Highlights from Tetsuo & Youth

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, Lupe Fiasco gave his hometown fans quite a treat as the Tetsuo & Youth Preview Tour hit its halfway point at the House of Blues. I was in attendance with much of our team, so allow for a quick reflection of my highlights of the night, mixed in with all of our amazing visuals above and below (previously seen on our social channels… more reason to follow us for the exclusives first ;)).

 

Highlights:

– First and foremost, Lupe kept it all the way Chicago. He said to the crowd that it was the one city he was waiting to get to since the tour started.

– Lupe brought out Lil Durk for the first song, then set the tone with a max. energy performance of “ITAL (Roses)” and “Put ‘Em Up” — two standouts from Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album.

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– Lupe dedicated “Kick, Push” to the recently injured Derrick Rose for perhaps the biggest crowd eruption of the night.

– Actually, it wasn’t. Lupe prefaced a performance of “Go Go Gadget Flow” with a command to get the House of Blues rockin’. Cam Be and myself were in the crowd and on the floor, so trust when we can say that the House of Blues floor was indeed rocking. I’ve never felt that before at the HoB — the floor was literally shaking. I have a feeling “Go Go Gadget Flow” was a Tetsuo & Youth Preview Tour exclusive to Chicago.

Floor shaking for "Go Go Gadget Flow"
Floor shaking for “Go Go Gadget Flow”

– Lupe also took it back even further to his guest verse on Kanye’s “Touch The Sky”. He replaced “Sky high, I’m, I’m sky high!” with “I’m so Chi!” in the outro.

– A bonus freestyle from Lu after his rendition of a “personal favorite” — his feature on Robert Glasper’s “Always Shine” — was one to remember.

– And the Tetsuo & Youth preview tracks all sounded great: “Crack” is very different, and “Drizzy’s Law” is now my most anticipated. Lu’s got some slick lines on this and Poo Bear delivers another ear-grabbing chorus.

– Lupe wasn’t the only one to impress on stage… the undercard was quite impressive from beginning to end too. Stalley brought out Rockie Fresh for the hometown, Dee-1 reeled in the audience and got some great response for starting the show first, and The Boy Illinois‘ biggest hometown show to date was a success, flanked by his F.A. The Squad members TreStyle and Relelite. In fact, I was most impressed with the polish of Illi’s stage presence and song selection of all the openers. We were in the photo pit for his performance and the whole first row became fans in a matter of minutes.

lupe-kungfu
Kung Fu Lu

Lowlights:

– The long wait for our car at Marina Towers after the show.

– Otherwise none, that was a great night.

After all, it was refreshing to see a full concert from Lupe after what’s felt like 2-3 years in Chicago (he’s done guest appearances at certain events in between). For the long-time diehards, there was the perfect balance of throwbacks, F&L2 cuts we haven’t seen live yet, and completely new songs that were brilliantly spliced one after another to create and sustain a mood for just the right amount of time before moving onto the next. For the first-time concert-goers, like that of our photographers Cam Be & Who Dough who’ve only seen Lupe live in non-tour forms, they were floored at his high-octane energy and ability to spit word for word just like on the CD.

It was such a memorable show that after over a week of reflection, I’m still able to feel the feelings of the details described above as I sit and type this tonight. And it all comes back to the personal, hometown feel that Lupe ensured was in us from the moment he stepped in front of the moving spotlights and giant video screen. *cues up* “Superstar” to hold us over for Tetsuo & Youth in 2014.

There are a few dates left on the tour this month, including NYC’s Irving Plaza Monday and Tuesday night — lupefiasco.com/tour — get out there if you can, one of the best shows I’ve been to in 2013, easy.

ICYMI:

Lupe Fiasco talks about the new album, tour, “copy/paste” journalism, more with #GowherePHX

Mickey Factz drops ‘Gowhere’ in a freestyle at the Tetsuo & Youth Preview Tour: Boston

 

GowhereYouLove To Grub

I must of strolled through this slideshow about 4 or 5 different times just now. The deliciousness level of this post is the truth, and now my hunger is only increasing with every word I type. You just be sure to make room, because I’m about to hit y’all with some of my favorite foods to eat and establishments to eat at. Foods that I think everyone has to try when coming on a visit to the city of Chicago. Those of you living in the city should pay up and pay attention as well. You might just see something you haven’t tried yet or even heard about. So do your appetite right and satisfy it. Now if you will…please follow me as I trip you through some of my favorite spots where I love to go and grub.

Chicago Cheesesteak Company

My first stop brings us to the southside corner of 78th and Cicero. The home of one of the best cheesesteak’s in the entire city of Chicago, The Chicago Cheesesteak Company. Actually, make that one of the best cheesesteak’s in the world. At least that’s how I feel about it. Here you’ll find a vast variety of different cheeseteak’s as well as mixture of other savory foods, like their shrimp sandwich or super steak taco. The cheesesteak menu is what garners most of my attention however. You just can’t go wrong with whatever sandwhich you get. I myself have tried five of the seven different cheesesteak’s off the menu. Got to say I loved all of them. The chicken teriyaki cheesesteak being my least favorite. Only because the chicken teriyaki sauce got my bread a bit soggy and broke it down. The taste and hunger satisfaction remained on point though. Like I said, you can’t go wrong with any cheesesteak sandwich you choose. I recommend stopping in, saying hello to the owner Sal (really really good people), and getting yourself a steak sandwich. Be sure to add some of their hot or mild sauce to whatever sandwich you get. That really sets it off. I promise you that your appetite will be more than satisfied.

