A Billion Young ‘RandomWork’ EP

With a music video and an EP drop, RandomWork, released early this year, A Billion Young are producing tracks any Chicago music head can appreciate. Combining melo beats, choppy vocals, and array of jazz and juke influences, these guys are waking up even the toughest of critics. With notable talent and quality taste, the duo is putting freshness back into the scene raided with heavy breathing mogs over eBay microphones, iTune Playlist DJs, and overly recycled A$AP Mob beats. Something I’m sure all of us can appreciate.

While all six tracks on their RandomWork EP displayed their signature crisp sound, my favorite off the list was “Shonuff” featuring Tokyo Shawn and “Louie“. Something about the girl’s vocals in “Shonuff” made me feel like Spring was approaching and well, like Chicago was done dicking around with all this damn snow.

Two tracks not featured are “Swisher Sweet” and “Lean” which became my personal favorite during my stay in Mexico. Nothing more fitting than bumping these tracks while I downed 40’s with my girls and burned under the sun, essentially becoming the Red Octobers. For more information and music updates from A Billion Young, check out their Twitter and Facebook page.

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Solo “Raised in The 90’s”

“Born in the 80s, Raised in the 90’s…”

Today, the Chicago artist known as Solo released his new track  “Raised in the 90’s“. With this being his new single from his mixtape titled “New Hire“, Solo decided to add a little Chicago soul to this piece. Using the melody from the group Rufus featuring Chaka Khan’s hit single “Stay”, Solo linked up with 90’s Child Productions to revamp the track and bring a fresh style to it. This hot track is surely worth the listen. A little bit of the old, mixed with a little of the new. This is a track to soon be played everywhere.

This is definitely rated as a Camcorder_Banks certified #DOPExHYPExFRESH

#GowhereYouLove

Chief Keef Arrested.. Again

Chief Keef, just two weeks after finishing his rehabilitation stint, was arrested on account of DUI charges stemming from a March 5 incident in Chicago’s very own Highland Park community. Mr. Bang-Bang himself was pulled over for expired tags, until the police officer smelled a stench of marijuana in his car. Keef was then asked to perform a field sobriety test, which he failed miserably.

Sosa was arrested shortly after, but released the next day with a $300 bail.

Kanye West x Rhymefest: Donda’s House

kanyexrhymefest

Launched August 2013, Donda’s House “Got Bars” program is slowly making its mark as the creative hub of our generation. Founded by the legendary Kanye West and led by Che “Rhymefest” Smith. Rhymefest, childhood friend and West’s cowriter, started the “Got Bars” program with the focus on music/lyric composition and performance. This unique program aimed towards 15-24 year olds, prides itself on the “90’s artist environment” where all artists are pushed to become creative mentally and physically.

Backed by the largest names in hip hop, Kanye West and Rhymefest, applicants from different corners of the city wrestled the cold Chicago weather to be part of the Donda Family. As the air grew thicker inside the Ark of St. Sabina, tensions ran high as applicants proved why they earned their title as an artist.

This statement could not be truer than the moment one walks in. Decked in the freshest gear and applications at hand, crowds of candidates huddled in rooms. Nervously waiting, practicing, and watching as judges, volunteers, and renowned entertainment figures moved from room to room. As candidates scanned the rooms, a mixture of excitement, fear, and raw passion filled the air.

From the blurbs of sound coming from the gymnasium, emerging artists battling on the staircases, or the young vocalists humming a tune in the hallway, creative energy spilled from all corners of the building. “You can feel the energy. Every inch of this building is buzzing,” said Donnie Smith, Executive Director of Donda’s House.

With the boom of artists hungry to showcase their talent, Donda’s House prides itself in harboring this type of energy.  However, with limited resources diminishing the edge for creative expression, Donda’s House aims to nurture and give a home to the city’s growing creatives.

“We want to give artists an environment where they can collaborate and really nurture their artistry. In reality to be a great artist, it takes time, dedication, and money. But here we take away the financial hardship and provide our members with premium access to the best in the business,” Che “Rhymefest” Smith noted.

Beyond the high-profile names backing this program, “Got Bars” is more than perfecting your craft as an artist, “it’s about being a better you and letting your experiences shine through your work,” “Got Bars” alumni Diamond Pugh said. Take it from her, she was one of the first to earn her spot in this program.

Born and raised in the Southside of Chicago, Pugh, 21 a veteran at Donda’s House fell in love with music at a young age. After answering an ad for Donda’s House in hopes to pursue music, Pugh not only got accepted but now leads many endeavors for the organization. However, her journey to Donda’s House wasn’t easy, as she too, had to endure the same rigorous audition process.

“It was nerve wrecking being in front of Rhymefest. Not because he is so well known in the industry but the fact that what he has to say won’t always be what you want to hear,” Pugh said, “But he cares and it shows. Being in this program I don’t think I would have pushed myself as hard as I did if it wasn’t for him telling me I could do better.”

The love from Donda’s House is apparent whether candidates are accepted or not. “We care about you and your dreams deeply. This whole process has a purpose, a deep purpose. It’s beyond the concept of making music, it’s about one living up to their potential,” Rhymefest said closing the event. “All of you are talented beyond means and we welcome you all to come back. Regardless if you have been here for a day, a month, or a year, you are all family.”

As the audition comes to a close for its second consecutive semester and the organization continues to grow their programs, it is without a doubt that Donda’s House will soon be at the forefront in the creative community. For more information about Donda’s House, please visit dondashouseinc.org.

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