...he is easily a one of the best guitariest in the world right now. Both in how he writes and what he can do on the solo side of things. If you like or respect music, you owe it to yourself to see davy live.

listens: ain't no grave // uprising // oxford, ms

 

king gizzard & the lizard wizard // lincoln hall // 9.24 & 25

reppin: melbourne, australia // flightless records // 2010 - present

sounds like: floating through a trippy 3D video of patterns, talking frogs and of course, lizards and wizards

Australian music never ceases to amaze me and at KG&TLW to the list. Killer psychedelic sound to make you groove all night. This seven piece is constantly putting out new music, pushing the envelope as far as what instruments can do. Rule #24: Always see an Aussie band when they are in the states.

listens: work this time // hot wax // sense

 

wild cub // schubas // 9.25

reppin: nashville, usa // mom + pop records // 2011 - present

sounds like: getting in your nicest suit and dancing and sweating like no one is watching 

These brilliant musicians have really nailed a joyous and feel good vibe of indie pop. Having seen them in both the private and festival setting, it is so clear that they can bring you a good time live. Ear friendly sounds for all people!

listens: magic // somewhere // thunder clatter

 

the early november // bottom lounge // 9.26

reppin: hammonton, nj // rise records // 1999 - 2007, 2011 - present

sounds like: having all the fun with that special someone in a pile of leaves on a warm fall day

Yes, these guys are as emo as it gets and maybe they hold a special place in my heart from my high school days. Fuck that. Ace is one of the best songwriters in the game. They continue to evolve their sounds, make beautiful music while still giving you those goosebumps.

listens: boxing timelines // i want to hear you sad // something that produces results // fluxy

 

the california honeydrops // lincoln hall // 9.28

reppin: oakland, ca // tubtone records // 2007 - present

sounds like: that moment you slide under the blanket or hit the shower when it is most needed...instant relief from all of it

With very diverse bandmates from different backgrounds, this soul/R&B/blues group formed with a mission to put smiles on everyone's faces and dance moves in their bodies. Meshing some old school R&B with trendy pop sounds, they are a sight to be seen. Don't miss them.

listens: when it was wrong // brokedown - parts 1 & 2 // crazy girls

 

broken social scene & frightened rabbit // aragon ballroom // 9.29

reppin: bss - toronto, ca // arts & crafts records // 1999 - present //// fr - selkrick, scottland // atlantic records // 2003 - present

sounds like: bss - a time lapse of spring turning to summer in the forest // fr - grabbing your friends, a cigar and sitting around the campfire

While BSS has more band members than most small towns in canada, they have a sound and vibe that is timeless. Only they can combine so many instruments and beautiful voices to make all the sense. Frightened Rabbit makes some of the most beautiful indie rock that you'll put your ears on with lyrics that will make you think in all the right ways. 

listens: bss - anthems for a 17 year old // halfway home //// fr - the woodpile // get out

 

torche // the empty bottle // 9.29

torche | photo cred: bandcamp.torche.com

torche | photo cred: bandcamp.torche.com

reppin: miami, usa // relapse records // 2004 - present

sounds like: a beautiful destruction of an old building turning into a new one

Get ready to bang your head and bring out the metal and stoner rock in you. I've been on these guys for a bit now and they bounce the ping pong ball back and forth between fringe metal and psychedelic rock. On top of it, the vocals just make for such a unique twist...even if you don't enjoy hard rock, I think you will dig these guys given the mesh of sounds.

listens: kicking // loose men // letting go

 

tei shi // lincoln hall // 9.30 // interview to come!

reppin: buenos aires // downtown records // 2013 - present

sounds like: watching flowers bloom in the floweriest of places on this planet

A youngan who has only been at it for a few years has already proved that her voice can take her places over multiple types of genres. And oh man, that voice will just bring you to places in your mind...go check her out and forget about your worries for a bit.

listens: basically // keep running // go slow

 

twinsmith // beat kitchen // 9.30

reppin: omaha, nebraska // saddle creek records // 2012 - present

sounds like:  taking a kayak through a cave with a disco ball

Upbeat, poppy, dancy and friendly kinda vibes these guys give off. There is no shortage of fun when you listen or see them. The beats will make you sway side to side and want to grab on to the person next to you.

listens: you & I // alligator years // matters

new music: JACOB BANKS

reppin: birmingham, uk by way of nigeria // interscope // 2012 - present // 26 years old

jacob banks | photo cred: next2shine.com

jacob banks | photo cred: next2shine.com

sounds like: walking around with crazy cool, mid-evil statues on each side of you buffering you from all the bad

last album drop: the paradox (july 2015)

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

featuring: jacob

This man is here on this blue and green marble to do one thing: save soul. Without soul we have nothing in music. Jacob Banks hails from Nigeria and scooted over to the UK at the young age of 13 where he explored just about every creative arts form. He can hit the keys, strum the guitar and oh baby, can he get those pipes going. He expanded his gift of belting sounds out to writing songs about six years ago and we should all be thankful someone put him in the studio to do just that. He earned his stripes the hard way too, hitting all the open mics he could back home, something that flourished into a career that has begun to take him around the world. What impresses me about this man is his ability to tell stories with his writing. As he described to Billboard, regarding the music video for his tune “Unholy War,” “This video depicts how the world gives people shit for things that are out of their control and the sacrifices people make to keep their magic alive.”

