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Chicago rapper Sterling Hayes travels down his own unusual path on Flirting With Death

Four years ago, Save Money rapper Sterling Hayes dropped his debut mixtape, Antidepressant, which foreshadowed the wave of Soundcloud rappers who’ve peppered their rhymes with intimate disclosures of their struggles with mental health issues. But that’s not to say that Hayes has much in common with those MCs, or with any scene around town either. […]

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Veteran hip-hop producer Blockhead knows how to reenergize instrumental music

New York producer Tony “Blockhead” Simon has invigorated America’s underground hip-hop scene for two decades—he started out as a close collaborator of famously slippery lyricist Aesop Rock, and more recently he’s provided beats for hard-edged rapper Billy Woods. Over the years, Simon has also learned how to transform the gritty, big-footed underground hip-hop sound into […]

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Chicago rapper Vic Spencer caps off a prolific year with the compact, fierce Stupid

The world may never catch up to Chicago rapper Vic Spencer—not that he seems to mind. He’s been dependably prolific and undeniably fierce on the mike throughout 2018, starting with January’s Spencer for Higher, a collaboration with UK producer SonnyJim. Since then, he’s dropped three solo albums: June’s Duffle of Gems, August’s A Smile Killed […]