#gowheredoesSXSW Recap

Every year SXSW gets bigger and bigger, but did this year get too big and crazy? There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I hope that made sense.

As expected, there was music everywhere. People lined the streets hoping to get a glimpse a celebrity or catch a free show.  Everything from Lady Gaga showing up at the Doritos Stage, Ludacris at the Dickies, Rick Ross bringing Erykah Badu to help him close down the Fader Fort Saturday night, SXSW was very sure to please.

Video by Lerin Lockwood

And of course… there were the parties. Nothing like coming up to the Illmore to see Steve Aoki and capping the evening off with G-Eazy.  The parties went on till 6 in the morning, even when the liquor ran out closer to three.  Moving from the previous year’s mansions, this year was at a youth center. It was a little bit of a throwback vibe. I almost felt like I was at my high school’s homecoming. The line up was still sick though and of course, Steve Aoki caked some concert goers.

Isaiah Rashad Thursday night at the SoundCloud House.
Isaiah Rashad Thursday night at the SoundCloud House.

Some of the hottest house parties were Soundcloud who introduced the public to some great hip-hop acts that will really make some big waves this year.  Soundcloud hosted a laid back but really solid set Thursday night with Ab-Soul, Isaiah Rashad, Chuck Inglish, and the perfect ending with Schoolboy Q. During the daytime, the Spotify House was solid. Filled with interactive demo walls of their upgrades to Spotify, trivia games, free food and drinks, and brand new sounds from up and coming artist Vancejoy.  I love coming back from Austin with a filled playlist that I will be sharing later this week.

Schoolboy Q performs “Man of the Year”

Live at the Fader Fort (Video via Fader Fort)

Always a go to spot, with the 3 block line to prove it, the Fader Fort opened and closed hard bringing in unthinkable lines everyday. From old school smash hits like Jeremih’s Birthday Sex and Jojo’s Leave Get Out, to new songs by Chromeo, Vic Mensa, and lastly Rick Ross shutting down the fort, Fader has become an institution and definitely a festival within itself. //instagram.com/p/ljKjD5CnwF/embed/ Then there was’s Ludacris’s Friday night show.  He came out so hard the soundstage basically imploded forcing a 10 minutes intermission at Dickies. He made sure to come even harder, playing throwbacks like Stand Up and Whats your Fantasy, I think this my favorite show. Thanks BMFMedia for hosting.

photo credit: Childish Gambino IG
photo credit: Childish Gambino IG

Childish Gambino seemed to have OWNED SXSW.  Everyday he had something. From his appearance at the MTVU Woodies, his Hackathon, and his Saturday night free show in Butler Park, Gambino owned it all.  I didn’t get to check out all of his shows (I know, I’m kind of bummed), but I will be seeing him in concert on Wednesday in Chicago. Though Wednesday night’s tragedy had a looming presence on Thursday’s shows and with Tyler the Creator inciting a riot and later being arrested at the airport proves how out of hand anything goes at SXSW. Would I do it all over again? Yes, absolutely, because seriously I wouldn’t know where else I could experience anything like this. Every year is a wild card. As always, follow us on Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.

Srirachana at the Fader Fort
Srirachana at the Fader Fort

Would You Like A Tour? #GWHHReview

On Thursday December 12th, 2013, Hip-Hop superstar Drake took Chicago, his self-proclaimed favorite city to perform in, by storm. Proving that he is no competition to his peers whatsoever, Drake’s “Would You Like A Tour?” was a glorious and triumphant moment for Hip-Hop, representing the pinnacle and peak of success and acclaim.

 The show was extremely timely and punctual, something I applaud. The doors opened at 7 and immediately after, the show began with PARTYNEXTDOOR as the opening act. I arrived to the United Center at around 7:35 amidst a massive turn up session led by the turn-up king himself, Future. Future gave the crowd the hype and energy needed to fully enjoy what was to come later. Among his many urban hits from “UOENO” to “Tapout” Future was an extremely fitting and enjoyable opening act. It was like the perfect pre-game to an unforgettable night that was to come.

Next, the soulful Miguel came out and crooned the audience with his Prince-inspired stage presence and set list. Electrifying the stage with crowd favorites from “Adorn” to the platinum selling Mariah Carey collaboration “#Beautiful” Miguel was everything an R&B performer should be; heartfelt and talented. He charmed the ladies with his smile, related with the fellas with his music, and impressed us all with his unique display of talent. It was almost as if the show was about Miguel.. As if we all came to see him. That is, until Miguel left the stage and Drake entered..

