Azeez Alaka and Brandon Holmes run a music and video production company with a pipeline to the majors and a headquarters shaping up in Little Village.
Songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Xavier Dphrepaulezz, better known as Fantastic Negrito, takes us on a trip through his consciousness on his latest album, Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? (Cooking Vinyl/Blackball Universe). He confronts heavy issues such as mental illness, addiction, and gun violence, and filters them all through the lens of his own life […]
By the time Chicago rapper Juice WRLD died in December at age 21, he’d already made a gigantic impact on hip-hop. His meteoric rise started when he was just a teenager with the 2017 single “Lucid Dreams,” a landmark in the burgeoning “emo rap” genre, which exploded after he rerecorded it for his 2018 debut […]
“I have a pinned tweet on my page that says, ‘“I fucked someone to that playlist you made” is the highest compliment you can give me.’”
I wish the right-wing miscreants in the federal government were as dependable as Chicago rapper G Herbo. For close to a decade, he’s released albums and mixtapes of rapid-fire drill with reassuring frequency, and even his most run-of-the-mill offerings benefit from his pragmatic empathy and lucid descriptions—he brings a distinctive emotional gravity to his detailed […]
The MC born Jarad Higgins became a commercial juggernaut in less than two years, and passed away just days after turning 21.
Young Thug doesn’t need to prove himself to anyone anymore. In the early 2010s he emerged from the hotbed of Atlanta, the city that’s largely set hip-hop’s tone this decade, and his every heart-wrenching warble and hair-raising screech seemed to add speed to his ascent. His fluid flow has inspired some of Atlanta’s latest rising […]
Leaders from two generations of the local streetwear scene talk about ComplexCon’s pros and cons.
Lyrical Lemonade’s Summer Smash has grown into Chicago’s biggest rap festival in just its second year, but it needed a nudge from the elements to get its act together.
My girlfriend has a Spotify playlist called “Emotional Bangers,” and it’s made up entirely of too-earnest, heart-on-the-sleeve hip-hop jams. Though it leans pretty heavily on Drake and the Weeknd, Chicago native Juice Wrld is a major presence as well. To hear him tell it, Juice Wrld has a lot of feelings; Juice Wrld also has […]
Chicago’s hip-hop scene overflows with such variety and abundance that it’s impossible to show enough love to every great release—but that’s no reason not to try.
Minneapolis duo Atmosphere invented emo rap—now also called “Soundcloud rap”—15 years before the likes of Lil Xan and Trippie Redd picked up the thread.
Illinois native Cole Bennett launched the hip-hop blog Lyrical Lemonade in fall 2013, and it’s since become a blossoming entertainment empire that hosts shows (including July’s Hurt Everybody reunion) and operates its own clothing line. Bennett uses the LL logo—a lemonade carton—on every music video he directs, and since he’s become the most sought-after video […]
This show has been canceled. It would be difficult to find a single event that illustrates the scope and variety of voices that contribute to Chicago hip-hop in 2018, but this evening at the Vic offers an interesting cross section of some of the city’s most notable rising artists. Organized by hip-hop promoters By a […]
Juice Wrld has only played a couple shows and has at best two Soundcloud hits—but he just signed a deal with Interscope reportedly worth $3 million.