Mister Wallace Credit: Karmen Elaine

In 2011, Erik Wallace (aka rapper Mister Wallace) and Anthony Pabey (aka producer Aceb00mbap) met at the Boystown cocktail lounge Wang’s; four years later they launched Futurehood, a label that supports gay and transgender musicians of color. “My driving force was to create a space there that was what Boystown was not providing, giving, or sheltering,” Pabey told the Advocate in 2016. He knew there was a thriving scene in the queer community, even if it wasn’t as immediately apparent to all: “I really feel like the queer rappers are the purest form of what rap is and what hip-hop is.” For Chicago’s first Red Bull Music Festival, Futurehood has assembled a show that proves Pabey right. Among the performers are former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant the Vixen, teenage drill sensation Kidd Kenn, and Roy Kinsey, whose Feburary album Blackie is one of the year’s best Chicago hip-hop releases. Filling the penultimate spot on the bill is KC Ortiz, a transgender woman originally from Mobile, Alabama, who on her debut 2016 mixtape, Beach Street, raps like she knows she should headline every show she’s part of. Headlining it all is Mister Wallace, whose “It Girl” single, off his debut 2016 EP, Faggot, is an immediately intoxicating blur of dance and rap. Get there early for opener Blu Bone; his 2017 single “Red Raver,” off his debut EP, Into the Nebula, shows there’s still new territory worth exploring within hip-house.   v