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

When an individual like Jacob can not only have a commanding vocal presence, the deep ties to society make him even more relevant in my eyes. He has this delicious and nutritious mix of soul, r&b with toppings that include hip-hop and even some good ol’ rock. You can hear the 80s creeping into the 2010s and even some influence form his home country in Africa. This man is only 26 mind you and quite seasoned in the array of styles he can produce. As each song funnels its way into your ears, it will move your body in so many different ways and despite what the lyrics may write out, the sound alone will put smiles on your face.

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

The first time I was fortunate enough to have Mr. Banks grace me with his presence was at a private showcase at SXSW this year. After lighting up a nice J of Cali’s finest with some new homies, we crept to the back of the small crowd and preceded to drop our jaws...and they just would not close shut. He gives you goosebumps with his range of vocals.. His band makes the hairs on your arms stand up straight. The chills are there in all the right ways. While he has only released a few singles on top of his 2015 release, there is no ceiling in sight for this man. His blends of genres and youth of his career can only allow this man to grow musically. Take a seat, throw on his tunes, and melt into that thing because you won’t need to move anytime soon.

suggested listening experience: making sweet sweet love // cruising along on something with wheels // getting ready for the evening

listens: unholy war // worthy // chainsmoking // silver lining // monster // sink or swim // mercy

jb // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

wtfaylttg (Why The Fuck Aren't You Listening To These Guys): DOOMTREE

*a new feature giving you the legends who have been doing there thing for awhile, better than most*

reppin: minneapolis, mn // doomtree records // 2007 - present

sounds like: a rare and hard to find roller coaster theme park misplaced in the flatlands of the midwest

doomtree | photo cred: kelly loverud

doomtree | photo cred: kelly loverud

discography: false hopes (2007) // doomtree (2008) // FH:XV (2009) // No Kings (2011) // All Hands (2015)

featuring: P.O.S // Cecil Otter // SIMS // Dessa // Mike Mictlan // Lazerbeak // Paper Tiger

THE OVERVIEW

doomtree | chicago | 2.20.15 | @thefaakehipster

doomtree | chicago | 2.20.15 | @thefaakehipster

The beautiful, poetic history of hip-hop has taken twists and turns over the decades, sprouting into sub-genres and extending the boundaries of how we take in a beat. Within that, artists from their respective cities are always holding their region close while expanding their minds as they work with others across the globe. With all the members of Doomtree hailing from the land of Minneapolis, I have never come across a group of individuals who can combine their styles, flow and personalities to spit out some of the most unique hip hop your ears will come across. They lay their foundation with the electronic production of Paper Tiger and Lazerbeak, constantly pushing the envelope of creating holistic tracks with so many flavors. While we see most artists in this genre couple off for a song or an album, there is a supremely special asset to what makes these humans go: consistency. Each of their solo careers has allowed them to come together collectively and keep chugging along, working to outdo what they did last.

THE HISTORY

The story begins in the upper north with a bunch of kids just fucking around in school, not knowing what the future holds. There was talent swirling around the group, a group that favored different genres and clashed in style. Whether it was playing in a punk band, listening to jazz and funk of getting down with blues, rock and soul, they sprinkled a bit of everything in the mix. That didn’t matter to them, they loved it. Once the tracks started coming off the tongues and table tops, they started booking the local shows. The friends showed up at first, then word spread and the live sets got bigger and bigger. How the heck can 7 people continue to make a little cash to keep themselves going? So, they turned their group into a business, churning out merchandise, creating a lifestyle….all out of a mother’s basement. Not only were they pushing Doomtree, they started releasing their own records, to this date over 50 in total. They’ve conquered a DIY attitude, finding the right people to work with and creating something from nothing when needed. While all the Doomtreers are constantly touring and putting out new music, whenever they all come together for shows and tours, they sell that place out with dedicated fans who want to pour their hearts our with them.

doomtree | chicago | 2.20.15 | @thefaakehipster

doomtree | chicago | 2.20.15 | @thefaakehipster

THE FIRST BIG MOMENT

After taking some time for the group to settle in on its final members, it did not take long for Doomtree to branch outside of their hometown. That third record, “No Kings” is what really put them on the map in my opinion. With bumping joints like “No Way,” “Team The Best Team,” “Little Mercy,” and their anthem, “Bangarang,” fans knew it wouldn’t be long until the secret got out. Just about every track on that album creates a unique flow with ever changing rhythms and beats that mold to whoever is rapping. And it is not just me. The album received critical acclaim and started appearing on “top lists” as the next best groups to come. We saw some great music come from the members for their solo projects as well, giving further proof to them growing separately and coming together as a group. When they take the stage at whatever venue they are rocking, the crowd goes nuts, sings along and the energy and vibe reaches all time highs. You can tell how much fun they are having on stage and it spreads like a virus across the room.