Portillo’s

Stopping in and eating at Portillo’s is a definite must. One of the better known Chicago food establishments which to me has never failed on food preparation. Every time I go and get myself a dog, I make sure to double up. A regular hot dog with everything and one covered in chili and cheese. Their Italian Beef’s are among one of the best in the city as well, soft and savory. Go ahead and ask any real Chicagoan about Portillo’s. I’m sure most will have nothing but good things to say about this food establishment. I’m also sure 99% of Chicago has tried Portillo’s by now. Hopefully anyway.

Falco’s Pizzeria

If you live on the southside and love food as much as I do, then you know about Falco’s pizza. One of the better Pizzeria’s in the city of Chicago. I’ve actually been eating from here since I was a toddler, and after all these years the pizza taste remains the same. Some might say it’s one of the best, and some would say otherwise. But I know anyone who’s ordered the chili cheese fries will agree with me that those are some of the best chili cheese fries you will ever encounter. Their homemade chili just sits so well with the cheese over fluffy potato wedge fries. Stop in and get yourself a large order. There’s no way you’ll be disappointed with the taste, amount, or price for that matter. You’ll get hooked up and you’ll hook your hunger up. California and Archer. That’s the place to be.

Durbins Pub

All I got to do is walk two blocks south and two blocks east. There I’ll find myself standing in front of Durbins Pub. One of the better Pub’s to eat at in the Chicagoland area. Their pizza I’d have to say is a definite top 5ver for me. But their basket of hot wings takes the cake. Durbins is known more for their pizza of course. But lowkey it stands above any other wing establishment I know. Hooters, Wing Stop, Buffalo….It don’t matter. Durbins wings not only have more meat, but more flavor as well. Don’t try and tell me otherwise either because I’ve eaten at all those places. They just don’t compare. Durbins service can be a bit sketchy at times but their deals will keep you coming back. Half off Pizza’s and $1.50 domestic half pints on Monday’s. I’m talking a medium pizza, a basket of wings, and six half pints for under $25. Yup! You might as well start calling this place your second home.

Giordano’s Restaurant & Pizzeria

Let’s not forget about one of the most famous food establishments in Chicago, Giordano’s Restaurant and Pizzeria. Known for their famous stuffed pizza, the Giordano’s franchise stands as one of the faces for good food in the the city of Chicago. Anyone swinging into the city for a visit needs to stop in and eat here at least once. Their stuffed pizza is nice, but what really gets me is their thin crust with the green peppers. Absolute fire! Make sure you order yourself that garlic bread appetizer too. It’s by far some of the best garlic bread I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. Mind you I’ve done my fair share of traveling and have eaten different foods throughout the country.

Gino’s East

From one famous stuffed pizza place to the next. Gino’s East is where we’ll find ourselves eating some of the most legendary deep dish pizza known to Chicago or even man kind for that matter. This pizza establishment is one you’re going to want to make sure you get checked off your list of pizzeria’s to eat from. Trust me. It’s Godly.

“In a city known as the “Pizza Capital of the World”, The Original Gino’s East is still the number one pizza restaurant where customers from near and far return year after year to scribble their names into the wood and stucco walls of our flagship restaurant in downtown Chicago.” – Gino’s East 

Illinois Bar & Grill

Massive burgers! That’s what you’ll get when you take a trip on down to Illinois Bar & Grill. Home to one of the biggest burgers in the entire city of Chicago. Just be ready to have your appetite over powered when you stop in and order yourself this delicious creation of a food. You’ll have no room for more as you continue to tell yourself…just one more bite. Til this day I have yet to find a more satisfying burger in the entire city of Chicago, true story. So if you got what it takes to take on this beastly burger than I say 47th street just west of Pulaski is where you want to be. Seriously.

Mario’s Italian Lemonade

Hopefully you still got some room because we’re off to Taylor street for what’s probably Chicago’s best tasting and most famous Italian lemonade stand. That’s Mario’s. The spot to be at throughout any summer in Chicago. That small shack stand you see in the image above gets some serious business. I’m talking lines down the block and around the corner at times. It really is that good. The perfect compliment to a tasty Italian beef from Al’s, which stands directly across the street. I can’t help but think that both Al and Mario are probably the best of friends. This image of both them sitting in comfy chairs side by side, smoking cigars, and drinking a cold one constantly replays in my head.

Waldo Cooney’s Pizzeria

We now reach my favorite spot to get pizza from in the entire city of Chicago. That’s Waldo Cooney’s located on 85th and Pulaski, on the southside of Chicago. To me no other pizza tastes better. These guys definitely know what they’re doing and have managed to keep the same great taste for many years now. I’ve always found their customer service to be excellent as well. Waldo Cooney’s is the real deal, and will remain as my go to guys when it comes to satisfying my hunger for pie. I suggest giving it a try if you haven’t yet. Don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

El Molino Taqueria

Last but not least we finally arrive at El Molino. One of Chicago’s more lowkey Mexican food joints located just east of 31st and Pulaski. Next time you’re looking for some good Mexican grub I suggest stopping in at El Molino. One can’t go wrong in ordering their carnitas, which remains as this establishment’s most popular item off the menu. I personally am in love with their steak torta. It comes jam packed with some of the most soft and savory meat you’ll probably ever eat (pause). Adding their green in home salsa to anything you order is key. Kind of like the cherry on top, you feel me. Quality food and service from a quality family. Can’t really ask for much more.

Hopefully I’ve been able to spread food knowledge upon you, expanding your “what to eat?” options. Please by all means, drops me some comments. Let me know if you’ve eaten at any of these establishments before and how you feel about them. If you haven’t then drop me a comment anyway and let me know if you’re looking forward to trying any of these spots and what you’re looking to try. I wish your appetite satisfaction. #GowhereYouLove

Underground Chicago Hip-hop Artists that You Should Add to Your Casino Music Playlist

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:

St. Millie

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.

Chandler London

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.

Alex Wiley

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.