Cops say masked teens with a thirst for violence and joyrides are terrorizing the city. An examination of arrests reveals a narrative built on shoddy data and anecdotal evidence.
Hip-hop has welcomed a platoon of talented emerging artists over the past five years or so, but few exhibit their love for the art of rapping quite like North Carolina’s Marlanna Evans, better known as Rapsody. In the late 2000s, she formed a crucial bond with star producer 9th Wonder, who signed her to his […]
Current musical obsessions of ESS codirector Olivia Junell, curator Adia Sykes, and Reader music editor Philip Montoro
The movement—really more a wide-ranging cultural and aesthetic philosophy—has roots deep in the 19th century.
Ravyn Lenae reaches outside her Zero Fatigue crew to work with Odd Future-affiliated R&B guitarist and producer Steve Lacy.
Six years ago Fredo Santana helped make Chicago the epicenter of the rap world, and on Friday he passed away at age 27.
Veteran Reader critic Peter Margasak counts down his 40 favorite records of the year—this installment includes music by Oumou Sangaré, Kendrick Lamar, and Saicobab.
Also, Kendrick Lamar popped up at his own West Loop pop-up shop.
The reason you’ll want to see Kendrick Lamar in concert is that he’s indisputably the best rapper alive right now. Lamar had the daunting task of releasing a follow-up to 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly, which landed atop multiple year-end lists, including Pitchfork’s and Rolling Stone’s—a sharp-eyed examination of black American identity, Butterfly contained a […]
Pitchfork’s Blue Stage lets you see the likes of Arca, Dawn Richard, Mitski, Survive, and Pinegrove before they’re too big to get close to.
Local rapper Valee may be too idiosyncratic to sound specifically Chicagoan, but he couldn’t have made the concise, open-ended songs on his new 1988 mixtape anywhere else.
The Reader‘s weekly look at music stories we didn’t publish ourselves
After an injury ended Ben Burden’s soccer career, he came to Chicago and found his true self in a distinctive, open-hearted fusion of hip-hop and R&B.
Current musical obsessions of Reader critic Peter Margasak, SAIC assistant professor Seth Kim-Cohen, and U. of C. assistant professor Seth Brodsky
In June rumors spread that Kembe X had signed with TDE—and even though he didn’t, you should still listen to his new album, Talk Back.