I met Squeak in Saba’s grandparent’s basement. The walls were plastered with magazine covers, the space stuffed with recording equipment and video games. A memory not easily forgotten—I’ve probably told this story a thousand times, in writing and in person. It was 2016, a year after the first time I interviewed Saba and a couple […]
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 […]
Tijuana Hercules drop the trash-blues masterpiece they delayed for COVID, Johnny Caluya of Verma and Surgery Boys makes his solo debut as JC Tascam, and more.
Chicago rapper D2x has poured all 23 years of his life so far into his debut album, The Color Blue. Across its 13 tracks, he delivers lines about his childhood in the south suburbs, his time playing basketball as a student at Western Illinois University, his struggles with depression, his faith in God, his recent […]
With concerts and tours on hold for most of the year, Chicago’s music scene doubled down on mutual aid and fundraising for community groups.
Femdot’s nonprofit, Delacreme Scholars, has run the Scholars Slide By to deliver groceries to hundreds of people in need this summer.
Did Chicago musicians booked for Lollapalooza know their sets might look like an endorsement of Mayor Lightfoot?
The members of west-side collective Pivot Gang have been calling themselves a boy band since long before Brockhampton was a twinkle in Kevin Abstract’s eye. Because Joseph Chilliams, Frsh Waters, MFn Melo, and Saba all rap, this self-description has caused some confusion, but as Pivot Gang see it, there’s not much to differentiate them from, […]
Pivot Gang cofounder John Walt is memorialized in Saba’s Care for Me—and by an arts nonprofit that bears his name, which holds its flagship concert fund-raiser this weekend.
The classic Smoking Popes lineup releases its first full-length in nearly two decades, not-quite-retired Chicago rapper E.C. Illa reissues two old Kanye collabs, and more.
In his first local show of the year, Chicago rapper Saba balanced his desire to honor a murdered friend with the necessity to entertain a huge festival crowd.
Sage, the 64th Wonder was a promising Chicago rapper, but when he lost his creative thread he made the leap to become Lunxch—whose debut single, “Breathe,” dropped last week.
Charlie Coffeen of Sidewalk Chalk gives Dilla’s Donuts the big-band treatment, John Walt’s arts mentorship foundation hosts a fund-raising dinner on the anniversary of the rapper’s death, and more.
Chicago rapper the Boy Illinois headlines his first show since dropping the triumphant Windy EP, three current and former Chicagoans set a piece of Finnegans Wake to music, and more.
Jordan Reyes of Moniker Records moves back to Chicago with a new tape label, singer-songwriter Micha and hip-hop producer Nasim Willams drop singles, and more.