GWHH Interview: Visual’s Supreme Science

On a Saturday afternoon I caught up with Chicago veteran emcee Cesar “Visual” Zamudio in the Hermosa Park area for some lunch at Señor Pan. This is the first encounter we’ve had so I was very interesting in picking his brain and finding more about his music as well and about him as an individual. Visual is slated to drop his forthcoming project Supreme Science July 29th so some of this conversation revolves around his new album. I learned much about Visual. He’s a father, an artists, a visionary, a good hearted man that loves giving back to his community. He’s one of Chicago’s good guys and this interview will illustrate just that about the Chicagoan emcee.

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For those who are hearing about you for the first time, can you tell us about yourself?

Something that people can know about me is that I’m a family man. I’m a husband, I’m a father, and that’s the main thing in my life that takes up most of my time and that I‘ve dedicated most of my time to. To people that listen to the music they might hear bits and pieces of me mentioning stuff like that but I don’t really like getting too much into it in my music. It’s something that’s a big part of my life that people might not know.

In prior conversations that we had you had mentioned to me that you are from Logan Square. Can you tell us a bit about the neighborhood as well as some memories that you have about it?

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Logan Square has always been diverse and that’s something that stands out the most that I would like for people to know. A lot of people talk about segregation in the city of Chicago or you might read articles or hear things in the media about it but I never dealt wit it. It’s been Mexican and Puerto Rican, Cuban, Polish, Black. It was always mixed up.

On the other hand there was a lot of gang violence over there in Logan Square too, man. It was crazy. I’ve literally witnessed murders and other types of violence in the city and it’s always something that affected me, but I was always able to pull out of it. Basically, it never affected me to the point where it damaged me. I’ve been able to take a lot from it and put it into my life experiences and into my art.

How do you feel about Logan Square now with all the gentrification that’s going on? Is it good or bad?

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I say it’s a little bit of both. It really depends on how you look at it. Most recently, about a couple weeks ago, I had an interview with a college professor who was working on a thesis and he asked me the same question. I told him, it’s interesting because people, like for example, let’s say you’re an immigrant. Let’s say you’re Mexican and you come over here to this country. Your parents came over here to make a difference, right? To ‘live a better life’, but I don’t think they fully understood what this better life was.

When I see things like gentrification you either look at it like, do I belong? Am I a part of this? Should I be a part of this? Am I loosing my culture, my background, my beliefs, my roots for being a part of this and accepting this? What is it really? Is it about money, race, and politics? You got to look t al those angles when you’re talking about gentrification.

A lot of people look at gentrification and are just mad at it. ‘They’re moving into our neighborhoods, they’re hipsters and yuppies’, and this and that. I’ll be honest; I’ll be the first person to make fun of hipsters and yuppies. They’re just hilarious people. At the same time, a lot of my homies are hipsters. It just really depends on the people specifically. You can’t generalize. You can’t be mad at a group of people. You can’t. If these cats had money or were raised a different way. Yes, they have an advantage over most people, yes.

Should we be mad at them for that? Should we be try to be a part of it? Should we try to understand? Or get them to understand us and what we’re doing? Because I was talking to a friend yesterday and a lot of people, and this isn’t everybody, but a lot of people in good positions want to take our culture and what we do and they love it and they embrace it. They want to take our art, but they don’t want us. Like if it makes sense to you? They want everything we do. They embrace everything we do. They love everything we do and they want to own it now but they don’t want us to be involved, which is crazy.

If it goes on that route then, yeah… Gentrification is awful. But if it goes on a route as far as are these people trying to understand and be a part of what we’re doing or do they just want to take over? Then you really got to ask yourself that question, man.

What are some spots that you’d suggest for folks to visit or dine in that are not from the area?

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Gotta hit the Eagle, man. To me, that was the number one thing when I was a kid and being in that area. The eagle is outstanding! I couldn’t describe it any other way. It’s just outstanding. As a kid when I would walk around there and wee the eagle from a distance, I knew I was home. I knew I was in my neighborhood and it was Chicago to me. It was Chicago, and it’s beautiful. And that area now is more cleaned up. It’s a little bit more low-key, chilled, so you can hangout with friends or skateboard there all the time.

The Eagle, and that whole strip down Milwaukee. The little stores that I used to hit up with my mom back in the day whenever she was doing shopping. As I got older I would go down there and hangout. Hit up a couple restaurants here and there.

Specific places besides the ones I mentioned, I wouldn’t know. You gotta hit up the panaderias right by the train station on Cali and Armitage. Restaurants as well, although they’re infinite. You got Mexican restaurants, Puerto Rican, Cuban. Honestly the Eagle, man. That’s it. If you’re going to be in Logan just go by the Eagle and embrace it and soak it in is what I would say.

Before we get into any questions about the music I wanted to know about your artistic name, Visual. How did that come about?

Alright, so.. I used to be NDVIsual. With an N-D in front of Visual and it was basically like ‘In The Visual’. Three words. That was the meaning to it. Meaning in what you see. Everybody, there’s an old saying ‘if I don’t see it, I don’t believe it’. So it was in reference to that. If people don’t see something, if they cant physically see it, and my whole concept was like, since I was a kid I didn’t understand it because I was scared. Then I realized that I see things and I used to think that I was tweaking out but I literally see things.

I see things coming up, I see things happening, see things forming. I have great vision in life in general as an artist and I want to give that to people. That’s pretty much where the name came from, man. It was from that vision that I had in me.

What are some musical influences that impacted the way you create your music?

I grew up on music. I grew up listening to everything my parents were listening to. I’m the youngest. I had three older brothers and a sister and my parents always listened to music. My father used to do a radio show when I was a kid. So I grew up on everything you could think of, man. John Lennon, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson was one of my biggest influences as a kid.

Hip-Hop since it started. It was everyday for me. It wasn’t something I discovered. I have a lot of friends that discovered Hip-Hop and it was amazing to them and for me it was always around. I discovered artists and it was an adventure to me. Like, man, I found out so and so is dropping a new album and it was exciting. I think the roots of that was everything I grew up on which made it that much more exciting. Like I said, I grew up on Lennon, James Brown, Beatles, all that great music, Santana, Hector Lavoe. So when Hip-Hop really started to make noise it made sense to me because I’m a kid and I’m young. They’re talking to me specifically than all this other music. It was just great, man. That’s what really hit me.

In terms of Hip-Hop specifically, it was Run DMC, Slick Rick, KRS One. After that it was Nas, Wu Tang, Common. Even after that Kanye, Lupe. Even cats now, I’m inspired and motivated by everybody now. I’m not the type that listens to someone new and be mad at them. A lot of guys that grew up around me are mad at Chance, Lil Durk Chief Keef. I’m not made at them dudes. I love it. I’m like go get it!

What’s on your playlist?

My workout playlist is Ace Hood, Young Jeezy and Lil Durk. That’s it, period. I can’t be in the gym without Ace Hood, Young Jeezy, and Lil Durk in my ear. Especially Ace Hood. I feel like Ace Hood is constantly shit talking in my ear and talking shit to me. I love it. People hate Ace Hood. Super Hip-Hop heads that I know hate him. They’re like ‘boo trap’ and I’m like ‘you’re crazy. Listen to his words’. Ace Hood is like, to me right now, when Jeezy came out I was like ‘yo, Jeezy’s the man’. Everything was like, go get it, go do it, get up, and stop bullshitting. That’s my whole style so I was able to embrace Jeezy right away. Right now Ace Hood is that guy. Ace Hood’s the guy that’s like ‘go get it, stop bullshitting, it’s time to eat, go make it happen, stop starving, stop thinking, go do it’. So that’s me all day, man. And like I said the energy, those three dudes are on my playlist.

