Chicago Hip-Hop needs an ESPN 30 For 30-esque compilation of hidden gems and tracks that didn’t get the appreciation they rightfully deserve. The original ESPN series of films all showcase different filmmakers tackling important issues as well as showcasing the beauty behind sports. This series, for all reasons and purposes is set out to showcase thirty different artists that have been making a name for themselves in the city of Chicago and bringing respect and unity through music to a violence plagued city that continues to gain life through its musicians and groundbreaking music. 2013 has been a very historic year for many artists in our community and below is part one of this 30 track compilation and two part series of releases all made this year. Although, you will be seeing various names a few times through this series it is all because we believe that these artists formed part of a beautiful culture, which we all call Chicago Hip-Hop. Enjoy!
Part 1 [Songs 1-15]
1. Chance The Rapper “Good Ass Intro” (f/ BJ The Chicago Kid, Lili K, Kiara Lanier, Peter Cottontale, Will for the O’My’s, & JP Floydd for Kids these Days)
Winning various notable awards in 2013, Chance The Rapper launched himself into Chicago HipHop’s echelon through his Acid Rap mixtape and was even able to tour with great emcees, such as Kendrick Lamar and Eminem. What is very intriguing about the “Good Ass Intro” is that it gives us Chance’s Chicagoan roots with the fusion of juke elements into his introductory track as well as showcased some of the city’s most talented musicians that all formed a part of this phenomenal track.
2. THEMpeople “Reports” f/ Via Rosa, Nico Segal, Joey Purp, Tokyo Shawn & Kami de Chukwu
Rapid fire, witty lyricism, a catchy hook and a wavy instrumental is what put this song on the map as THEMpeople linked up with various SaveMoney elements to create a song that captivated us. Although, this track dropped towards the end of the year, it definitely won us over and was able to get on this list.
3. The O’My’s “Mystic Pussy” f/ IceFame, GLC, Dally Auston
The rock and soul phenoms, The O’My’s did their thing on “Mystic Pussy” by adding effective verses to an already captivating song. The best part about this track was it being performed live with the additions of Vic Mensa and several others not featured on the official track.
4. Na$im Williams “61 Lilies” f/ Scheme, Doc & Sulaiman
Na$im Williams had a hell of a year releasing two instrumental EP’s (The Emotions of HER & The Symbiote) along with his “NWO” mixtape. 61 Lilies got on our list because of the amount of class he was able to bring into Chicago HipHop as a result of his instrumental that was laced with verses by Scheme and Sulaiman as well as had Doc on the hook that was able to bring everything together in one of 2013’s most impressive gems.
5. Noname Gypsy “Samaritan” f/ Mick Jenkins
Noname Gypsy have become an effective tandem in Chicago Hip-Hop and “Samaritan” was yet another great collaboration from these two Chicago upstarts as both artists illustrated the beauty behind HipHop in great verses, a phenomenal hook, and an instrumental rooted in a 90s-esque era of HipHop.
6. John Walt “Actor Pt.2”
With the release of “Jimmy” mixtape and “Get Happy 2.0”, the Pivot Gang emcee was able to showcase how strong of a force Pivot Gang is becoming in the city’s music scene with gems like “Actor Pt.2” a Saba produced track that became the catchiest track off his current project. I can also see this becoming a major commercial hit and can be seeing some airtime this upcoming 2014.
7. Tragedy Tha Beast “Move A Mountain” f/ Dominique Danielle
Tragedy’s “The Manifestation LP” was one of the best mixtapes of 2013 as well as one of the year’s most overlooked projects. With many outstanding tracks on the project, the standout track was “Move A Mountain”, that illustrated the amount of adversity the Chicagoan emcee has overcome to continue to make strides in Chicago’s HipHop community.
8. Brand Knew “Gold Watch”
From the opening bar you knew you were in store for a gem. From the production to lyricism this track was a hit. The video adds on to the theme of having the luxury of having a “Gold Watch” but in also stating that material possessions don’t define the fact that time wont be wasted as Brand Knew continues to grind his way up Chicago’s HipHop community.
9. Phero “Lords” f/ Saint Millie & Vince Nantes
The Pilsen representative landed on this list as a result of the great verses by himself and Treated Crew’s Saint Millie that combined with Vince Nantes on a !llmind instrumental created one of 2013’s standout lyrical gems.
10. Clew Rock “Okay”
Being “Okay” is never the goal as Clew Rock flaunts his lyrical capabilities on a dope boom bap instrumental on one of Chicago’s most slept on projects of 2013 with “Breath of Life”. With gems like this Clew Rock showcased that he’s not very far off from achieving greatness within the city of Chicago.
11. Rebel Diaz “I’m An Alien”
The HipHop collaborative and activists got on our list after releasing “I’m An Alien” that illustrates the issue immigration, how it effects our society, as well as addressing the importance of status within the Latino communities. Out of this world and on a whole different echelon of conscious HipHop was this gem in 2013.
12. Auggie The 9th “Smoking Section” f/ Loona Dae
Treated Crew and LOD member Auggie The 9th delivered his labor of love and debut project with “#GAWS” and did not disappoint. The beauty behind #GAWS is the various elements fused in the project that makes it appealing to various music tastes. In 2013, #GAWS gave us HipHop without borders and with “Smoking Section” gave us a smooth track to kickback and vibe to.
13. Dally Auston “Drake Care” f/ Joey Purp
SaveMoney emcees Dally Auston and Joey Purp drop bars over a dope C-Sick production “Drake Care” that comes off Dally’s project “The Wood”. The old school feel and great sampling definitely did it for us in enlisting this track as a part of the 30/30 series.
14. Howie Stacks “Ask Coach K” f/ Jofred Estilo
Howie Stacks enlisted Chinza//Fly lyrical general, Jofred Estilo, in a track that not only had some of the year’s best production but as well had some of the best lyricism. The track is a monster of a beat that has put both ILLcentral reps on the map of Chicago HipHop and has made the upcoming releases by both lyricists something that will be very promising in 2014.
15. ProbCause “Chicago School 1.0” f/ G-Scott, Gzus Piece, Nate Marshall, Scheme & Add-2
The recipe to success in Chicago’s current HipHop scene is bars and absolute lyricism. ProbCause delivers just that in “Chicago School 1.0” from the the acclaimed The Recipe Vol 2, as he enlists lyrical assassins from all sides of the city of Chicago to what has become on of the greatest products of 2013. The track became a Chicago HipHop cypher. No hook, just bars. It was all we needed.