It was like watching something that you only see in your dreams or on some crazy movie about success that you never attain right in front of you. Aubrey Graham took the stage by storm performing all of his hits from the beginning of his already iconic career to his recent release “Nothing Was the Same.” Even though Drake, himself, didn’t perform much music from his old catalogue, he made sure to have the DJ play the old songs we all love for the nostalgia. With such a catalogue so early on in his life and career, it was astounding to put into retrospect the amount of hits this man has. At one point, Drake brought an elderly woman from the suburbs of Chicago named Pam to the stage. Drake crooned her with “Hold On, We’re Going Home” and had us all laughing as he humored her with the nickname “Pam… from the Suburbs.” Drake was relatable, likable, wild, entertaining, and most of all, game changing. The stage set, reminiscent of something form outer space, brought to life the content matter of “Nothing Was the Same” giving it even more of an ethereal and tangible feel. The beautiful Miss Jhene Aiko accompanied Drake on stage for fan favorites “Come Thru” and “From Time” both of which were obvious highlights from the show. From being on his “Worst Behavior” to the shout outs given to the fans in “305 to my City” the show truly erupted with explosive energy for the finale “Started from the Bottom.”

“Now we here”.. Days later still caught up in the rapture of the stage presence and energy displayed by Drake. An unforgettable night indeed from Hip-Hop’s finest.

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

Soundset 2013 [Recap]

Can’t believe a whole week has gone by since Rhymesayers Entertainment held it down in Minnesota with their annual Soundset festival. A festival which in my opinion is one of the more entertaining festivals to go to each year. That mainly due to the amount of activity taking place inside Canturbery Park. It’s literally the Hip Hop culture down to the tee. You got some of the biggest names in Hip Hop holding it down on several stages mixed with an array of beautiful cars lined up for the car show, and a live view of some of the more respected (street)artists in the game throwing down on an Ironlak sponsored P wall. You can bet that you’ll be instore for a great time if the climate works in your favor.

Unfortunately for me…the weather didn’t play nice this year. 2013 forced out the jackets and hoodies as a cold and gloomy atmosphere took over pretty much the entire day. Still that wasn’t going to slow down or stop anyone from having a good time. So I made my rounds from end to end exploring, observing, and listening. This year I was fortunate enough to have caught a bit of every artist I was most looking forward to seeing take the stage. A hand full of them putting on a great set. Artists like Juicy J and Joey Bada$$ were among the few talents who kept a hype crowd. Other acts like Schoolboy Q and Mac Miller lost a few of us throughout their set.

Juicy J pretty much lived up to the performance I expected out of him. He kept his character and really got the crowd turned up performing hit records such as “Bandz A Make Her Dance,” and Three 6 Mafia classics like “Stay Fly.” Artists Joey Bada$$, Dizzy Wright, and A$AP Ferg were among some of the more impressive acts, who much like Juicy J kept me in tune throughout their entire sets. It’s too bad I can’t say the same about Mac Miller or Schoolboy Q who both lost me and a crowd of others throughout each of their sets. In my opinion Mac is just a terrible performer and Schoolboy Q just had his tracking all out of wack. I don’t know about y’all….but I expect every performer to come with the hype and keep every fan engaged at an event as big as Soundset.

Overall I’d give the Rhymesayers crew a thumb and a half up for putting on yet another well executed fest. Their issues with press check in keeps the other half of the thumb however. Seemed as if they had quite a handful of issues in that department. Next year is another year though. I look forward to returning each May for several years to come. I only see this festival getting bigger and bigger as each year goes by.

Ant’s Week’in Raps

After a hiatus last week, ya boy is back with some new tunes that dropped throughout this week. So no worries if you didn’t get a chance to tune yourself in. I gotchu covered. Go ahead and peep game below this time around I bring you new releases from Pavy, Curren$y, Fonz-E Mak, and more.

Pavy “On My Lord”

 

Pavy sure brought the heat. This new release of his entitled “On My Lord” is one of the coldest releases I heard all week. Oh It’s on for 2013. My mans about to come up tough and hard. So y’all be sure to lookout, because there’s a bunch more cold shit on the way. That I know. Pavy’s “Lord Jesus” video masterpiece to drop real soon.

Curren$y “Viva La Life” f/ Corner Boy P

 

I’m definitely more up on spitter than I am on Fab or Push. So for that I say Curren$y’s version of “Life So Exciting” > the original. To each it’s own you know. Don’t really give a f*ck what you think either. Just grab the download. It’s Jet Life mothaf*ckas!

Fonz-E Mak “Alarm Clock” f/ U.G.

 

I knew this one was making my end of the week list after I gave it that first listen. Fonz and UG of the 2008ighties crew brought tight rhymes over a smooth bumpin’ groove on this release entitled, “Alarm Clock.” Bet I’m hella looking forward to more from these youngins this upcoming year. Just like I believe Pavy is going to have a great year, I believe the same for this young clique of Chi city MC’s. So to my homie Fonz I say…bring it this year g. I’m looking out for you. I got you. Y’all go ahead and enjoy this now. Tune up!

Joey Bada$$ “Unorthodox” (prod. DJ Premier)

 

When the legendary DJ Premier gives you a hot beat such as this “Unorthodox” jawn, there’s now way you’re delivering anything less than murk. So you already know what to expect with young Pro Era rapper, Joey Bada$$ on the track. Peep game above and grab that CDQ.

Y’all be sure to enjoy the heat and have a safe and happy weekend. Turn up!