If I want to switch it up a bit I’ll throw in some Rage Against The Machine. That’s my workout playlist, man.

Everyday is like, those guys I named. Also, I listen to a lot of Salsa, but I like old school Salsa. Like Hector Lavoe, Gran Combo, Fania Allstars, the old stuff. If it’s like past ’79 or ’80 I don’t listen to it. The new stuff is too lubby dubby, I’m just not into it. I’m into the life is crazy and life is good Salsa.

You’ve been a part of the Chicago Hip-Hop landscape since the late 90’s correct? How’d you get introduced into the scene?

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About the mid to late 90’s, yeah. In terms of putting music out, late 90’s. Being in or around, I’d say late 90’s.

I want to say how I got introduced into the scene was by going to my first concert. I want to say it was either ‘92 or ’93 and it was The Beatnuts, Organized Konfusion, BoogieMonsters, and Common was the headliner. That was the first time that I was out with Hip-Hop at a concert, at a big venue, with a big event. After that forget it, I was hooked.

I went to every underground party, every house party, every party where I knew that I knew was playing Hip-Hop or anybody that I was introduced to that was playing Hip-Hop. I just started meeting people, man. I was just out there meeting everybody.

I’ve always been someone that is real approachable and I like to meet new people. I love to see what people are about and doing and what they’re plans are and what’s next for them or what’s going on with them currently. So, I just met everybody ever from ’93 to today because I just went out there and was busy and active from the beginning.

When did you first begin how to rap and was there someone mentoring you writing wise?

Well, it’s funny you say that because I started writing raps like ’93 -’94 when I got into high school. They were pretty terrible and corny too… They were hilarious. At the same time, I didn’t literally have mentors but my brother’s a producer [Panik] and he produced for legends like Juice, E.C. Illa, Vakill, Ang 13, Cap D, Rhymefest. So those guys were in my basement all the time. So I make my way down there and these guys are rapping.

These guys were the ones that taught me how to be good, how to be precise and progressive with the art. I just soaked it up. I would just sit there and 90% of the times would not say anything but just soak and be a sponge. So they weren’t literally my mentors, telling me do this or that but they were the ones that I learned from. They shaped me.

When I was doing my research I found out that you had created some music with WWE. How was that like? Are you a huge wrestling fan? If so, who’s your favorite wrestler of all-time and why?

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My god, yes. HUGE wrestling fan. I would lose my voice as a kid screaming at the tv screen. When I went to my first wrestling match at the Rosemont Horizon, I forgot what it’s called now but it was the Rosemont Horizon back then. So I lost my voice going crazy. I’ve always loved wrestling as a kid and it was action, and drama, and sports, everything wrapped into one.

My guy was Hulk Hogan. That was my dude and that’s what it was all about as a kid. I thought I was Hulk Hogan. I would do the leg drop on kids and it was just amazing. I would jump off my bed and just hurt myself if I had to because I was trying to be Hogan all day.

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How that came about was, I got some homies and we actually started an organization called Chi Rock Nation and pretty much it’s community based and we try to do fundraisers and different things for kids and it’s a lot of old school Hip-Hop heads. I was asked to be a part of the organization about a year and a half ago and of course I joined. They do a lot of community things. There’s a lot of old school emcees and graffiti writers, producers, DJs, and they got together to start doing different things for the community.

So through that, there’s a homie Kaiser, he’s an old graffiti writer and he hit me up one day. He’s like “yo! Can you rap in Spanish?” I was like, ‘yeah, I don’t really rap in Spanish but I can speak Spanish and I’ve tried to write a couple raps in Spanish just messing around to see what comes from it’. I never took it serious but I knew I could do it. He’s like ‘okay, word. Cause my homie Grav needs to do some work for WWE. And I was like ‘Grav? Gravity?’ And he was like ‘yeah, MC Gravity’.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Gravity but he’s from New York. He was the first dude that really brought a lot of Hip-Hop here to Chicago because he moved over here and he worked with the Beatnuts, Common back in the day. He had a record on Common’s old record label that Common was signed to. So, I was like excited because I was going to work with Grav and thought it was dope. I reached out to Grav and he told me he needed someone to rap in Spanish for some wrestler. And I was like “stop playin’!” This was like a dream come true. So I hit him up and hit up the studio.

It took us like two weeks in and out because that whole game is really weird man. They hear it, they like it, they sit on it because they’re soaking it in then an hour later they need changes to this and that and they need it in two hours. I thought it was crazy but I went back to the studio, add this, add that, they hear it again and might need another change. It’s got to be perfect. It’s for a multi-billion dollar company.

So I did it, man. It was for a wrestler and it was in Spanish. I honestly forgot the guy’s name. He was like a guy that was coming up and was the dude that was nothing at the time. What did was his new theme song that was going to be new, that was going to be him being the man. He would go from the dude that’s getting beat up all the time by everybody and now he’s the man. So that’s the kind of intro I made for him. That was his image. He was getting beat up and now he’s the man and he’s going to try and be the champion. That’s the type of song I made for him and they liked it. That was a fun experience.

Talk to us about advocacy, why is it important for the community of Chicago to become engaged and empower?

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Well, I mean… If you’re not involved in where you are you’re not gonna have any power. How could you complain or think things are going to change or think things are going to go your way if all you are doing is sitting around or just doing things around the city but you’re not really making a difference on where you’re from. A lot of people don’t have the personality where they can be involved and that’s fine, but if you’re going to complain or you want to make a difference or you feel like you want power or you want to be a part of a movement then you got to jump in that movement. You got to ride the movement and sometimes you gotta be the one leading the movement. That’s just how it goes. You can’t sit around and complain and want something but not work for it. It doesn’t make any sense.

What is Hello HipHop? How did Hello HipHop come about?

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Hello HipHop started from an idea for a mixtaoe I had. I just liked the ring of it. It sounded dope. Hello HipHop! It just sounded real ill to me. So I though, you know… I’ma do a mixtape and I’m gonna grab a bunch of old school joints that people are really familiar with or maybe not so familiar with and I’ma flip ‘em and just do my songs over them. So I did that mixtape and dropped it. Then about a month after dropping the mixtape somebody presented me the opportunity to do a weekly night at Subterranean. So I thought, okay, dope, I’ll do it. I just told them what they wanted to do with it and I was doing showcases. Nobody was really was doing that. They had an open mic, a legendary open mic on Tuesdays but I really wanted to do showcases. I wanted to do something a little bit more organized and get artists to do actual sets. I needed to come up with a name and I was like Hello HipHop because it’s introducing people to artists and it’s HipHop.

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It just snowballed and now I do artists consulting, public relations, marketing, and artist management. Everything after you put out a record and you have no idea what to do with it, we handle that. We handle everything that deals with the business and with getting your name known and being out there. That’s what we do. We do competitions, showcases, we give away music videos, beats, studio time, everything. Pretty much what it became was something that grows the culture, and teaches the culture to artists that might not be as familiar with it but they want to rap. It teaches them the business most importantly. A lot of cats don’t know. They want to be in the business but they have no idea about it. So that’s what Hello HipHop means to me.

