Whenever you enter casinos, you’re can either hear strains of jazz, bossa nova, or even rock ‘n roll. Music from the likes of Nat King Cole, a Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Jimi Hendrix can dictate one’s emotions. That’s why some gaming centers and tournaments create specific playlists to create a mood for their players. One particular annual gaming event sponsored by called World Series of Poker or WSOP was known to use iconic music hits. For the 2004 leg, WSOP used AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells” as the music for their promotions on the ESPN channel. On the other hand, participants of the 2011 WSOP edition held at the Rio Convention Center, were welcomed with the jazz song “Jordu”, which is a Grammy Hall of Fame song by legendary Clifford Brown and Max Roach Quintet. But we at GoWhere Hip-hop believe that there are other musical genres that are suited for casino games and this is our very own brand of east coast hip-hop from Chicago.
In hindsight, east coast hip-hop stemmed from New York City, specifically in the South Bronx area during the 1970’s. The beat of this type of hip-hop has a slower tempo and usually ranges from 90 to 120 bpm (beats per minute). It is also lyrics-centered and mainly uses drum machines compared to the west coast and southern genres. Lonnie Rashid Lynn, or commonly known as rapper Common, released the song “I Used to Love H.E.R.” in 1994. This track defined what Chicago hip-hop is by centering and documenting the lives of the blue-collar workers. The recommended list that we created might give you a glimpse of what other unsung Chicago hip-hop artists can offer:
The artist’s name is a dead giveaway that his music has some religious roots in it. Also known as Milton McKinley III, this young rapper from Oak Park is the son of a deacon of the North Lawndale Christian Reform Church. An anti-violence advocate by heart, St. Millie believes that hip-hop artists can make a positive change in the society through their works. And his upbeat track “Hello” spreads his peace-loving sentiments, which can bring positive vibes when one encounters a bad turn during roulette.
Hailing from the Pilsen, Chandler found his rap inspirations from popular acts like Andre 3000 and Jay Z. Despite having Color Synesthesia or a Chromesthesia, which is a condition that lets him “see sound”, this did not stop London from creating songs like “Brain Loop” that can stimulate your brain and keep you company while waiting for your turn at the casino table.
A staunch supporter of local hip-hop music, Alex launched a mixtape entitled “Club Wiley”, which featured other rap artists. He believes that this collaboration will make Chicago hip-hop more known. The song “The Woods” resembles the music of Lil Wayne and Drake. A track that effortlessly melded raw guitar riffs and delay, it is the perfect ear candy when psyching one’s self before joining a blackjack tournament.
These underground Chicago rappers deserve respect; and by adding these tracks to your own casino music playlist, you might even consider yourself converting to the hip-hop lifestyle.