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.






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.


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.


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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


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.


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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.


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]


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

Combat Jack Show “Common Interview” [Podcast]

The Combat Jack Show podcast is recognized as one of the premiere Hip-Hop podcasts and the latest special guests is Chicago emcee Common. More on the interview below.

90 minutes wasn’t enough time. On the eve of releasing his tenth album ‘Nobody’s Smiling’, Common revisits his days growing up in Chicago, being inspired by Michael Jordan, house music, Chicago mayor Harold Washington, Rev. Jeremiah Wright and how this album addresses the current plight of black on black crime in the windy city. Also, what it means to reunite with No I.D., being haunted by the ghost of Emmett Til and the very real and deep mystical powers of the phenomena known as “Badu Box”. So much wasn’t covered, 90 minutes wasn’t enough, but you won’t hear this type of Common interview anywhere else on the planet.

Jeni Suk “Don’t Let Me Down” f/ IamSu! & AR2

Summertime Chi is officially here which means new tunes on my playlist and crazier breeds of camel-toe ratchets on the CTA. I came across Jeni Suk’s song, “Don’t Let Me Down“, after hearing her “Wildfire” mix on YouTube. After seeing and learning that she not only produces but writes her own tracks, I had to see what’s up. Although I’m not big on the YouTube artist or cover scene, Jeni definitely did werk by collaborating with IamSu! and AR2.

My favorite part was definitely the 0:10 mark. Jeni comes in strong with her soothing vocals and then hits us with some nostalgic feels of summertime flings. Or for me, it brought me back to simpler times when the Chicago camel-toe game wasn’t strong and you know…didn’t give them an outline of an extinct desert animal. But whatever, big ups to my fellow Asian Mami for making this track and repping that yellow talent.

The one downer (and I feel bad for saying it…naaah) is that I wish IamSu! appeared more on the track. Yes it was a Jeni Suk track with ONLY a feature by IamSu! but damn, can we get a little more than 30 seconds? I was so hoping he would come through around the 1:09 mark, the perfect transition from Jeni to IamSu! and then back to Jeni. But like I said previously, Jeni is doing werk. Not many YouTube stars can collaborate with artists and go beyond the realm of that outlet. The fact that she is doing it at the tender age of 22 says a whole fucking lot. So if any of y’all are in California check out her shows. Or if y’all can’t afford that Cali life (like my broke ass), check out her YouTube.


Tinashe x The Hood Internet – One Step Over

Tinashe seems to have a knack for getting the hottest artists on her tracks. First she got ScHoolboy Q on her debut single, “2 On”, and now she has Chicago favorite The Hood Internet. I see you girl.

Having already liked Tinashe’s debut song with ScHoolboy Q and steadily feeling the sounds of Hood Internet since Manifest 2014, I was curious to see how the duo incorporated their own to Tinashe’s usual Pop/R&B vocals. The verdict? The song would be better as a straight instrumental from The Hood Internet.

As a Tinashe track, this song was less memorable compared to her song with ScHoolboy Q. Maybe I was expecting too much from her since she got ScHoolboy Q on but this song just didn’t do it for me. Her vocal abilities were great but I felt like her voice didn’t fit well with what The Hood Internet was bringing. Although she is great at creating catchy tracks, this track just lacked that special UHM (Okay, bad example of trying to convey sound through text but y’all feel me!) Where was that one special moment in the slow jam where you vibed out? For me, I couldn’t find it. But like I was saying, if this track was a stand-alone instrumental it would definitely be a good bump at parties.

And hence…did I fall in love with this track? NAH. Would I listen to them again individually while grubbing on some pizza at 2 AM? YEEEE. Should you listen to this jam anyways? OF COURSE, by all means check it out and do you. This is just the beginning for both Tinashe and The Hood Internet and as a rising name in the game, they definitely have the right connects to bring us even better tracks. Maybe Ty Dolla $ign? The Weeknd? Or my beloved SZA? Guess we gotta wait.

The O’My’s “Chicago” f/ Kevin Coval & Chicago Children’s Choir [Music Video]

Chicago is a beautiful city, from every side it is one magnificent sight. The O’My’s link up with Kevin Coval and Chicago Children’s Choir to pay an homage as well as illustrate the beauty and hope that we see on an everyday basis in this great city. More on the collaboration from Kevin Coval below.

We have a vision and hope for this city, this summer, that we can make Chicago fresher and more just and more equitable. We are building ONE Chicago, countering the vision of the architects and urban planners and mayors who grow the gap between the city of saved and city of the damned. We imagine and work toward ONE city that is de-segregated like the culture we make. THIS is a Chicago tradition too, a mix of House music and The Haymarket Riot, a new public square, for all who are here and ALL who will come.