For those that do not know, what is Protect Your Essence? How has it helped other artists in the Chicagoland area?

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So Protect Your Essence is a baby of Hello HipHop. Like I just mentioned, those are the competitions we do, they’re called Protect Your Essence and the reason for the name is that’s exactly what I want to give the artists. I’m trying to have them realize that everything they own, they posses, their ideas and thoughts that they want to manifest, they have to take care of them. They have to protect them.

There’s people that want to become a part of that, either other artist that take ideas or corporate people that want to be a part of that. It’s just like, take care of that. Know the rules, know the business, and know how to take care of it. Know how to approach the game. What we do is, we do these competitions.

We have sixteen artists, they get into the competition, and it’s song for song. So they go through rounds, they get eliminated. After the first round we eliminate half of them. At the very end we got three winners, a grand prize, runner up, and a third place. We give away music videos, beats, and beats from artists that have major placements. My guy Ill Brown most recently just gave away some beats. He has beats with Bun B, Dom Kennedy, Freddie Gibbs; he’s one of Freddie Gibb’s main producers, bunch of cats. My guy, Loose Cannon, that’s on my label. Studio time from Miller Street Studios, a music video that I have directed. I’ve directed a couple videos for winners that won previously. I directed the videos with my guy Herson from HH Rep, he shoots them. So that’s what we do.

Like I said, there’s a lot of people tat complain about there not being an industry or there’s only certain industries for certain artists. They think that things are unique to only certain people and I don’t believe that. It’s who you know, who you contact, who you make relationships and connections with, and who really cares about what you’re doing. Some people feel like they’re dope or they’re good at what they do and they deserve the world, but that’s not the way life works. That’s not the way anything works. Nothing works like that. You don’t get things because you’re the best. Nobody does. Nobody gets anything because they are the best. Everybody gets things because they are the best and because they work for them or they just worked for it. They might not even be the best. That’s what I’m trying to do with Protect Your Essence, is teach artists that.

Talk to me about your past projects, how has your sound been evolving?

So, when I first started it was real dirty and that was actually the name of my first project was “Dirty” because I was a 19 year old kid that was a dirty, grimy, kid from Chicago. Damn near owned the streets, was broke, hungry, and didn’t have much direction and didn’t know what I was doing. I wanted to rap and I wanted to put something out. So I did. It was a grimy sound it was hardcore. I spoke on the way I was living back then and from then as I grew as a person and as a man my music grew. I started to talk about different things and have a different perspective on things. That’s mainly as far as the actual concepts and ideas and messages, that’s how the change came about. Then as I grew with the music I started to want different sounds.

I wanted to reach more people so I want to say about 2-3 years ago when I put out my old projects I realized I wanted to reach more people. I didn’t want to reach just a HipHop crowd but I still didn’t want to lose the essence and roots of HipHop but I wanted to reach more people. I just stated to deal with new producers and I started to actually get involved with production. I started producing a few years ago. I don’t make beats, I don’t touch any machines, I don’t hit any pads, I don’t work with software or hardware but I’ve produced a lot of the records I’ve been on. I come up with the ideas, I arrange the songs, a lot of the concepts are mine as for as the sounds being used and samples or voices or scratches, whatever it may be. That’s really been the growth of it in getting more involved and wanting to reach more people.

You’ve dropped a few singles leading up to the project give me a few words in describing those singles.

“Watch What The Devil Gets”:

Watch What The Devil Gets, man… It’s a spiritual song. It’s basically about our battles with our selves sometimes and our battles with the world. Most recently through everything I’ve been doing, which is weird because it’s positive and it’s progressive, but I’ve got a lot of negative energy because of it. I guess some people just don’t like to see growth, and that’s the devil to me. I’m not a very religious person but when you’re making music and creating art you want to reach people so I wanted the general public that understands the general concept of god and the devil, which is a basic concept, to feel that song. So that’s basically what I’m talking about, when you got people trying to hold you down, pull you down, knock you down from doing something good. What else could it be? If you’re doing good and they’re doing bad, it’s god versus the devil. So that’s exactly what that song is, man. It’s to spite that.

“You”:

This is more almost kind of like that concept but it’s more specific to people, to a person. It’s the battle emcee in me. I wanted to talk to everybody that feels that they could have whet I have and not work for it, or they could have what I have because they feel I should give it to them or share with them without being a friend or an ally or a supporter. Some people think they get up and are like ‘I want what is his’. It doesn’t work like that, and I want to let them know that I’m a peaceful guy, I’m a humble guy, but I’m not a punk. That’s basically what “YOU” is. It’s the ‘sit down, I’m doing better than you, I’m working harder than you, I’m a better person than you’, and it’s ugly to hear it but this is the facts of life. It was just hard. It was mean. That’s what “YOU” is, it’s mean and a lot of people love it. They were like ‘man, that was mean’.

“The Dream Is Free”:

I love it. The Dream Is Free was the last one I dropped featuring my good friend and one of my mentors Juice. The concept I got was I took KRS’s hook from “The Pea Is Free”, which is an old school KRS track and I just flipped the words around and brought my own concept to it. His hook was “the pea is free, but the crack cost money”. Talking about ‘the pea’ (women), the pea in women is free but the crack cost money. It’s pretty much the same concept I’m using. He was more in your face, ‘ohh damn, widdit’. It’s basically, my track is talking about how you could be like ’man that’s a nice restaurant, I want to eat in there’ but you gotta pay for the meal, bro. How do you pay for the meal? You get yourself a job. How do you get a job? You go to school, or work hard, or learn a trade, or learn, meet the right people, get involved. Make it happen. That’s what the whole concept is about. You gotta do the work. You could even be really smart but if you don’t do the work and apply that knowledge, what are you going to get? You’re going to be a smart guy that’s like ‘I’m smart but I’m broke’.

That’s the thing I learned in my life, man. I’ve been homeless; I’ve starved, for days, literally. I always learned that if I’m not moving I’m not working. If I’m not doing the right things in my life then I’ma have a hard time, and I’ve had a hard time when I wasn’t doing that stuff. So that’s what The Dream Is Free is about. Wake up, stop playing around, don’t dream, and make plans.

Supreme Science is your next project. When I first heard it I immediately thought of Frankenstein for some reason. What is Supreme Science and what is the concept behind that project?

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Supreme Science is all about Frankenstein (laughs)… Nah, Supreme Science is basically, let’s break down the two words. Supreme, being the highest level, upper echelon of anything. Supreme, almost godly. Science is the study or the actual research of the living, information, or surroundings or nature around us. Just learning it, living it, being it, and learning from it and adapting to it and shaping it.

So that’s the whole concept. The highest form of learning, embracing, the highest form of being us, of being you and being me, and the highest form of sharing that. The highest form of giving your energy to people. That’s what I want people to get from this project. If you listen to every song the way I intended for you to listen to it, you’re going to appreciate it, at the very least. Even if you’re not into the sounds or the style or whatever it may be. See, this record aint about that to me. Some people like to critique that his lyrics were this, this beat was that. That’s fine if you want to do that. It’s fine but to me it’s all about the energy with this record.

