The artwork for Solo Sam’s “Made Me”

In a 2015 Radio One Chicago interview, Chicago rapper Solo Sam talked about making his first mixtape his freshman year at Valparaiso University—he was on the school’s football team, but an injury had taken him off the field. That 2012 mixtape, Off Season, included a telling line in the track “New Dope”: “Real talk, man / I do this as a hobby.”

These days Sam sounds less modest and more self-assured. On his newest single, last month’s “Made Me,” he doles out blustery bars like a Patriots fan watching a recap of their Super Bowl comeback from the comfort of a recliner. Sam might still think of rapping as a hobby, but if he wants to make it his everything, that’s within his reach now too. He performs tonight in Subterranean’s downstairs space; the show starts at 7:30 PM.