Chicago rapper-producer Sidaka began dabbling in music seven years ago, when he was a 15-year-old tinkering with a piano in an effort to impress a crush. Since then he’s gone from experimenting with bedroom recording on his own to learning every aspect of music making: he studied audio engineering at Flashpoint Chicago, and in 2019 he landed an internship at esteemed hip-hop hub Classick Studios. Sidaka already had a foot in the door of the local scene—he’d been a DJ for a couple years—and in summer 2019 he befriended underground producer Cloud Boy , whose Creative Mansion collective Sidaka has since joined. Early this month, Sidaka self-released Coming Back Home, a five-song EP whose two bonus tracks are its most visceral and vital (to hear them, you have to buy the EP on Bandcamp—they aren’t streamable like the other three). On “Road to Miss,” his steely flow cuts through a hazy but suffocatingly loud instrumental that feels like it should’ve been impenetrable. Listeners can find their way through the song’s intoxicating fog by holding onto Sidaka’s vocal line like a handrail, even though he rarely raises his voice—and when he does, it’s not to shout down the music but to underline a point in his lyrics exploring youthful insecurities and ambitions.
Blake Saint David, Sidaka, Sun 2/20, 8 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, $12, 21+