It’s more about the messages, the energy, and the concepts I’m trying to bring to people in general, man. If we’re not out here interacting with each other, if we’re not out here treated each other decent then we’re going to fall a part. We see it now. We’re seeing it. We’re definitely seeing it. This is the medicine to Chiraq. This is the medicine to everybody getting killed because it’s nice out. This is the medicine to all the BS politics. This is the medicine to police beat-downs for beating up people for no reason because they don’t understand the system. This is the medicine to all of that. This is what Supreme Science is to me. It’s that medicine.

What has distinguished this project from your older body of work?

This is a shorter project. It’s a smaller project so I think it’s more concentrated than previous work I’ve done. I had the tendency to have super long projects. My first album had 18 songs on it. I’m a workhorse, man. My mind moves constantly because I have a thousand ideas and I wanted to not do that to the listeners. I wanted to take it easy, lay back for a little bit and give everybody something different and a little bit more concentrated and focused on the concept. That’s the biggest difference. As far as messages go it’s pretty much what I been on for a few years now.

What are some surprises of the project? How will this project be one of Chicago Hip-Hop’s breakout albums of the year?

I think in terms of surprises it’s the whole concept of the album. It’s all about energy. It’s all about embracing who you are as a person and people and giving that back and that’s what I think people will be surprised about. A lot of the music I made, those concepts re there but this one’s the most concentrated on that. And as you listen to every song, I think something that you’ll get is you’ll either feel good about something or you’ll feel powerful about something and I think that’s the best surprise. It’ll start getting folks to say ‘I didn’t feel good about who I am or people’, until listening to this music.

What do you hope folks will be able to take away from this project?

Greatness. Straight greatness. Like I said, if you don’t feel good, or powerful, or better about yourself or your homies, or your people or better about our situations. Like I said, throughout all the negative media, negative about the killings, everything that’s going on in the city of Chicago and the world period. If you don’t feel better after listening to this, then I don’t know what I could possibly do besides running into the White House and spazzing out. That’s the next move I could make besides giving you this music. Like, that would be the most extreme thing I could do is taking over the world. The music is the most I could give you that, that medicine, that fight against the BS.

You have a listening party coming up for the release of the party, what will people be able to take away from this event?

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My expectations for that night man, is to give everyone a dope vibe. It’s at an art gallery so that one right there is going to give you a different vibe than a regular Hip-Hop show or house party, where someone is rapping at a concert. It’s at an art gallery so it’s going to be intimate and is going to be very different in terms of the vibe. The energy going to be good, man… I got a couple things planned as far as the way that we are going to present the show. There’s a couple different things we’re doing. The artists I have performing are myself, and the artists that are on the project which are 773, they’re a soul and R&B group from Chicago that did some background vocals on the project. They’ll be performing. Juice will be there. Loose Cannon is doing a beat showcase so it’s just everyone that is on the project.

What we want to do is give everyone the feel of the record, the whole project. I just want everyone that goes there the atmosphere. It’s really about that because I have a lot of people coming out that either don’t normally come to my shows or haven’t been to any of my shows in a minute because I don’t really normally perform in Chicago much. It’s been a while… I’ve been in and out of town so I’m just looking forward to the great energy. That’s really what I think people will get on that night.

Ultimately, when it is all said and done, what will be the legacy of Cesar “Visual” Zamudio? What will people remember you as?

I mean, honestly… I really don’t know what they’ll remember me as but I would hope that it would be something good. Something great, to be honest with you. I used to be afraid of what I could become or what I could do because I knew I was going to be someone that would do a lot. I knew that it was going to be heavy for myself and for everyone around me but luckily these last couple of years I got people around me that understand that. They understand that, they understand what it is and my responsibility that I just have a crazy life in general. That’s what I want people to know and understand about me.

I would hope that at the end of the day they are looking back and are like
‘wow, he had a lot on his shoulders and he was able to give’. That’s what I
really want people to take away is that I’ giving. I want to give and that’s
what I hope people understand because have a to to give and honestly it might
sound funny but, if I don’t give I don’t know what I’d do because I have too
much in me. There’s too much going on in my mind, in my heart, and my
energy that I need to give it out. I need to give it out. I also need people to
help spread it out. That’s ultimately what I need people to get. That I gave
and have to my people whether it be other minorities struggling or to Hip-
Hop culture or open minded people in general, to visionaries, idealists,
anyone like that. Those are my people. Anyone that sees what I’m about
and that’s from a different walk of life that understands what I do.

I just don’t want to be gone one day and for people to say ‘he was a dope rapper and I remember his lyrics and he had some bars’. I don’t care about bars, man… I really don’t. Because I can out-rap some cats but I don’t want to do that anymore. I did that already. I paid my rent battling. I fed myself battling. I used to get beats because I battled. Now I don’t have to worry about any of that stuff. It’s not about that to me anymore. It’s about leaving some actual change and difference. It’s about bridging the gaps between a Lil Durk, a Chief Keef, and a Chance, and a Treated Crew, and an underground cat that no one knows of, and some dude at Sub-T at the open mics, and a Common and Kanye. I want to bridge those gaps. I want to bridge all that because we’re all human beings and I just happen to make music and rap that doesn’t mean that’s us. That’s not me all day. I’m a lot more than that and that’s what I want people to get.

Supreme Sciences drops July 29th via Community Service Records. Visual is also touring the country throughout the end of August. 

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2nd Annual: Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago [Pt. 3 of Series]

This is the third and final installment to our Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago. For those that are not too familiar with the geography in the city of Chicago, there are different artists all over the city’s nine regions and all representing different community areas in Chicago. Gowhere Hip Hop is presenting the “Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago” in the attempt of exposing listeners to different rappers, producers, and even singers from various areas and as a result of this giving you readers a musical taste of what Chicago’s Hip-Hop scene has to offer. It also serves purpose to educate on the different community areas (neighborhoods) in the city of Chicago as means of fostering a greater community as well as unity through the Chicagoland area.

The last installment of this Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago takes a look at what we have referred to as the South region of the city of Chicago. It is composed by the South, Southwest, Far Southwest, and Far Southeast sides of Chicago and will be showcasing artists from these regions. For those that haven’t read part one to Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago, click here. If you haven’t caught up on the second installment click here.

Chicago_community_areas_map

S SIDE

Alex Wiley

Alex Wiley 2 Gif
Reps: Hyde Park

Song: Own Man

In 2013 Alex Wiley made his solo debut with Club Wiley and in 2014 he has allowed us to join him in his Village Party. The Village 777 has been able to evolve as an artists by not only showing us his easy going and laid back side but as well as illustrating maturity and showcasing more about him that we’ve really waited to see as an emerging artist. Wiley has been able to show a personal side to his music in tracks like His Lil’est Nonchalant as well as displaying his lyrical wit in tracks like Own Man and Forever that featured Mick Jenkins. Alex has been improving and stepping up his game because his music has captured the imagination of his listeners. What has made Alex Wiley one of Chicago’s best artists has been his mentality to be at the forefront of innovation and to continue to push the envelope for himself and artists around him.

Vic Mensa

Vic Mensa
Reps: Hyde Park

Song: Children of The Sun

Save Money Army leader Vic Mensa has made quite a splash following the great debut of his first solo project INNANETAPE. Vic was among four Chicago artists selected to form part of the XXL Magazine freshmen edition of 2014. He has also been establishing himself as one of Hip-Hop’s upcoming go to guys as he’s toured with J. Cole & Wale, formed a part of a social experiment with HP computers and Clams Casino on “Egyptian Cotton”, and put out singles to continue to feed his fan base. Two of those singles were Down On My Luck, a track produced by Stefan Ponce with a 90s rave vibe. The other track was a banger produced by Smoko Ono “Feel That”, that continues to grow cult like attention. Vic Mensa is one of Chicago’s most rounded artists, which has made him one of the city’s best musicians as he continues to collaborate with different artists and make various forms of music to continue to build his brand. Vic is on his was to stardom and we hope to follow the emcee on his journey.

