Jackie Hayes left behind a devout Christian upbringing in Waukegan to move to Logan Square at age 19 and pursue her music career on her terms. As a frequent opener at Schubas and other local clubs, she refined her attitude-heavy vocal melodies supported by simple, sludgy guitar lines and loose hip-hop drums. Hayes worked at […]
On their new EP, Happy Medium, everyman Chicago rap group Jyroscope reflect on navigating middle age in what remains of the middle class, while the production from fellow local Montana Macks evokes the halcyon hip-hop sounds of 90s crate diggers such as Pete Rock and DJ Premier. IB Fokuz and Collasoul Structure rap about balancing […]
Azeez Alaka and Brandon Holmes run a music and video production company with a pipeline to the majors and a headquarters shaping up in Little Village.
The new EP by Defcee and producer August Fanon, We Dressed the City With Our Names, ties Defcee’s history in Chicago’s rap and poetry scenes to the primordial hip-hop culture of New York graffiti artists depicted in the 1983 documentary Style Wars. The first track opens with a sample of a young graffiti writer explaining […]
Chicago rapper D2x has poured all 23 years of his life so far into his debut album, The Color Blue. Across its 13 tracks, he delivers lines about his childhood in the south suburbs, his time playing basketball as a student at Western Illinois University, his struggles with depression, his faith in God, his recent […]
Solos in shutdown can be a win-win.
Chris Crack has released five albums of no-frills trash-talking hip-hop in 2020 alone, but he’s not worried about saturating the market. When he talked to Audiomack’s Matthew Ritchie upon the release of his first album of 2021, Might Delete Later, the west-side rapper quipped, “Did Aunt Jemima make too much syrup? Can Clorox ever make […]
Beach Bunny singer, guitarist, and songwriter Lili Trifilio established herself as a surrogate older sister to a generation of listeners when the band’s single “Prom Queen” went viral on TikTok in 2019. The Chicago four-piece are more than a “TikTok band,” though. Sure, the teens who dominate the popular video-sharing platform connected with Trifilio’s concise […]
With concerts and tours on hold for most of the year, Chicago’s music scene doubled down on mutual aid and fundraising for community groups.
On their debut album, Cliff, Chicago duo Big Branch combine warm vocal melodies with kitchen-sink instrumentals inspired by the dusty samples of underground rap. The record’s ramshackle sound recalls Beck circa “Loser” or Dubya-era TV on the Radio, a hybrid style the group calls “hop ’n’ roll.” Vocalist Jamal Semaan and guitarist and producer Rob […]
The thunder gets louder on the stand-up’s new special, Trampoline in a Ditch.
Streaming your favorite artists’ music is the least helpful way to support them. But they can’t abandon those platforms, because we won’t.
On its first compilation, Buds Volume 1, Chicago label Rosebud Allday showcases the talent of its roster and its friends from the local scene. Founded in 2018 by Bill Ocean and producer Jayson “Jsun” Rose, Rosebud Allday specializes in the overlap of pop, hip-hop, and R&B; its sunny sounds recall Chicago neosoul groups such as […]
Sharp songwriting and bombastic delivery have made King Von one of fastest-rising stars in drill, the pummeling hip-hop subgenre born in Chicago. Born Dayvon Bennett, the 25-year-old rapper grew up in Englewood, and he’s been filling his verses with crime-fiction narratives at least since his breakout single, 2018’s “Crazy Story.” As he told Genius in […]
Thom Yorke may be best known as front man of legendary British art-rock group Radiohead, but he’s also amassed an impressive discography on his own, putting out several solo releases, a 2013 album with his side group Atoms for Peace, and the score for 2018’s Suspiria remake. His third album under his own name, last […]