Chicago emcee and JAMLA artists Add-2 takes us on a journey to LA and talks us about his experience at a listening party for an LRG EP, the positive vibes on the West Coast as well as his connections in the city of Los Angeles in relation to recording his music.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
Reps: East Side
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]
Song [Chance]: Acid Rain
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
I see what you did there.
What more of a fitting day than Independence Day to release a project called “Be Free”. And if the connection wasn’t clear right away, it definitely is with the dope cover art that illustrates where Cam Be & Josh Free rep: Chicago, USA.
We’ve been following Cam & Josh for a minute here on GWHH. Both are talented videographers if you haven’t yet noticed, but we’ve also been following their musical endeavors since their involvement in the greater Chicago collective, Untitled. The two have continued their soulful rhymes for this 12-track full-length free download, Be Free, that we’re proud to say is GWHH-Sponsored.
The duo’s first preview was the gripping “U”, which features stellar rhymes from the two over a great, raw production and concludes with one of J. Ivy‘s most stirring spoken word verses (and that’s saying something for him). “U” is the first full track on Be Free, following a dope instrumental that sets the tone as the intro. In fact, there are a few instrumentals… rather, Camstrumentals — short interludes produced by Cam Be that are all on point and splice the project at the right times.
I must stress that I’m vibing with the full 32-minute listen from beginning to end; I would just like to share the 3 tracks that jumped out at me as much as “U”. Perhaps you can skip to one of these if you’re pressed for time before your BBQ or rooftop party today… (before I digress…) “OK” contrasts a range of angst and anxiety with a soulful hook and a feature from Jamla Records’ Add-2 that could be the perfect song to combat stress. “War” features close collaborator Jamaar J and centers on global issues and mixes in views against the systems created to destroy us, and to drive it home, various chilling news clips make for the song’s outro. I know I’ve said this numerous times in Gowhere’s history, but any hip hop song that incorporates a news clip a la the intro to ‘Pac’s Me Against The World (my first experience with this), is an instant *Tibs Fav. Finally, the project’s outro: “You Changed It All” is about growth, features the most complete mix of live instrumentation, my favorite female vocals on the project, and serves as an overall, excellent exclamation point to Be Free.
By now, you know I suggest the stream/download so I’ll end it on one more connection you may or may not have solved yet. Be Free — the clever combination of the duo’s fictitious last names, but it’s really more than that. A mantra we can live by everyday that resonates even more powerfully today: Be Free!
Tonite, Sub-T is the place to be. The Boy Illinois headlines an early show starting at 7:30 that also includes one of my other favorite lyricists out the Chi: Add-2. Also on the bill: TheKidWhoRaps, Effen, G B.A.L.L., Ka’Ron Burgandy, Artistic Brigade, and DJ Chris ILL. We’re proud to sponsor another Make-A-Mogul Entertainment event and hope to see you there!
Catch up on the latest releases from The Boy Illinois & Add-2 below.
Add-2 and Nitty Scott MC join forces on “Partners In Rhyme”. The Ricky Dubs produced single will be on Dubs’ forthcoming project Señor Dubs.