Lil Herb

HERBO 2

Reps: Terror Town/South Shore

Song: Fight or Flight

No Limit Herbo has been turning heads with his prolific lyrical abilities. With singles like Kill Shit he was able to showcase that he was one of the Drill movement’s most promising figures. With projects such as Welcome To Fazoland he was able to illustrate that he is more than just a drill artist, he is a student of the game, an emcee and can crush any instrumental that he has graced. His following continues to prosper as through tracks like Chiraq and Dat N*gga he’s been able to showcase that at a young age he can stand with Hip-Hop heavyweights. What has made Herb a formidable figure in Chicago’s Hip-Hop scene has been his experiences as well as maturity that have allowed him to gracefully impact our music scene by appealing to streets and Hip-Hop heads alike.

SW SIDE

Add-2

Add-2
Reps: West Englewood

Song: The Death of Chicago

Add-2 has been on a roll within the past year in dropping project after project and signing to 9th Wonder’s JAMLA label. Jamla is definitely the squad and within the compilation project by the label we see Add’s prophetic wisdom unleashed on Iron Mic. One of the best projects within the last year has been his project Between Heaven & Hell that was produced by Khrysis. Through all the moments of glory Add has also been able to show the pain and emotion he has endured in ensuring the legacy of his loved ones and Chicagoans live on through his heartfelt track “The Death of Chicago”. As one of Chicago’s best pure lyricists, what has made Add-2 one of Chicago’s best artists has been his ability to convey emotion behind the mic and make listeners feel what he is going through as the lyrical genius puts his words into play.

OnGaud

ONGAUD
Rep: Englewood, Bronzeville, Morgan Park

Song: Realer Than Most

Production collaborative OnGaud have been a part of a renaissance to revive Hip-Hop in the city of Chicago. They among various others have formed a part in the reformation of how Hip-Hop has been presented in creating a style all of their own in their pursuit to help bring the golden age Hip-Hop era to our city. They are well on their way to accomplishing that as they through their production have given hope to listeners of our buzzing music scene. What has made the OnGaud production team some of the best producers as well as artists in the city of Chicago has been their artistry in combining various intellectual forms of music to create a movement of their own.

Hyype

Hyype 2
Reps: Midway

Song: Black Attire

Hyype has been working tirelessly the past few years dropping material. He’s been on the grind the past few years but of late he’s been really catching the attention of folks. He dropped “Destroy” with Big Koma and dropped his project Divine Minded that included the hit Black Attire featuring Lucki Eck$. He’s been dropping solid and well balanced record that has made his projects very well rounded which has been key as he continues to generate interest for his music. What has made Hyype one of Chicago’s best talent has been his determination as he’s progressively continued to break through ‘the glass ceiling’, he’s been able to silence the skeptics and continued to make a name for himself.

Animuse [Savier & Elishua]

Animuse 1
Reps: Midway/Ford City/Hyde Park

Song: Poster Boy

One of the surprises of the last year or so has been the tandem of Savier and Elishua that together form Animuse. What has made this duo one of Chicago’s most formidable newcomers has been the fusion of alternative and gritty forms of music that they have incorporated into their Hip-Hop beats, curated by Savier himself. What has made Animuse one of Chicago’s best talent is their sound and demeanor as they continue to make music that illustrates their personality as opposed to have to follow a path set by ‘poster boys’ of Hip-Hop’s past. They’re making music on their own terms and out of their own accord.

Lil Durk

Durk2
Reps: Englewood

Song: Picture Perfect

The Def Jam signee and OTF Cokeboys member has had a great year. He along with three other Chicago rappers [Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Lil Bibby] formed a part of the illustrious XXL Freshmen cover, which he represented humbly and proudly. He has also continued to hone his craft as an emcee in showcasing his lyrical prowess in his 52 Bars series and continues to put out solid projects such as the case with his Signed To The Streets and Signed To The Streets 2. What has made Durk one of Chicago’s best talent has been humility. He has been able to recognize where he comes from and has used his music to illustrate his hunger in showing us that he wants more and will continue to make his story picture perfect for the world to see.

F SW SIDE

 

NONE 😦

F SE SIDE

Lil Bibby

Bibby 2

Reps: East Side

Song: Water

Lil Bibby has become one the most recognizable voices in Chicago’s Hip-Hop scene since the release of his Free Crack project. Since the release Bibby has been honored as a 2014 XXL Freshmen alongside three other Chicago artists and has been featured on an onslaught of singles with Hip-Hop heavyweights. The kid commands respect every time he’s behind the mic, which has made him a force and one of Chicago’s best talents. His ability to crush Drill/trap and boom bap styled beats has illustrated the passion he has to become a legend of Hip-Hop and one of Chicago’s elite emcees.

The Bennett bros [Chance & Taylor]

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Rep: Chatham

CHANOO

Song [Chance]: Acid Rain

Taylor4

Song [Taylor]: New Chevy

A year later we’re still talking about Chance’s Acid Rap and about the emergence of young Taylor Bennett through his projects The Taylor Bennett Show and Mainstream Music. When it comes to Chicago Hip-Hop the Bennett’s are the most respected family as they’ve been embraced by the city and have also showed the love back in the #SaveChicago initiative they’ve formed part of in advocating for peace and for violence to cease in the city. Two of Chicago’s most promising sons have been Taylor and Chance Bennett and they’ve done this through taking risks with their music and seeing the success of their attempts. Chance earlier this year was honored as one of twelve XXL Magazine Freshmen of 2014 alongside three other Chicago artists Vic Mensa, Lil Bibby & Lil Durk and was featured on huge releases with Hip-Hop and R&B’s elite. Taylor Bennett has also launched himself into national prominence through touring and his methodical releases via MTV and various other renown platforms. What has made Chance and Taylor two of Chicago’s best artists is their experimentation and risks with their music. Chance has become the face of Chicago’s Hip-Hop driven youth movement. Taylor has grown into his own as he too has become one of Chicago’s most prominent upstarts and leaders of a new generation of musicians advocating for their communities and fighting for empowerment. The Save Money Army members have given this city hope, the biggest gift we could’ve asked for.

Vic Spencer

VicSpencer1
Reps: East Side

Song: HipHop Condoms

Vic Spencer hustles! He’s always putting out solid material and is consistently in the conversation as being one of Chicago’s best lyrical mad men and his track record has proven that. In the past year he’s dropped We’re Still Disappointed with Sulaiman, The Rapping Bastard, Vision Pipes and an onslaught of singles. His dedication and work ethic is what caught the attention of Sean Price, which has now made Vic an official member of his Ruck Down Crew. Vic has grown into one of Chicago’s best artists as a result of his brash lyrical abilities to hop on a track and get the attention of his listeners.