THE SUSTAINED SUCCESS

doomtree | photo cred: ben lafond

doomtree | photo cred: ben lafond

Looping back to that word, consistency, with this crew gives me all the confirmation that Doomtree is here to stay. Not only do they have a rap group, but a record label, a press label, international distribution...a foundation that will lead to bigger and better things in the future. They can spit about anything from love, loss and friends to video games and good times, they have lyrics with purpose. They are never pushing to get their tracks on the radio, but separate themselves from the pack and continue to win fans over one at a time. The raddest part...they are so good and true to their fans. If you catch them walking down the street or having a beer, they’ll kick it with you. Never seeing themselves above anyone, the authenticity of not only their sound, but them as humans, is really rare with such talented artists.

WHAT'S NEXT

It has been a few years since “All Hands,” their latest release in 2015 filled with special treats like “Final Boss,” “Gray Duck,” “Generator,” and “Heavy Rescue.” The fact that they may be awhile off their next release is not a bad thing. The members are pushing along, hitting the road and striving to open up new doors in both opportunities and music exploration. P.O.S will be hitting the entire country this fall and winter while Dessa will be rocking out at Riot Fest. While they all have their solo careers, it is so clear that their individual growth has led to each album topping the last.

suggested listening experience: cruising in your ride // party time // getting hot and heavy

listens: bangarang // slow burn // final boss // team the best team // no way // bolt cutter // spill me up // gray duck // heavy rescue // little mercy

dt // spotfiy // ig // twitter // fb // sc

Lollapalooza 2017 - Recommended Up & Comers Based On Your Mood

Wake up. Get a good stretch. Maybe a little work out. Take a shower that won't matter later. Get yourself a hearty breakfast, you'll need it. Strap on those shoes that you are okay getting dirty and get ready for a hell of a 4 days. Lollapalooza 2017 is here to take over Chicago and it is time to strap in and let the good times roll.

Lollapalooza 2016 | @thefaakehipster

Lollapalooza 2016 | @thefaakehipster

where: chicago, usa // grant park

when: august 3 - 6

7 stages // 176 bands..ish

Faake Hipster Lollapalooza 2016 Recommendations

For the second time, Lolla is bringing us 4 great days of music with genres all across the board. How the heck are you going to work out your schedule? Plan as much as you want, but it will probably blow up in your face. Not to worry, I am here to crunch those numbers, travel the vast depths of the internet and streaming services and supply you with the latest in the newest music and best acts. But, I don't just want you to see these acts, I want you to experience them, to feel them. Even if you go one day, it is a long one filled with all types of music. So, whether you want to keep it super chill or maybe get your dancing shoes on, we are going to break down this year's recommendations by mood. Your key:

Rock Out (RO) // get ready to have your face melted

Fuck You, I Just Want To Dance (FUCKDANCE) // Time to sweat your face off

Twist One Up (TOU) // Get ready to have your face lifted

Netflix & Chill (N&C) // I just want to sit down and not do anything with my face

Previously Blogged About (**) // Wrote about their faces earlier

 

THE ROSTER

The Spotify Playlist

white reaper | beat kitchen, chicago | 5.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

white reaper | beat kitchen, chicago | 5.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

Thursday //

Kweku Collins** // White Reaper**  // The O'My's** // Middle Kids // The Drums

Kweku Collins // TOU // evanston, il // 12, Pepsi // sounds like: posting up at a campfire in the middle of the big city

White Reaper // RO // louisville // 12:45, Grant Park // sounds like: rocking out in the basement all night long with your best friends, leaving at sunrise and not having a fucking care in the world

The O'My's // N&C // chicago // 1:50, Pepsi // sounds like: putting on suspenders, a bow tie, a top hat or that vintage 50s dress with your derby hat, then looking in the mirror and saying damnnnn I look good

Middle Kids // N&C // sydney // 2:50, Pepsi // sounds like: walking through the forests in the northern woods of wisconsin 

The Drums // FUCKDANCE // nyc // 3:30, Lake Shore // sounds like: you dancing by yourself in the middle of a disco dance floor and being totally cool with it

 

Friday // 

mondo cozmo | shazam private party, chicago | 4.6.17

mondo cozmo | shazam private party, chicago | 4.6.17

SAINt JHN // San Holo // Mondo Cozmo // PUP // Mura Masa // Whitney**

SAINt JHN // TOU // brooklyn // 12:50, Pepsi // sounds like: taking a glorious, smooth shower in the coolest hotel room in Vegas

San Holo // FUCKDANCE // netherlands // 1:15, Perry's // sounds like: going through one of those installments where mirrors are everywhere reflecting off one another

Mondo Cozmo // RO // philadelphia // 1:50, Pepsi // sounds like: watching a city plant grow in your patio

PUP // RO // toronto // 2, Tito's // sounds like: taping yourself going out the other night and watching it the next day at 10 times to speed

Mura Masa // FUCKDANCE // guernsey // 4, Pepsi // sounds like: walking through a stripped down city in a tropical setting

Whitney // N&C // chicago // 7:45, Pepsi // sounds like: cruising in your cadillac...bright lights, big city and chill - 45ish years ago

 

Saturday //

The Shelters // Ron Gallo** // Jacob Banks // LÉON // Colony House // Royal Blood

the shelters | beat kitchen, chicago | 4.12.17

the shelters | beat kitchen, chicago | 4.12.17

The Shelters // RO // la, usa // 12:45, Grant Park // sounds like: living your life through a classic style microphone 

Ron Gallo // RO // nashville + philadelphia // 2:10, BMI // sounds like: giving the finger to those kids that bullied you later than life with a smile

