Dan Kanvis
  • Courtesy of Dan Kanvis’s Facebook
  • Dan Kanvis

Local rapper Dan Kanvis is a figure without whom Chicago’s sprawling underground hip-hop scene would be a little dimmer. For about a year Kanvis brought the community to Lincoln Park courtesy of Heavy Rotation, a quasi-monthly celebration of Chicago hip-hop he hosted at Tonic Room. Kanvis put the spotlight on plenty of great, and sometimes underappreciated, up-and-comers and scene stalwarts—he booked euphoric rapper ShowYouSuck, Pivot leader Saba, and atmosphere-bent MC-producer Martin Sky, among others.

But last summer Kanvis put Heavy Rotation on pause so he could focus on releasing his debut album, Windows, which came out in January. Kanvis raps with precision, but he’s not so rigid that there’s no space for him to animate his words. On the easygoing swing of “Switch With Me,” his vocal performance syncs so well with the instrumental that neither one really takes precedence, and the song succeeds because the rapping and beats feel inextricable from each other.

On Saturday Kanvis celebrates Windows with a full-band performance at Subterranean; Death By Icon and the Whoevers, who appear on Windows, open.

Leor Galil writes about hip-hop every Wednesday.