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Meet deezill, the rapper who is changing the norm in hip-hop

deezill is a rapper who’s effortlessly changing the norm in the music industry for the better.

His self-description reads that he’s a chill, funny guy who likes to be nice to everyone. Down the timeline, he’s done theatre, hence his theatrical nature, and YouTube videos.

Instead of sacrificing originality for fame, he paves the way for other distinct artists by working nonstop towards his dream.

Additionally, deezill pairs introspective lyrics with multi-genre offerings, often using upbeat elements to perk up an individual’s ears.

The themes explore deezill’s inner thoughts, all while giving listeners something to resonate with.

“I like to think of my music as chill,” he told me during our interview.

“Although the messages are melancholic, I always make sure the songs carry an upbeat production. Not to mention, my hooks make my music stand out. It’s never repetitive, but catchy.”

Flipping through his discography, you’ll also come to know that deezill takes a melodic approach when going bar for bar.

Before getting in the booth, he’ll rehearse his work at home, do demo recordings, and listen to them. After making sure that he’s got it down pat, deezill delves into focus mode and tries to relax.

The moniker deezill derives from a nickname he received in high school, which was Deez. From then to now, deezill has been a Kanye West fan.

During that time frame, deezill’s friends called him Deez and Deezy. Fast forward, and Deezill created the pseudonym that he uses today.

The name change occurred because of his love for classic Mercedes, which uses a turbo-diesel engine and the marijuana strain: sour diesel. Plus, deezill wanted to be unique.

If you doubt his love for Mercedes, look at the cover art for his mixtape, Old Sport.

His seven-track effort, Old Sport reels in at twenty-two minutes and fifty-seven seconds. The lyrics see deezill using his signature melodic side to speak about love, self-discovery, working toward his goals, and other things that are weighing in on the mental.

The song “Right Now” would be his theme song because it details what he faces today. You’ll need to listen to get the gist. In turn, deezill hopes that fans get an early 2000’s feel from the music compilation entirely.

Growing up, deezill was always surrounded by music, thanks to his older siblings. This factor ultimately ignited his passion. In the younger years, he lived off his older brother’s iTunes. He’d listen to rap icons like Eminem50 CentFat Joe, and Notorious B.I.G. 

Then, once he reached middle school, deezill started writing raps, often keeping notes on his phone. By his senior year, deezill wrote full songs because he and his friends would always chill and freestyle.

No one took it seriously, but he did. And with time on his side, he became better at it. Eventually, deezill started hanging with others who felt the same. They’d record the freestyles on his voice memo. Sometimes he’d even save them and go back to the songs so he could add more lyrics.

Subsequently, he took audio engineering his first semester in college, which pushed him to take it more seriously. Now, he’s been working on music for over a year.

During our Q&A, deezill unveiled that the journey has been challenging but fun and satisfying.

“It’s not always about the views, but the perception. When someone randomly texts you something they resonate with, it makes my day. It’s cool to be apart of someone’s life but not know them.” he continued.

His inspiration is a family friend named Will. Last year, he went to a family friend’s house, and his other family friend, Will, was visiting home from college.

After the first family friend mentioned their love for rap, Will and deezill started freestyling. Pretty soon, the two made music together every week, even going to the studio to work on some heat.

His latest release, “Slow Motion,” explores the trials and tribulations that come with self-discovery and reaching goals. It’s easy to feel discouraged when trying to nail your dream job, but you’ll be closer to it with a little resilience.

With all the pressure surrounding us, it can be frustrating not to know exactly what you’re destined to do as well. But, “Slow Motion” is an empowering track that symbolically gives the thumbs-up in terms of taking time to reach your end-goal.

“‘Slow Motion’ is about trying to figure out what you’re doing with life,” he says.

The line, “I’ve been moving slow, so what?’ defends the notion that you need to have everything planned out by a certain age. It’s about trying to figure out your path.”

The musical styling was inspired by Chance The Rapper. However, the underlying message was inspired by his friends and the way his life has been after college.

“Slow Motion” is a bubblegum offering full of lush synths, piano loops, kick-snares, and hi-hats. At first, deezill lets a few bars trail off before going in about what’s been on his mind and what he’s observed as he’s working toward his dream.

Then, as the song continues, deezill forewarns doubters, saying, “What ya gonna say/When the ice comes out to meet you?” He also speaks about those who’ve already accomplished what they wanted to.

The line he resonates with goes, “Father times been holding back affection.” because he’s asking what it’ll take to get to the next level.

The music video, directed by Spencer Muhlstock and Hayes Walsh, sees deezill on his skateboard while painting a yellow line. The line is a metaphor for the road that life takes you on and everything that you’re doing to get to where you want to be.

Afterward, expect shots of deezill lying on the ground and running in place over an upward line, playing with yellow paint, having fun with a fish-eye lens, and skating.

When he’s sitting in the sun, the painting symbolizes that you can’t always follow a specific path. There will be bumps along the way.

Check out the visuals for “Slow Motion” by deezill below:

How Chance The Rapper is still winning even after ‘The Big Day’ slander

Chance The Rapper finally dropped his long-awaited debut studio album, The Big Day, this past weekend on July 26, his first project in a staggering three years.

After winning three Grammys for his 2016 mixtape, The Coloring Book, holding arguably the greatest feature on Kanye’s The Life of Pablo, and appearing on dozens of guest features, the hype and build-up surrounding the album alone made the 22-track debut easily one of the most anticipated projects in 2019.

Once The Big Day arrived, however, the reception did not reflect that at all.

We’re talking 22 records with contributions from names as big as actor John Witherspoon, En Vogue, Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, Megan Thee Stallion, Bon Iver, Nicki Minaj, Gucci Mane, and many others and the response has not only been bad, but flat out disrespectful.