Jacob Banks // TOU // birmingham, uk // 2:15, Tito's // sounds like: walking around with crazy cool, mid-evil statues on each side of you buffering you from the bad

LÉON // N&C // stockholm // 4, Pepsi // sounds like: laying in the perfectly crafted bed made of clouds and marshmallows

ron gallo | subterranen, chicago | 2.20.17 | @thefaakehipster

ron gallo | subterranen, chicago | 2.20.17 | @thefaakehipster

Colony House // FUCKDANCE // franklin, tennessee // 4, BMI // sounds like:

Royal Blood // RO // brighton, uk // 5:15, lake shore // sounds like: a fight for supremacy among animals in the deep jungles of south america

 

Sunday // 

Grace Mitchell // VANT // Lo Moon // noname // Car Seat Headrest // flor 

Grace Mitchell // RO // portland // 12:15, Tito's // sounds like: your fuzzy night leading into the even more fuzzy morning

VANT // RO // london // 12:45, Grant Park // sounds like:  the soundtrack to looking back on a good day with your friends....all smiles

Lo Moon // N&C // la, usa // 1:50, Pepsi // sounds like: a casual trip into outerspace

noname // TOU // chicago // 2:50, Pepsi // sounds like: the most rocking, soulful lullaby you'll ever need

Car Seat Headrest // RO + N&C // seattle via leesburg // 3, Bud Light // sounds like: a night out in the middle of nowhere america with the sun setting on you

 

new music: KAIYDO

reppin: orlando, fl // unsigned // 2016 - present

sounds like: riding down the street on a summer day with a fluffy, comfy cloud as your ride

upcoming album release: tba, 2017

featuring: keiondre boone // 20 years old

Kaiydo | Bottom Lounge, Chicago | 4.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

Kaiydo | Bottom Lounge, Chicago | 4.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

There was something about the sunny day in April a few weeks back as I rolled up to the Bottom Lounge that seemed perfectly fitting in meeting Kaiydo. The vibes of Chicago spring day matched the sounds coming into my earbuds from none other than the 20 year old himself. Bouncy beats that make you smile, a flow that fills you with hearty goodness and lyrics that make you forget about all your worries. While Southern hip hop is big, bold and in your face, Kaiydo appears to be building his tunes on the other side of the spectrum. There is something that is inviting about his songs...maybe it’s the ultra summer vibe each one of his songs is lit up with. It’s the creativity right off that bat that brings you in for the hug and makes you say, “I want to get up and vibe to whatever this fresh new track this is.” Each one of his singles out there has a intro that immediately perks the ears as he lures you into an amazing hook that you can listen to over and over.

While chatting Kaiydo up for a few before the show as we set-up a few promo shots, it became clear why this kid leans towards the different and unique. The chill personality shines through as he goes with the flow. Then, all the sudden it starts to make sense. The colorful graphics he uses for each song really do represent the relatable lyrics in his young career. They are fun and sometimes goofy, yet clearly represent the hard work he is putting in early in his career. This dude really did make a bang right out of the gate. He has dates lined up at the likes of Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest and Firefly...not bad for a first timer tour. And sometimes, for your first tour, you have to roll around in a Dodge mini-van with your manager and crew because that is what it takes.

Kaiydo | Bottom Lounge, Chicago | 4.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

Kaiydo | Bottom Lounge, Chicago | 4.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

Again, these vibes were perfect for Pigeons & Planes “No Ceilings” Tour with a very talented lineup featuring Boogie, Kemba, Michael Christmas and Kaiydo. For just the man himself and his DJ, there was a ton of energy brought to the table in his live set. For someone who only has a handful of shows under his belt, he can get the crowd involved and use the stage in his entirety. While there were some in the crowd who knew a few of his tracks, most probably did not, but everyone had one thing in common: bouncing to the beat. The dope part of all of this...he is freaking 20 years old! It is kinda hard to ignore this kid at the moment as he has our eyes and ears at attention. If he keeps the good vibes with him, he’ll keep opening up opportunities for himself and continue to grow as a rapper.

suggested listening experience: playing video games or any chill hang // party time! // literally doing anything during the summer

listens: fruit punch // arcade // reflections // jumpin // lottery // red freestyle

kaiydo // fb // twitter // ig // spotify // sc

concert shenanigans: SXSW 2017 Recap In Pictures

reppin: austin, tx

when: march 10 - 19 (was there from the 10th - 16th)

sounds like: a cluster-fuck of pure bliss, hurt feet and happy hearts

experience: 1st time ever - repping my actual job with tactify and sharetapes

artists featured: Wyclef Jean // Thee Oh Sees // The Aces // TI // SHAED // Jacob Banks // LOLO // Lewis Del Mar // Jimmy Eat World // Low Cut Connie // Dawg Yawp

new music: ASTRONAUTALIS

reppin: jacksonville, fl // SideOneDummy Records // 2003 - present

sounds like: chocolate bacon...at first they don’t belong together but then you are like, duh, sweet and salty rules

astronautalis | photo cred: mnoriginal.org

astronautalis | photo cred: mnoriginal.org

last album drop: cut the body loose (may 2016)

