On the new Legacy! Legacy!, Chicago singer and poet Jamila Woods lovingly details how art can learn from the past as it shapes the future.
The Vixen didn’t win over RuPaul, but she’s carrying on the fight for inclusivity that she began at the south side’s venerable Jeffery Pub.
The crowds at Adrianna’s wouldn’t rock for just anybody, but as a Calumet City teenager Tink won them over with a mix of drill rap and R&B.
Rapper and activist Ric Wilson grew up attending Fellowship Missionary Baptist, a south-side congregation that helped nurture the civil rights movement.
Lookman Adekunle Salami cannot be contained. The British artist, who performs as L.A. Salami, maneuvers between blues, rock, and folk so effortlessly it seems almost ethereal. On “The City Nowadays,” a single from his 2016 studio debut, Dancing With Bad Grammar (Beat Records), his subtle use of electric riffs and drums to guide the listener […]
The Soulection Radio Tour is not your average concert. There isn’t some big-name rock band, pop singer, or rapper leading the audience on a transcendental musical ride. Rather, Soulection Radio cofounder-host Joe Kay crafts a perfectly curated set list of dusties, alternative hip-hop and R&B jams, and mainstream hits from a DJ booth in the […]
Rising rapper Vic Mensa considers his old Hyde Park neighborhood home, even though gentrification has killed his favorite hangouts.
Let’s be real. Trap music, in all its glitzy mainstream flair, wouldn’t exist today without one of Atlanta’s most storied dope boys, Jeezy. Though T.I.’s Trap Musik (2003) made the phrase a household name, Jeezy gave the 808-driven subgenre several crossover assists on his 2005 debut, Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, collaborating with Akon […]
On his sophomore album, True to Self, Bryson Tiller keeps doing Bryson Tiller things, like lamenting over trap-infused 808s about a girlfriend’s emotional distance and the impending end of their relationship—which may also be related to some questionable behavior of his own. “I’m busy, it’s no wonder you upset with me,” he sings on his […]
Koku Gonza’s voice is the sound of the African diaspora. Born to a Tanzanian folk-singing father and an American saxophonist mother, Gonza offers an eclectic mix of neosoul, jazz, and Afrobeat that’s as easy as a breeze whistling through a wind chime on a summer’s day. In particular “Aliens Interlude,” from her 2011 album Radiozophrenic, […]
Maurice “Mobetta” Brown’s brass is boundless. The trumpeter blows seamlessly in and out of moods that sample liberally from hip-hop, blues, rock, and contemporary jazz, making him a natural collaborator for lyrical poets such as Prodigy, Jean Grae, and Talib Kweli. Brown, a native of south-suburban Harvey, was also a founding member of Tedeschi Trucks […]
Solange and her Saint Heron collective show off the depth and richness of the city’s black cultural expression with a festival installation and three off-site events.
If you know Chanté Moore only from TV One’s R&B Divas LA, you’re seriously doing yourself an injustice. This chanteuse’s syrupy pipes gave black women everywhere a reason to love up on their man with the 90s anthem “Chanté’s Got a Man.” As one of the defining voices in female R&B, Moore later joined forces […]
Avery R. Young & De Deacon Board are in the business of saving souls. Through what he calls “sousefunk”—an intersection of blues, funk, and gospel—Young taps into the raw emotions of a pastor whooping at the end of his sermon to, as he puts it, “Call up some spirits and bring in some sheep.” But […]
The Era are tired of footworkers like themselves being pigeonholed as background dancers to the rappers and DJs who’ve taken the breakneck tracks from the streets of Chicago to the mainstream. The four-man crew are pushing the culture forward through “footwork with words,” their attempt to bridge the gap between hip-hop and the 160-plus BPM […]