Posted inDance

‘A lot of us took on breaking because we were missing something from our lives’

Feet sizzle and fly like minced onions on a hot pan. Limbs wind into a knot, then spring loose. Fulminant levitation—transformation of momentum into moving sculpture—acrobatic play. When someone falls, it’s kidneys to concrete. Toprocks, footwork, power moves, threading, freezes: infinitely variable elements that throw bodies down to the ground and up to the sky […]

Posted inMusic

Cimafunk brings his uplifting Afro-Cuban funk fusions to Chicago in advance of El Alimento

Erik Alejandro Rodriguez, who performs as Cimafunk, is a prominent figure in a rising generation of Cuban artists, and his fusions of Afro-Cuban musical traditions with funk, hip-hop, and African rhythms have a fresh and uplifting vibe. Rodriguez’s stage name comes from the Spanish word cimarrón, which translates to “wild” or “untamed” and in the […]

Posted inMusic

On the new 25, Chicago drill star G Herbo proves his skills haven’t suffered from his celebrity

Chicago rapper Herbert Wright III, better known as G Herbo, has become the kind of public figure whose smallest social media movement is fodder for the content mill. When Herb’s girlfriend, Taina Williams, recently blocked him on Instagram, the nonevent inspired blog posts at Complex, HotNewHipHop, and Bossip. Thankfully, whatever strains and pressures come with […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago rapbrarian Roy Kinsey makes music for summer celebrations with Juke Skywalker Vol. 1

Chicago rapper and librarian Roy Kinsey has drawn national attention for his remarkable concept albums and their sensitive, piercingly thoughtful lyrics. In 2018 he dropped Blackie: A Story by Roy Kinsey, a deeply personal and thoroughly researched record about race in America that’s informed by Kinsey’s family history and the Great Migration; last year he […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago hip-hop duo Udababy tap the energy of the Why? Records collective on their debut album

Judging from the energy of practically every Why? Records release, the four rappers who make up the underground Chicago hip-hop collective and label could easily spend the rest of their lives collaborating in different configurations on a half dozen albums per year. Udababy LP, the debut full-length from Why? duo Udababy, is no exception. Rappers […]

Posted inMusic

Pivot Gang’s SqueakPivot and MFn Melo map out a rewarding creative partnership on #EnRoute

Producer SqueakPivot has long been a crucial member of the Chicago hip-hop collective he’s incorporated into his stage name, applying his talents largely to mixes and DJ sets—I’m hard-pressed to think of a Pivot Gang show I’ve seen where Squeak wasn’t behind the turntables. He’s infrequently released his own music, though that began to shift […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago producer Spectacular Diagnostics makes alchemical hip-hop tracks on Natural Mechanics

As Spectacular Diagnostics, Chicago producer Robert Krums specializes in hip-hop tracks that seem to circle the planet in low orbit, collecting cosmic dust that mixes with flecks of grit from our world. On his new album, Natural Mechanics (Group Bracil), he blends samples like he’s devising floral arrangements for a royal wedding—the glassy keyboard melody […]