featuring: charles andrew bothwell

astronautalis | schubas, chicago | 5.5.16 | @thefaakehipster

astronautalis | schubas, chicago | 5.5.16 | @thefaakehipster

So technically Mr. Bothwell is far from a new music dude from the rules and standards I have set forth to categorize these bands and artists. But I’m an adult and can make my own decisions so fuck rules. While Astronautalis has been at it since 2003, I still see him as an underdog in the hip hop world and it brings a little tear to my eye. Charles Andrew Bothwell’s journey started in Jacksonville with a self-released album in that same year, “You and Yer Good Ideas.” From there he signed with Fighting records and released “The Might Ocean and Nine Dark Theaters.” His third album release came with Eyeball Records and it was apparent at that point that this man could crossover from hip hop to indie and sprinkle a little rock in there. This was time when more of the hardcore rap was dominating the genre as well and Astronautalis said fuck that, I’m going to be different. After releasing “This Is Our Science” a slew of singles, EPs and collaborations came through, to me signaling growth in an already talented artist. Bring in some other smart minds and it may change one's perspective for the better.

Charles brings new meaning to how one can stretch the range of this genre. His lyrics make that brain of yours go to work. His vocals are unique. He can change his vocal speed, suddenly throw more aggression in his voice all within a split second. He’s toured with Tegan and Sara. Are ya getting the picture? He is a damn unique dude, bringing hip hop storytelling to a whole new level. Most of his lyrics are inspired from him being a descendant of an Earl of Bothwell, in Scotland..fun fact. This lineage is noticeable in his lyrics as some songs are just straight up historical fiction. Imagine taking a freestyle kind of blues inspired rant and throwing it on top of some hip hop beats...hello Astronautalis! His latest releases, “Sike!” And “Cut the Body Loose” are clear signs that he is continuing to blend genres, collaborate and bring the energy in his live shows.

suggested listening experience: getting ready to hit the town at night // summertime daytime hanging // twist, puff, pass

listens: this is our science // the wondersmith and his sons // sike! // papillon // attila ambrus // the story of my life // the river, the woods // kurt cobain

ast // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

new music: THE O'MY'S

reppin: chicago, usa // unsigned // 2011 - present

sounds like: putting on suspenders, a bow tie, a top hat or that vintage 50s dress with your derby hat, then looking in the mirror and saying damnnnn I look good

last album drop: a humble masterpiece (2013)

the o'my's | photo cred: upc.fm

the o'my's | photo cred: upc.fm

featuring: maceo haymes - vocals & guitar // nick hennessey- vocals & keyboard // boyang matsapola- bass & vocals // baron golden - drums // erick mateo - tenor sax & guitar

maceo haymes | photo cred: illroots.com

maceo haymes | photo cred: illroots.com

A band that can truly be loved by everyone from your Grandma to your little baby barely being able to stand while dancing. Now that is special. A beautiful blend that constantly changes its core sound...you will get some rock, soul, R&B, hip hop, jazz and funk smacking you in the face before you even know how wide your smile is getting. Since they were born, their roots have been planted in the windy city and have held onto the foundation of music that chicago was built on. You can hear it from the bass line all the way to the soulful lyrics that fill each track. Start with “the wonder year” featuring chance the rapper, who works his flow into a that soul and rock. Chuck Inglish of the Cool Kids joins them on “bout a dolla” a more bouncy hip hop delight. Next, move your way into “the wonder years,” where those vocals really shine. Just from those 3 tracks, you can tell the range of style they can pack in. Once you feel satisfied, run through the 2012 release, “chicago style,” quite arguably one of the best albums to come out of this city over the past five years. Those slow beats will have you swaying back and forth even if you are one of those shy ones and don’t want to.

Ohhhhh and Maceo’s vocals are so delicious and unique it makes you tingle as he works his to the chorus. While these guys may have not done a lot of touring, and I very much think they should be getting out on the road more, they have nailed this sound so good. When you are sitting around wondering why you don’t have a good go to for soulful rock, well don’t you worry no more. If you are in Chicago, keep your eye out for randomly scheduled last minute shows, especially at the Tonic Room...does not get much better than that.

suggested listening experience: getting through the workday // a sunny sunday afternoon outside // when you invite your parents over to your apartment

listens: the wonder years (ft chance the rapper) // bout a dolla (ft chuck inglish) // cough drop // chicken noodle soup // feeling like a king // living wrong

tom // twitter // fb // spotify // sc // ig

new music: deM atlaS

reppin: minneapolis, mn by way of akron, oh // rhymesayers entertainment // 2010 - present

sounds like: wearing your flannel and baggy jeans with boots to a rad party - not outta style and standing out in today’s age

dem atlas @ 7th St. Entry | photo cred: citypages.com

dem atlas @ 7th St. Entry | photo cred: citypages.com

lastest album drop: DWNR (oct, 2014)

featuring: joshua evan turner // 24 years old

dem atlas | photo cred: dematlas.bandcamp.com

dem atlas | photo cred: dematlas.bandcamp.com

Maybe it’s my midwest vibe, but I have a big, big heart for the hip hop from here in Chicago to Minneapolis. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take east and west coast mixed with some ATL, but the midwest chill and vibe just relates to me. It’s this combination of throwback sound mixed with the future evolving sound we here today. Intro Dem Atlas, the young, little known kid who signed to Rhymesayers a few years ago, 2014 to be exact. This is a label full of legends and dedicated fans, so get those eyes and ears on here.He is actually still a member of the group Sifu Hoffman consisting of rapper Guante, producer Rube among himself. DA came across my radar when he released his Charlie Brown EP, that has a total old school 90s vibe that can’t be messed with. The flow, slight pauses and ability to keep the lyrics flowing over a simple and classy beat is very impressive. Move onto a track like Lucile, and it’s like he was cut out of those 90s days! Again, while the hip hop era from a time ago is looser with simpler beats, it allows rapper like Dem to let his flow and lyrics shine (why do you think that sound is still popular these days). From a fan and business perspective, sustaining that style in today’s hip hop world can be difficult, but from a creative artist point of view, it is just the start.

