Chicago drummer Luke Titus and New York rapper-singer Cisco Swank unite jazz, R&B, and hip-hop on their new album, Some Things Take Time (Sooper). Brief but stimulating, the record feels like a walk around the block as the neighborhood awakens. Swank and Titus are both young multi-instrumentalists and producers with prodigious backgrounds: Swank attended New […]
Rapper, producer, DJ, and talk-show host GreenSllime has built a cult following with his muddy, sample-heavy production and crass rhymes. In the past few years he’s made incredible strides toward establishing his voice as a solo rapper, but he’s already been an unsung hero in the local scene for more than a decade, operating mostly […]
Milwaukee native Myquale moved to Chicago in 2014 to attend DePaul, and the music he’s made as a rapper and producer owes a debt to both cities. On his self-released 2019 single “Isolation,” for example, he pairs lyrics about the long-term effects of institutional segregation on Milwaukee’s north side with a confident, sumptuously soulful sound […]
“Saba’s releases are such special moments for Chicago and the west side,” Reader contributor Tara C. Mahadevan posted to Twitter this week. His previous album, 2018’s Care for Me, claimed the top spot when we polled 57 local critics about their ten favorite Chicago records of the 2010s—and Saba has three releases among the 338 […]
In late 2014, I was incredibly homesick: I’d just left Chicago for college out of state, and I was struggling to adjust to a new campus and an immediate world that looked vastly different from what I was used to. Treated like an outsider, I yearned for pieces of home. Luckily Soundcloud recommended Comfort Zone, […]
Elton Chueng, 33, began his career as a professional recording engineer with an internship at Classick Studios in 2011. He’s since worked with some of the brightest stars to emerge from Chicago’s hip-hop scene in the past decade, including Saba, Noname, Smino, and Chance the Rapper. In November his contributions to Yebba’s 2021 debut, Dawn, […]
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 […]
Former college fencer Alex Banin uses her debut EP, Did I Imagine, to make peace with her old relationships.
On his first album in four years, Chicago singer theMIND digs in against the disenfranchisement of Black voices.
Here’s where to see who voted for what and how the points got divvied up.
The Reader polled dozens of critics to arrive at an absolutely indisputable ranked list of several hundred records that will definitely not start any arguments.
This summer Chicago rapper 8MatikLogan released “House of Pain,” a blazing, salacious single punctuated with tasteful claps. Its video is closing in on 400,000 YouTube views, and it could become an even bigger breakout success—which would be a long time coming for the MC. He started rapping in 2012 under the name Logan, and he’s […]
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, […]
Folk project DPCD celebrates a graceful, uncluttered new album, the John Walt Foundation holds its annual Dinner With John fund-raiser, and more.
Lollapalooza brought the big names on its 2019 lineup, but could it do more to engage the Chicago fans and artists who make this such a great city for music?