Sulaiman

Suli2
Reps: Wild 100’s/Chatham

Song: Where You From? [Track 6]

Treated Crew emcee Sulaiman has been releasing prolific music within the past year. He and Vic Spencer dropped We’re Still Disappointed, and on his own has dropped Hook, Line & Thinker EP that was produced by Doc Da Mindbenda as well as dropping The Mogs, a project of material recorded between 2012-13 that many figures that have become his Chicago Hip-Hop family. He’s also been dropping several singles such as Big Sh*t and Last Breath, a pop/alternative Hip-Hop track with fellow member Mathien of Local Nobodies. Suli has been able to come one of Chicago’s best artists as a result of his prolific lyrical abilities that have enabled him to give us phenomenal Hip-Hop and the renaissance of pure lyricists in our music scene.

A-Villa

AVILLA
Reps: East Side

Song: Church Movie

Adrian Villagomez [A-VILLA] is one of Chicago’s elite beatsmiths. What has distinguished his sound has been a golden age, boom bap style that has attracted some of Hip-Hop’s elite pure lyrical geniuses to offer their services on his records. He’s produced tracks for Elzhi, Roc Marciano, Reks, and countless others. A-Villa has been able to become one of Chicago’s most respected producers as a result of his professionalism and as a result of the appreciation that he has for Hip-Hop culture. Days of glory are ahead for this exceptional Hip-Hop composer as he prepares for the release of his producer album Carry On Tradition under the Closed Sessions umbrella.

Mick Jenkins

Mick1
Reps: Burnside

Song: Martyrs

Mick Jenkins was put on this earth to inspire and empower a generation of listeners awaiting a new renaissance of artists and musical geniuses in a city scarred by violence. Mick Jenkins has been at the forefront of Chicago’s lesser-known renaissance that through prophetic wisdom and prolific lyrical abilities has been able to raise awareness around issues that haven’t been addressed and through this start a conversation to abolish some of the injustices that he has encountered. These issues have addressed in tracks such as Martyrs and most recently Treat Me Caucasian that have become conversation starters to not only demonstrate Mick’s wit but also to illustrate so of the atrocities that continue to occur in our communities. A year ago Mick released Trees & Truths and this year he is slated to release his project The Water[s]. A year later one thing has remains the same about Mick, the FreeNation Rebel Soldier has been able to become one of Chicago’s best artists as a result of his prophetic lyricism and leadership abilities that has made him one of the most respected upstarts in our city that continues to be heard as he echoes empowerment to the masses and continues to reflect on the legacy he aspires to leave, a legacy that he is starting to cement as a result of the renaissance of hope his music has established.

2nd Annual: Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago [Pt.2 of Series]

This is the second installment to our Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago. For those that are not too familiar with the geography in the city of Chicago, there are different artists all over the city’s nine regions and all representing different community areas in Chicago. GoWhere Hip Hop is presenting the “Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago” in the attempt of exposing listeners to different rappers, producers, and even singers from various areas and as a result of this giving you readers a musical taste of what Chicago’s Hip-Hop scene has to offer. It also serves purpose to educate on the different community areas (neighborhoods) in the city of Chicago as means of fostering a greater community as well as unity through the Chicagoland area.

The second part of this Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago takes a look at what we have referred to the central region of the city of Chicago. It is composed by the Central and West Side of Chicago and will be showcasing artists and producers all over these regions. We also will be showcasing talent from the suburbs as a mean of getting out word on artists that aren’t directly from Chicago but have made their presence known through their work, hustle, and dedication. For those that haven’t read part one to Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago, click here.

Chicago_community_areas_map

Central

Tree

Tree Gif
Reps: Near North Side-Cabrini Green Projects

Song: Soultrappin’ (I Believe)

The innovator of the soultrap movement had a great year as he teamed up with Scion to drop his “The @MCTREEC EP”. This past May Tree also toured Europe and released a single called “Look At Me” in commemoration of that opportunity. From a production aspect he has also been very productive in producing singles and projects such as Chris Cracks “TreeSwag” project. What makes MC Tree G one of Chicago’s elite artists is his versatility, his ability to be a great emcee and phenomenal producer which not many artists have been able to accomplish.

WEST SIDE

Saba

Sab Gif EST
Reps: Austin

Song: Secondhand Smoke

PIVOT Gang member Saba has been one of Chicago’s most highly touted upcomers due to his ability to be a great emcee and producer. He can do it all while helping lead Pivot, one of Chicago’s premiere Hip-Hop groups which he believes is the West Side’s first boy band by not doing gangta rap but making N’Sync (In synch) music. Sab dropped a phenomenal project GETCOMFORTable a few years back but has contributed in production and lyricism to help deliver the Pivot Gang’s project “JIMMY” and has released solid singles leading up to his anticipated COMFORTzone project that drops July 15. What makes Saba a force within Chicago’s Hip-Hop scene has been his hunger to continue to improve and develop as an artists while helping others around him grow as well which is exactly what he’s done alongside MFN Melo, John Walt, Joseph Chilliams, DJ Damnage and countless others in establishing PIVOT as a respected force within out city’s music scene.

Logan

LOGAN Gif 1
Reps: Little Village/South Side

Song: Famous

One of the most noticeable dedicated emcees that we have seen in our city’s music scene within this past year has been Logan. He led a successful campaign this past March with his #FEOMOBMarchMadness as he dropped singles every week in March and unleashed Famous EP. The kid isn’t about the fame or glory, he’s about the longevity and making sure his path to stardom is a long and fruitful career as he’s taken his mind off the short term goals and has shifted towards a long term approach. What has made Logan one of Chicago’s best artists has been his wisdom as his experiences have made him ambitious as well as have allowed him to recognize what he can accomplish when he’s focused and determined at the task at hand. The time is now for Logan, his path towards Chicago Hip-Hop’s echelon has begun.

ASA [Spazz & Reelo]

ASA Gif 2
Rep: Humboldt Park

Song: New Places

When I first heard ASA [Spaxx & Reelo] they set themselves apart in my mind as a result of their sound as they mixed alternative and EDM sounds with trap styled beats. What has also set them apart from many other entities or individuals and what has made them two of Chicago’s best artists has been their easy going and laid back sound as they continue to illustrate how series they’ve become to make an impact in Chicago’s Hip-Hop scene while having fun at it.

Doc Da Mindbenda

Doc Gif 1
Reps: Chinatown/Pilsen

Project: Welcome To The GrindHouse

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Doc Da Mindbenda is a part of a collective of producers that reside and work in The GrindHouse studios. For years Doc has been grinding and perfecting the art of beat making but this year has been his most successful as he released his debut full length project “Welcome To The GrindHouse” that featured an onslaught of emcees and artists that have been guests at GrindHouse studios. Doc also produced some phenomenal records for various other artists including “Alright” for Dally’s West Side EP and the soundtrack to Sulaiman’s cinematic noir raps on Hook, Line & Thinker EP. It’s best to say that Doc will continue to grind his way as an elite producer, he’s already become one of Chicago’s elite beatsmiths.

Cadillac Duke

Caddy 2 GIF

Reps: Humboldt Park [Originally from Flint,MI]

Song: Ballin’ Like Ricky

Legion Of Dudez member Cadillac Duke has been on a quest in showcasing his lyrical prowess in singles leading up to his Dirty Bruce project. He dropped a Pop Out Remix on us as well as his homage to legendary Hip-Hop film Boyz N The Hood with his track Ballin’ Like Ricky. What has made Caddy one of Chicago’s best artists is his ability to mix gangsta rap with gritty, eclectic Hip-Hop instrumentals.

