DJ Oreo seems to be everywhere all the time. Just this year I’ve run into him at the Era’s Lab Sessions (an informal footwork gathering at High Concept Laboratories in Pilsen), seen him spin an unannounced, impromptu set during Fake Shore Drive’s showcase (at Lincoln Hall with Cam’ron, SD, and ShowYouSuck), and spotted him side stage or in the crowd at more rap shows than I can count. Given that Oreo handles the ones and twos for Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper, he’s often on the road and could easily have his eyes trained on opportunities on the coasts—but he remains grounded in the Chicago scene. On Saturday the west-side DJ celebrates his birthday at Thalia Hall with the second Oreo Fest, whose bill is stacked with great locals.
The Oreo Fest lineup reflects its namesake’s ear for what’s bubbling up from the underground, and the MCs he’s booked include Yung Stakks, a former member of west-side trio S.B.E. (whose 2013 mixtape The Bop-umentary remains unfortunately overlooked). Stakks has been finding his way as a solo artist, particularly with his recent single “Stakk Money.” It’s built on a sauntering horn sample that sounds like it’s been left to bake in the sun, and Yung Stakks adds a secondary pulse to the hook with his clipped flow—the one-two punch builds on the song’s euphoric might.
In the few months since it debuted online, “Stakk Money” has accumulated close to 200,000 plays on the Yung Stakks Soundcloud account alone—I think the song deserves more of a push, but it’s getting out there. When 50 Cent popped by the Shrine at the end of July to shill for Effen Vodka, he brought out Yung Stakks to perform it.
The track is the highlight of the MC’s recent Off My Chest mixtape, a short stopgap release before his forthcoming In My Own Lane. Other tracks worth repeating include “Nasty Man,” which sounds like his take on T-Pain’s remix of Jidenna’s out-of-nowhere meme-spawning hit “Classic Man,” which bluntly borrows the ratchet-riffing beat of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.” “Nasty Man” could just as easily be a remix of Jidenna’s original track, but the bounce of Stakks’s vocals is right in line with T-Pain’s soul-dripping flow.
Yung Stakks performs early at Oreo Fest, after Hood Geekz but before King Louie, Katie Got Bandz, Hurt Everybody (fresh off their 24EP), and Logan 1636. King-making collective Save Money headline, but it’s hard to say which members will pop up to perform.