dem atlas | photo cred: youtube.com

dem atlas | photo cred: youtube.com

The growth of DA is quite apparent on his latest album and newest single, DWNR & “in the mud” respectively. It is like he has been planning for these days to rise to stardom. Once in a rock band (listen to “down in the low” and tell me you don’t think of nirvana), on a speech team, a painter...a path that is summed up by Dem: “I think all those things gave me a different vision and more balanced qualifications to do what I’m doing now” (Star Tribune, 2014). This path, his childhood, his mother coming out as a lesbian among other things has given his lyrics a deeper meaning. You can hear the soul in his voice and music and the wide range of vocal depth he can reach. It has been some time since his last full length, so we are all excited to see what is next for this talented dude.

suggested listening experience: twist and puff and pass // sleepy morning transit tunes // chillin with the friends anywhere

listens: all we got // charlie brown // lucile // drive north // in the mud (released Jan 6!) // i don’t care // down in the low // wanna be a kid again

da // twitter // fb // spotify // ig // sc

new music: ALLAN KINGDOM

reppin: winnipeg, ca // 22 years old // part of Thestand4rd

sounds like: the chillest and most enjoyable roller coaster you’ll ever ride

allan kingdom | photo cred: thrillerthanmost.com

allan kingdom | photo cred: thrillerthanmost.com

last album drop: northern lights mixtape (jan 2016)

featuring: allan kyariga

A Canadian who grew up in the upper midwest with true african roots, his father being from South African and his mother Tanzanian, mr. allan kingdom hits you with a wide ranging flow and unique pipes. That is a recipe for something special in my opinion. In 2013, he put out a mixtape entitled “Talk to Strangers,” which was self produced at that...and this would be a good time to tell you that this kid writes and produces all on his own. That got him on the map and catapulted him to make some noise into 2014 when a few reputable publications had him on watch lists and best rapper lists. He’s already has worked alongside the likes of Kanye West and Theophilus London, something too many kids just can’t prove these days. And shit, he has put out a ton of music for a baby-faced 22 year old. You can tell over time that he doesn’t just stick to one type of distinctive hip hop sound or anything. He is all over the place in such a good and creative way….as he puts it: my music not being mainstream is a challenge that is more of a reason to persevere.

allan kingdom | photo cred: themaskedgorilla.com

allan kingdom | photo cred: themaskedgorilla.com

As you take yourself through his vast library of joints, hopefully like me you’ll take notice that he is across the board with singing, rapping and the types of beats he puts behind it. Slow, fast, changing speeds mixed with funky noises and meaningful lyrics stood out on my end. My favorite thing about this kid, as he is still growing, learning and taking it all in is this quote: “What’s missing in hip-hop for me a little bit is the human aspect.” says Kingdom. “The fact that we all go through the same things, even though we all come from different places. Everyone cries and everyone laughs. We can feel alone, but at the end of the day we’re not alone, we are all together.” I love this fresher vision within creating music. Not just in hip hop, but across the board. Yes, creating beats that can stick with listeners for years and get your butt to groove is great, but understanding the deeper meaning of why one is creating music is why they should do it in the first place. There is a lot of shit going on out there and if someone as talented as allan is going to keep that mindset as he crafts more tunes for us, well, i’ll take that over any other artists any day of the week. Keep learning and making us groove with meaning.

suggested listening experience: your next long road trip // sit, twist, smoke, pass // keeping your ass focused during the work day

listens: wavey // evergreens // believe // blast // the ride // northern lights // hypocrite

ak // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

new music: KWEKU COLLINS

kweku collins | photo cred: culturecreature.com

kweku collins | photo cred: culturecreature.com

reppin: evanston, il // unsigned // 2015 - present // 19 years old

sounds like: posting up at a campfire in the middle of the big city...the perfect mix of chill, inspiration and the evolving sounds

latest album drop: nat love (2016)

Chicago. Hip Hop. It’s a perfect marriage. that is continuously out doing itself in front of our very ears and eyes. I don’t want to take away the focus from Mr. Collins, but check out this short list: Vic Mensa, Chance The Rapper, Lucki Eck$, Towkio, Noname, Taylor Bennett, Air Credits...and so many more waiting their turn. I love it though. It is not saturation...it is the beautiful and constant challenge from artist to artist to collaborate and push one another to create new genres. As music lovers we only get to reek the benefits and we should take it all in...seriously, do it. Kweku got his start in music at the young age of 4, learning drums from his father who is an African and Latin percussionist. He also repped the poetry club at Evanston Township, just north of the big city (source: pitchfork.com). And oh man can you hear the diverse range of foreign sounds that blend so well with his voice.

