With federal aid to venues only now arriving, how are tour managers, stagehands, bookers, and their colleagues in the concert business making ends meet?
When rapper-singer Smino self-released She Already Decided on April 20, he added “Mixtape” in scare quotes to the title on Soundcloud. In doing so, the Saint Louis native provided a sly history lesson for young listeners who’ve only ever referred to full-lengths as “projects.” A decade ago, hip-hop mixtapes provided a way for rappers to […]
Saint Louis-born rapper-singer Smino taps two MCs from his Chicago-based Zero Fatigue collective, Bari and Jay2, for “Z4L,” the best song on his 2018 album, Noir. Jay2 appears at the end, caressing the track’s minimal, sexually suggestive instrumental with his firm flow and supple voice. He needs all of his well-earned self-assurance to handle the […]
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?
This year’s headliners include Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, and Twenty One Pilots—but to get tickets, you have to pay a company owned by Live Nation, which remains an undefined part of the Lincoln Yards development.
When Chicago-based rapper Smino was on tour for his breakout 2017 album, Blkswn, he appeared on a billboard in his native Saint Louis, advertising his homecoming show headlining Delmar Hall (capacity 750). And with his ultrasmooth voice and even smoother personality, Smino’s been rising further upward without even seeming to try, achieving a slow and […]
On his sophomore album, Noir, Smino highlights his rap skills without abandoning the soulful singing of Blkswn.
Noname’s debut album mixes her serious social commentary with a new sensuality and humor.
Hill’s Sunday-night headlining set celebrated the 20th anniversary of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, one of the greatest albums in the history of the genre.
For 2018, Pitchfork bolsters its usual smart bookings with a strengthened commitment to inclusiveness and community: the lineup has more locals than ever, and more than half the acts include women.
It took three weeks, but Pitchfork has now announced the names of all the artists performing at its 13th festival, including headliners Fleet Foxes and Lauryn Hill.
Reader intern Rachel Yang returns to the Violet Hour to see who will join the 14 previously announced performers at this summer’s Pitchfork Music Festival.
Ravyn Lenae reaches outside her Zero Fatigue crew to work with Odd Future-affiliated R&B guitarist and producer Steve Lacy.
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.
On his debut album, Blkswn (Zero Fatigue/Downtown), Chicago-based rapper Chris Smith Jr. (aka Smino) makes a point of telling you where he came from. “Netflix and Dusse,” a gussied-up track filled with clipped tropical-house beats and come-on raps, ends with a recording of a phone call between Smino and what seems to be his grandfather, […]