Chris Crack

Chris Crack Gif 1
Reps: Austin

Song: CUTS

New Deal Crew emcee Chris Crack has been on a journey to showcase why he is the best in the city of Chicago and he has exemplified his quest through his relentless work ethic. He has dropped projects such as Kitchen In The Bassment, FreeSwag EP, FreeSwag 2 EP, and most noticeably dropped both the MC Tree G produced TREEswag EP, and the JackedTAPE. What has made Chris Crack one of Chicago’s best artists is his work ethic, he’s always working on the next project, single, visual to continue to grow his cult like following he’s been generating. He’s simply been two steps ahead of his peers, not many have been able to accomplish that feat.

Kel Francisco

Kel Francisco GIF
Reps: Lawndale/Garfield Park

Song: Ric Flair

Kel Francisco is relatively new to the Chicago music scene but that can quickly change as he’ll become a more familiar figure as he continues to drop singles and visuals. He’s also been crafting his first debut project the Good Raps EP that features a lot of golden age Hip-Hop production with solid boom bap instrumentals. What makes Kel one of Chicago’s best artists is that he’s a young, determined, and hungry artist that has much to prove and impact to make in this vibrant music scene our city has.

Saint Millie

Millie 2 GIF
Reps: Austin

Song: Smoke Wit Me

Saint Millie’s been making moves and his hard work and dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed. The Treated Crew emcee dropped his project Road To Glory and was also the protagonist of a series Red Eye Chicago did as they followed Saint Millie in a five part series that captures his experiences leading up to SXSW in Austin, TX, the work that goes into being an artists at the music festival, and ultimately the effects and reflection it causes artists following the end of the festival. The culmination of the project and series led to a packed headlining show at Schubas where Saint Millie cocked the show. He’s also working on his project Glory and has been releasing singles such as Get Em High, Money Motivation and Let You Know leading up to the release of the project. What has made Saint Millie a great artist within Chicago’s music movement has been his humility in continuing to stay focused and dedicated amidst any adversity that comes his way in his pursuit of glory.

SUBURBS

Real T@lk

Real Talk Gif 1
Reps: Peoria

Song: The Heist- Sticking Up Sallie Mae

One of the most distinguished lyricists around has been Peoria, IL native Real T@lk. The man is in a class of his own as he has been able to illustrate his experiences in college through his music and projects such as The Talented Tenth 8.0 LP. Real T@lk has become well-defined through his connection to Hip-Hop elite as he’s toured with and opened for Outkast’s Big Boi and Killer Mike. What has made Real T@lk one of the best musicians within Chicago’s respected Hip-Hop scene has been the honesty, wit and integrity he’s been able to demonstrate within his records in exploiting some of the pains of being in college as well as the work and dedication he’s continued to uphold that he learned as a brother of fire and brimstone [ΦΒΣ] as he’s used Hip-Hop culture for service, a service to humanity.

Supa Bwe

Supa GIF 1
Reps: Oak Park

Song: Hurt

Suuuuupa! The LOD and Hurt Everybody member has been making a name for himself delivering positive and uplifting music. He just dropped the Hurt Everybody EP along with Qari and Mullato Beats and was continuing to put out singles before and the project was dropped. He’s a producer, singer, rapper, and engineer, which speaks volumes as he’s always working and putting out good material for his fan base. Supa is one of Chicago’s best artists because he believes in solidarity, in fostering bonds and creating giants, which has made himself a force and innovator in our music scene. He’s giving a reason to Chicago give hope in artists such as himself as through his humility he has continued his pursuit to create a new standard in our music scene and become a visionary figure.

Auggie The 9th

Auggie GIF
Reps: Dolton, IL/Earth

Song: Freakazoid!

Auggie the 9th isn’t your ordinary rapper. Living in an era where rappers embrace the lavish lifestyles his work takes a step back and embraces the common man, as well as the inner geek in us all, which is a reason why he’s been an innovative force in Chicago’s Hip-Hop scene. His #GAWS project isn’t your generic project which is a great example of how creative Auggie The 9th is in allowing us to enter his mind and learn more about the simple things in life that he appreciates through his music. Following #GAWS he’s been releasing singles and visuals leading up to his second project that he is still crafting. Auggie has been one of Chicago’s best artists because his music has transcended beyond the typical Hip-Hop genre, it’s music without a border or restrictions, which is more of a reason to continue to support him.

Jofred Estilo

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Reps: Bolingbrook

Song: Video Tapes

Jofred Estilo is one of the best pure lyricists around and he’s formed a part of the Hip-Hop collaborative Chinza//FLY for many years now as one of the group’s lead emcees. The time for Jofred to become one of Chicago’s elite rappers is becoming a reality as he’s expected to drop his TULPA project very soon. He’s an emcee’s emcee and has demonstrated his lyrical prowess in Chinza//FLY projects as well as on Ask Coach K, a single he was on with Howie Stackz. Jofred is one of Chicago’s elite artists because of his potential to be great, he can stand with the greatest emcees and he commands respect within his lyricism.

Nick Astro

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Reps: Dolton, IL

Song: Lies

Legion of Dudez member Nick Astro raps, producers and even directs. The man can do it all and has brought others with him as he created a Black Canvas Freestyle & Cypher series following his Super 16 project. The next step for Nick is definitely his Light Skin With That Afro EP that he’s been working up to with singles like the Odd Couple-produced “Lies”. Besides the interesting music and cool films Nick has made, what has made him a great music in Chicago’s music scene has been innovation and meticulous thinking as he’s exceeded his accomplishments and has moved on to the next project that he feels will have a lasting impact in his community and amongst his peers.

ShowYouSuck

Wavy1
Reps: Westside/Bellwood

Song: Girls, Nachos

The RAD God is one of the most intriguing figures in Chicago Hip-Hop is LOD and Treated Crew member ShowYouSuck. He makes fun, positive, easy going music that anyone can enjoy and the subject matter behind his music itself is also interesting since he can go from rapping about anime, to food, to wrestling, and can crush any instrumental that comes his way with ease. His DUDE Bro EP project, Radflood Series, and OMPP [One Man Pizza Part] projects  and Gucci Mane music video series have been phenomenal!  He is honestly one of the few artists around that can jump on even the most unordinary ‘prototypical’ Hip-Hop beats and make catchy, phenomenal music out of it. What has made Show one of the best artists in Chicago has been his flawless ability to make music for everyone from trap styled beats to making music with metal bands and making you enjoy the art of music. He is a musician, an artist, an innovator. Putting him in a category or box would discredit his showmanship and dedication as one of the many good guys in Chicago’s respected music scene.

2nd Annual: Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago [Pt.1 of Series]

The Taste of Chicago is regarded as the biggest food festival in the world and is held every mid July in Grant Park. It is an opportunity to people attending the food festival to become exposed to different food from all around the city of Chicago and even the suburbs. This event is great in showcasing different cultures through food and the different Chicago neighborhoods that help create this event.

Here at GoWhere Hip Hop we believe in creating our musical taste of Chicago.
Our city has been booming with different Hip-Hop artists all rising in the attempt to illustrate why Chicago has some of the best Hip-Hop and rising artists. We have compiled a list of over 40 artists all representing different areas and showcasing different sounds that have garnered attention.

These artists acknowledge that they represent one city. North, South, East, and West represent the city of Chicago and the future of the next generation of artists to break out. The current generation of rappers, producers, and singers acknowledge that the streets might have raised them but the city of Chicago is what helped to make them into the artists they are today.