kweku collins | photo cred: artisticmanifesto.com

kweku collins | photo cred: artisticmanifesto.com

He has always had a wide range of taste from Kweku’s flow is so organic and balanced; so peaceful and impactful at the same time. He slides out of his verses and into the chorus with the beat, which builds too perfectly with those vocals. There is a mixture of beats, acoustic guitar and amazingly placed drums that make you not quite be able to place a specific genre on it. Or if anything, it just kinda stands in the corner away from the “cool kids.” A true outsider quickly learning how to stand out from the rest. Little do those mainstream cool kids know, that Kweku is secretly plotting something bigger and better. This guy has been at it for just a few years...he is only two short years removed from high school. Can you not wait for what is next..I sure as fuck can’t.

suggested listening experience: twist one up and just listen // sitting at the campfire (or fireplace for most of us) // mid-day work break

listens: life part II // ghost // death of a salesman // lonely lullabies // holla if ya hear me // kings

fb // twitter // spotify // ig // sc

new music: KEVIN ABSTRACT

reppin: houston, usa // currently unsigned residing in la, usa

sounds like: walking through a sunny rain storm with your squad, you are front and center and even Mom is diggin it

kevin abstract | photo cred: genius.com

kevin abstract | photo cred: genius.com

next album drop: american boyfriend (2017)

featuring: ian simpson // 20 years old // part of the group, BROHAMPTON

kevin abstract | photo cred: kevinabstract.com

kevin abstract | photo cred: kevinabstract.com

This dude is only 20?! Well fuck my life, may as well just retire right now. I’m not one to associate or attach someone to another human, but he reminds me of someone’s personality out there. He can sing, rap, write and he has one hell of a creative side that can very much take him beyond music. Since 2015 he’s jumped around, first beginning his journey with producer, Romil and quickly earned praise from solid publications. He pushed along and joined the group, BROHAMPTON, where they earned their stars and stripes with MTV. I can just hear the talent oozing out of this guy as he is already well seasoned and it shows in his ever name-changing album, now titled American Boyfriend. It is due out in 2017, but for now, let me try to envision that future.

Let’s start at the foundation...Ian boats a wide range of influences from Tyler the Creator and Kid Cudi to Justin Timberlake and Quentin Tarantino Something you immediately recognize, especially in those latest singles, is his range of sound. A well balanced, blended smoothie of alternative riffs, 80s influenced keys and slow motion drums...he just knows when to sing, when to spit and when to mix them together. His lyrics also tell a story as I am assuming he has a lot to tell us moving around frequently during his childhood. The slated album is going to open up even more about this young talent and if he progressing like he is, then watch out kids!

suggested listening experience: if you’re a high schooler - that good ol’ cruise around the neighborhood // weed & wine wednesdays // long day after work

listens: empty // ECHO // drugs // tame cab

ka // twitter // fb // ig // spotify // sc

new music: CESCHI

reppin: new haven, ct // fake four inc (co-owner)

sounds like: eating fine cheese and wine in the complete wrong setting...but it still taste magically delicious, right?! folk + hip hop = ceschi

latest album drop: broken bones ballad (april, 2015)

featuring: julio francisco ramos

ceschi | schubas, chicago | 5.5.16 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

ceschi | schubas, chicago | 5.5.16 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

I had the honor of seeing one of the most talented, multi-faceted musicians that graces this wonderful Earth earlier this year. As he took the stage before Astronautalis, you knew this rapper was taking the stage...but wait. Then he picks up the guitar and start playing folk songs...WHAT?! Yes, Ceschi is that man that spans these genres and pairs it with his beautiful story telling. Which leads me to a quick side story that totally tells you the kind of dude he is. On Christmas day, 2010, he got a typical delivery of marijuana was his dealer in the form of Christmas presents...makes sense. Little to his knowledge, his dealer saved his own ass by ratting out Ceschi as his recipient (was pulled over for speeding in Chicago, which is when he told the cops), and of course the cops showed up. They were going to arrest his entire family(!), mother, grandparents and kids unless he took the fall. Instead of ratting out his dealer and getting his family in a mess, he obliged and served time in jail. A man of honesty, humility and just god damn awesomeness.

ceschi | photo cred: ghettoblastermagazine.com

ceschi | photo cred: ghettoblastermagazine.com

Head on into Spotify or Soundcloud and put his joints on random. Each one offers a stellar story, mixture of acoustic folk and hip hop beats. His vocals will spit fire much like Astronautalis and before you turn around he’ll be serenading you with that great singing. And finally, the live show...you just don’t see intimate performances quite like he gives these days. In a pretty packed Schubas crowd, he interacted with the audience, got you to sing along and your head banging. I swear, once this guy gets an opening slot for 1000+ venues, he is going to start turning heads by the masses...you just wait. For now, enjoy his tunes in really any setting.

