Part of the graffiti brightening up Logan Square's Discount Megamall Credit: Leor Galil

Ever since roughly two dozen street artists turned Logan Square’s hulking, beige Discount Megamall into a half-block sized canvas this past Memorial Day weekend, I’ve especially enjoyed my occasional trips to visit it—though until I get there, I’m always a little anxious, because the Megamall has been due for demolition for what feels like months. Every day the building remains standing is a day I’m thankful for the chance to see it resplendent in spray paint. Sure, graffiti and street art are impermanent by nature, but I can’t help but want to see a little more color and variety in a neighborhood that’s sprouting so many massive, characterless apartment complexes.

I’m hardly alone in this opinion. I’ve walked past photographers enchanted with a particular stretch of the Megamall’s walls and neighbors busting out their phones for selfies in front of the artwork. Megamall graffiti also plays a supporting role in the video for “They Don’t Wanna Know,” a Chicago rap song that debuted yesterday. I’d like the track even without a video, considering that it features some of my favorite local underground MCs: it’s a collaboration between smooth talker Rich Jones, avant-pop rapper Morimoto, musical polymath Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, and Ogbonnaya’s Sooper Swag Project bandmate JD (aka chiptune artist Thrash Kitten). The rappers have fun with the syrupy funk beat, and their joy comes through in the video—they munch on burgers, hunt for toys, and dance around outside the Megamall. More Chicago musicians should take advantage of the building’s beautiful backdrop while it’s still there.

YouTube video