There are different artists all over the city’s nine regions and all representing different community areas in the city of Chicago. This is our second annual “Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago” in the attempt of exposing listeners to different rappers, producers, and even singers from various areas in the city of Chicago. Some of these artists were also a part of last year’s first annual “Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago” and many of these artists have raised the bar and caught our attention within this past year.

Most of these artists aren’t signed to major labels but do demonstrate why their music is a critical element to why Chicago’s Hip-Hop scene continues to thrive. The following artists demonstrate that they don’t necessarily need a major label to make great music that has gotten the music community craving for more Chicago Hip-Hop.

The first part of the series takes place in the north side of Chicago, highlighting talents from the three regions Far North Side, Northwest Side, and North Side.

Chicago_community_areas_map

 

FAR NORTH SIDE

ProbCause

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Reps: Rogers Park

Song: Chicago Style

The Rogers Park native had a breakout 2013 and stellar year with both his The Recipe Vol 2 and Waves projects. Prob has been able to tour, which has gotten him national exposure. What makes Prob one of Chicago’s best is his ability to formulate a winning ‘recipe’ within his records as he mixes various Chicago sounds/influences within his music as well as his ability to collaborate with prominent Chicago emcees to bring about respect and unity through music.

The O’My’s

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Reps: Roger’s Park

Song: Chicago

Chicago’s Rock n Soul band kept working and kept reaching the masses as they dropped their project, A Humble Masterpiece and toured the nation with ZZ Ward. One of the surprises and phenomenal drops they had recently was a collaboration with TDE’s Ab-Soul on “These Days” which signaled to us that Chicago talent can hang and inspire some of Hip-Hop’s future heavyweights. The O’My’s are important to Chicago’s music scene because they embody the soul of the city and empowerment that can be created within a city that’s been scarred by violence.

NW SIDE

Navarro [Formerly Scheme]

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Reps: Hermosa/Humboldt

Song: 5AM En Chicago

Rafael Navarro (formerly Scheme) is one of Chicago’s best lyrically driven and respected emcees. What has made him standout is his Mexican culture, which he has used to illustrate the struggles of Latinos in Chicago. He is a huge representation of Latinos in Chicago and he’s illustrated the love for his culture through tracks like La Clika, his Pocket Full Of Pesos mixtape, among many other tracks. What has made Navarro one of Chicago’s elite is his compassion for his people as well as a passion to continue to elevate the standard within the art of lyricism and remind folks that he creates music without borders, music that illustrates his hardships and adversity he’s overcome.

Rich Jones

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Reps: Old Irving Park

Song: My Year

Rich Jones has definitely become one of Chicago Hip-Hop’s most recognizable faces. He is at many Hip-Hop shows supporting other artists and through this same solidarity has established respect amongst his peers. The Second City Citizens member has been able to become unique through his ability through his ability to harmonize his singing ability with his lyrical prowess.

Pozlyrix

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Reps: Jefferson Park

Song: Chicago Native

Seven Oddz member Pozlyrix has been in the game for a while and has earned the reputation as a respected emcee amongst his peers. In his project Chicago Native he touched upon growing up Native American in the city of Chicago. What has made Poz unique has been his ability to bring talent together as he continues to work to bring new and old generation of Chicago emcees together to unite behind the mic.

Izzy Rhythm

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Reps: Kelvyn Park/Hermosa

Song: Out of Reach

I immediately gravitated towards Izzy’s music once I had heard his track “Malcriado” with Jarred AG.I marveled at the fact that there was this great Latino R&B singer that conveyed so much emotion behind the mic and also possessed good lyricism. Izzy is a great artist within Chicago’s music scene because he’s an upstart that is hungry, devoted, and wants to show the rest of the world how great of an artists he can become if given the opportunity. He is one of the greatest singers in the city that you hadn’t heard until now so listen to his music and give him the opportunity to provide you hope and good showmanship.

Netherfriends

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Reps: Avondale

Song: Joey Vision

Netherfriends has had a stellar year with the release of his P3ACE (pronounced Three-Peace) and his five part Untitled Film Project. He is one of the best and possibly the most interesting musician this city has. The man knows how to make great musician whether it’s a hot track with a HIP-HOPesque beat or a phenomenal rock or indie pop styled track. What makes Netherfriends a unique artists within Chicago’s buzzing Hip-Hop scene has been ability to not be categorized as a Hip-Hop artists or Indie pop artists but great musician as well as his relentless work ethic to collaborate with emcees to create positive and uplifting music.

N SIDE

Benny Nice

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Reps: Lake View

Song: Halos of Smoke

The man behind many of 119’s various Hip-Hop shows is no other than Benny Nice himself whom has formed a part in providing a platform for upcoming artists to be heard. The man can do it all. Raps, produces, engineers and even directs visuals. Back in January he brought his his project “Look What We Started” which was 90% produced by himself. What makes Benny a great talent in Chicago’s music scene is his vision, he is a visionary with various attributes always looking for the next goal to accomplish and the next artists to help give a platform to elevate their talent as well.

The Garcia bros [Jarred, Darrion aka Smoko Ono]

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Rep: Logan Square

Jarred A.G.

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Song: Lanes

Smoko Ono

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Song: Feel That

The Garcia brothers Jarred and Smoko have individually been doing damage within the city of Chicago. Jarred AG has been releasing singles leading up to his Canvas project. Smoko as a part of the Save Money army has been producing bangers for some of Chicago’s buzzing upcoming artists as well as working on his Smoko & Friends project. Success definitely runs in the family as they continue to grind and hustle in our city’s music scene. What has made Jarred AG and Smoko some of Chicago’s best talent is that both these guys are Latinos making moves, men at the forefront of progress

Good Reads: Moebius ‘The Horny Goof’

DOWNLOAD LINK

One of his first works, ‘The Horny Goof’, was a very loose and improvised space-opera style story with a lot of comedy elements, Fetish Fuel, porn (of all types available, and then some), and also plenty of mindscrew. It established a lot of his personal tropes and motifs in later works, especially the ones revolving around the Fatal Major (Airtight Garage, The Fatal Major), and a lot of elements used in The Word of Edena, which has a wonderful Gainax Ending. (h/t) Read the full comic at the link above.

Good Reads: ‘Tomorrow’s God’ by Neale Donald Walsch

AUDIO BOOK: DOWNLOAD LINK

From the New York Times bestselling author of The New Revelations and Conversations with God comes a galvanizing vision of spirituality unlike anything you’ve experienced before….

Humanity is about to create a new form of spirituality on earth. Neale Donald Walsch believes that this New Spirituality will allow humans to express their natural impulse toward the Divine without making one another wrong for the way in which they are doing it…and without killing each other in the name of it. In Tomorrow’s God, Walsch offers compelling reasons why adopting this new belief system is in the best interests of humankind — now.

Tomorrow’s God contains an astonishing prediction, one that comes from an astonishing source: God. Presented as a conversation between God and Walsch, this startling, profound book is offered in two parts: Part One deals with humanity’s current conception of God, and the new ideas about the Deity that will characterize God in our not-too-distant future. Part Two examines how these ideals will be put into place — and how they will impact our lives, and help us to create a newer, better world.

Controversial, challenging, and illuminating, Tomorrow’s God provides both spiritual and down-to-earth advice on what each of us can do to cope with the current world crises — and experience God in such a way that ourexperience of one another will be healed at last.

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