suggested listening experience: when you need a smile after a long day of work // as the sun is setting // when you need to get in the zone

listens: this won’t last forever (hip hop, see video below) // say something (folk) // forever 33 (hip hop) // bite through stone (folk + hip hop) // barely alive (ft. Sage Francis)

ceschi // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

new music: AIR CREDITS

reppin: chicago, il 

sounds like: the dancing baby that was popular in the 90s, but with years of mad dance move skills under his belt

latest album drop: tbd

featuring: showyousuck + the hood internet

air credits @ the double door, chicago | photo cred: red bull sound select

air credits @ the double door, chicago | photo cred: red bull sound select

Given that this act is so fresh and new, this will be a shorter post than most. I actually only found a few song out there in internet land, but damn is it good. The Hood Internet and ShowYouSuck have come together to birth a beautiful Chicago duo that we will call Air Credits. Both these acts on their own are absolutely stellar and them tag teaming sounds like the future...Marty McFly would definitely be grooving to this. I’ve been fans of both of these acts for a few years now. The Hood Internet are freaking geniuses when it comes to building beats and collaborating. ShowYouSuck has a distinct and deep Chicago voice, so unique and controlling of a crowd...what a combo.

Don’t quote me on this, but I believe these dudes have only done two shows as Air Credits as of the present. I unfortunately have not seen them, but word from my homie tells me they are legit and they are the future. There is so much going on in the few songs that are out there - the amazing beats, backing vocals and that controlling vocal flow...and it sounds so good when it comes together. And you will dance your face off, guaranteed. Chicago - get on these cats as I will certainly be making their next performance. They are hitting the road in August and September...get on it! 

suggested listening experience: any kind of party at any time // getting pumped up for that first date you are probably nervous about // gettin' the day started

listens: all i need (part 1) // all i need (part 2) // air credits video promo

ac // fb // twitter // sc 

new music: PROF

reppin: minneapolis, mn // rhymesayers entertainment

sounds like: literally every type of hip hop wrapped into one - Cali to ATL to NYC and back to the midwest

prof | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

prof | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

latest album drop: liability (sept 2015 // rhymesayers debut)

Let’s just get this out of the way: damn i love minneapolis hip hop! There is such a wide array of styles, yet they are all of balanced and continuous flow... Atmosphere to Doomtree...Brother Ali, Grieves, Astronautalis (soon to be blogged about). Jason Anderson aka Prof, got his start back in the early 2000s, so yea, kinda bent my rules. But they are my rules and I’m an adult so deal with it. Speaking of flow, go through the recommended songs and you’ll immediately notice how he incorporates sounds and styles of hip hop from regions.

Digging a bit deeper, I am blown away by his ability to blend this old school sound, but at the same time there is a mixture of beats and vocals that sound so fresh and new. And bonus: the dude can sing (see “gasoline”). Like, he really can sing. There is a quick appreciation and respect for the energy he brings to each song and the love he gives the crows during his concerts. He is well regarded locally, always engaging his audience and bringing that little extra in the live setting. And finally, his songs spread genre lines, giving him a balanced sound and wider audience. You do not find too many rappers on Warped Tour, but that is what he is currently repping at the moment. Go catch him this summer!

suggested listening experience: any point from the pregame to party timeline // when you need help crushing some work early on a monday // when your friend doesn't know anyone outside of kanye and drake

listens: bar breaker (see music video) // gasoline // farout // the season

prof // twitter // fb // ig // sc // spotify

from the vault: ATMOSPHERE

reppin: minneapolis, usa // rhymesayers entertainment

atmosphere | photo cred: youtellconcerts.com

atmosphere | photo cred: youtellconcerts.com

years active: 1989 - present

featuring: ant & slug

and then some: will be rocking out at mamby on the beach in chicago this saturday and will totally be there. These two are legends in the hip hop world and flipped the hip hop script with sounds, beats and more before anyone knew how to flip it.

tune: "national disgrace" // from the album "seven's travels (2003) // amazing music video

bonus track: "the arrival" // lead track off of "you can't imagine how much fun we're having" (2005)

new music: ALEX WILEY

reppin: chicago, il - closed sessions // the village

sounds like: one of those deep tissue massages that you always want to get but can’t afford and hurts so fucking good

latest album drop: tangerine dream (june 2016)

alex wiley | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

alex wiley | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

Mr. alex wiley is part of the next wave of Chicago hip hop, aka hip hop in general. Last I checked the scene is better than the Golden State Warriors (96’ Bulls forever!) It all started at a very young age for Alex as he began music by playing the violin (reminds me of when I played flute in 3rd grade...please don’t tell anyone). This of course, made complete sense as he transitioned to his hip hop career. I know, totally makes sense. That is just the thing with these young musicians who are getting started super early. They have the chance to evolve their ears, open boundaries and become that one of a kind artist. It is also a plus when every other hip hop artist in Chicago is showing the same sort of talent.

He is only 23 and has one of the most unique vocals in the game. Even sweeter, his flow is extremely impressive for a young artist.  You can easily catch his range of beats, keyboard, slow to fast from tracks like “vibration” to “paris freestyle.” Just from taking a glance at some of the titles of his tracks, yes, he is a ridiculous freestyle rapper. The way he can string verses together without taking a breath as well as changing speeds, is quite impressive. Slot this dude in your chill hip hop playlists and let the diverse range of tunes take you to the next stage of hip hop.

suggested listening experience: perfect for house party shenanigans // riding back on the train on a rainy day (dunno why, just feels right) // when you’re practicing to rap just like the real dudes

listens: vibration // paris freestyle // navigator truck // red pill

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