For the past 48 hours since the album dropped, ‘Chance The Rapper makes music for’ has been trending everywhere. The joke has not stopped circulating with parody songs and memes attached.

In one sweeping instant, one of the most awaited efforts of the year became the biggest joke and everyone seems to have a punchline to add.

Funny thing, tho? It literally didn’t phase him.

According to Hits Daily Double, Chance’s The Big Day is expected to generate 90,000 to 100,000 in album-equivalent units and 24,000-27,000 in pure album sales, making it Chance’s first effort to debut at the No. 1 spot (his prior project, Coloring Book, was streaming only).

Joke all you want and laugh until your face turns blue, but the expansive 77-minute effort of 22 tracks made the top 200 on US Apple Music. Thus, making the album a huge success.

You know why: because Chance The Rapper is bigger than rap!

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The failure of the internet’s slander to affect Chance’s album’s success is the most recent proof of the magnitude of his platform. If you think Chance is like every other rapper you see around here, you’re sorely mistaken.

Already, although having only dropped four and a half (the Surf mixtape partially counts) bodies of work, Chance is a part of the echelon of the Drakes, Rick Ross’s and dare I say… Kendricks of the world.

From his activism to the bold proclamation of his faith to his roots as a slam poetry competitor, his “audience” is far beyond “cool twitter” or even the rap culture in general.

This man has given a years worth of free groceries and put up a million for mental health in his hometown of Chicago. Not to mention, he bought a dying news publication in Chicago to hire black journalists of color to help provide a much-needed narrative to the region and has fought on the behalf of public schools in Chicago.

What else? He’s married with a kid before the age of 30, likes to hum, and wears Mickey-Mouse jeans. Simply put — Chance The Rapper doesn’t play by rap industry rules. So, not “liking” his music literally doesn’t matter.

Chance The Rapper has an audience that expands past urban inner cities. As you listen to The Big Day, you’ll clearly hear how he markets suburban middle-class families, Christians, and the concept of fun. If some of his album comes off as cheesy it’s because Chance is cheesy and his base is cheesy.

Yes, Chance The Rapper “loves his wife” as the now-viral parody snippet pokes fun at. But guess what, so does a good portion of Americans. Chance may get slandered, ridiculed, and even be the subject of jokes for some time. But at the end of the day — The Big Day — he’s going to have the last laugh.

Catch Chance the Rapper on his  35-stop North American tour supporting his debut album, The Big Day. It kicks off Sept. 13 in San Francisco and wraps up on Nov. 10 in Miami.

According to a press release, “special guests” on the trek are to be announced.

Check out The Big Day Tour poster below and get tickets here.


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on sale this Friday @

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Boss up: Chance The Rapper puts $1 million up for mental health in Chicago

During the second annual SocialWorks summit (2019) — a nonprofit he founded — Coloring Book artist, Chance The Rapper, announced that he is donating $1 million to mental health services in Chicago.

Chance’s donation marks yet another watershed moment in the fight for normalizing mental health in our society. Historically, communities of color experience unique and considerable challenges in accessing mental health service.

Out of the 13.2% of U.S population that identifies as African-American over 17 had a diagnosable mental illness according to a 2014 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Prevalence Mental Health Issues Black and African Americans

In Chicago, which also happens to be the second most segregated city in America, more than 50% of all African-Americans live in neighborhoods in which at least 4 in 5 residents are also black.

While 7.2% of white residents in Chicago live in poverty, that pails in comparison to the 29.0% of black residents do. The black poverty rate is more than four times the white rate and is the second largest poverty disparity between blacks and whites of any metro area. Yet, whenever Chicago and it’s crime rate is brought up, these facts are the last to come up.

Chance recognizes the value in pouring into the mental health of the disenfranchised and has taken the leadership role in making a change.

The donation will cover six different mental wellness providers who will each receive $100,000. In addition, Chance also introduced the initiative, My State of Mind, via SocialWorks aimed at focusing on improving mental health resources in Cook County, Illinois.

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Yesterday we had the pleasure of stopping by our very own New Chance Fund (NCF) School, Plamondon Elementary. With the NCF grant, Plamondon’s incredible Principal, Principal Hammond, was able to build a brand new, state of the art science lab for her students titled “Chance the Rapper’s Innovation Lab.” How cool is this?! ⁣ • ⁣ Swipe left to see recap photos from yesterday’s ribbon cutting at the grand opening of the new science lab! We’re so thrilled to see the change that the NCF grant is causing in our @chipubschools and the direct positive impact these changes have on the students lives. ⁣ •⁣ To make your contribution head to the donate page on our website and #supportCPS #NCFFridays #socialworks

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An example of how this is going to look is the guidebooks they’ve developed. Expected to be made available physically and digitally, they’re engineered to help guide people to the right resources.

Also at the summit Chance announced that his New Chance fund established in 2017, which gave out resources to 20 public schools, has been extended for another year. This year the fund will distribute $2 million to another 20 schools, with a focus on computer science enrichment thanks to help from Google. It’s gestures and investments like these that show dividends in our future generation, so hats off to Chance.

Kanye back in Chicago: 5 major takeaways from his hometown visit

It’s no secret that Kanye claims his hometown of Chicago or that he tributes his influence and success to the midwest city of wind.

You can point to the song “Homecoming” featuring Chris Martin, Donda’s House, an organization that focuses on the creative youth in Chicago, or the name of his youngest child, who was named after the city itself — his affinity for the city is prominent.

However, the Atlanta born and now Calabasas, California resident hasn’t been home and has received a tremendous amount of flack for his absence. But Kanye has returned.

Early this week Kanye came back to Chicago to work alongside Chance the Rapper on his upcoming album and even gave a pair of transparent interviews to longtime Chi-town radio staples 107.5 WGCI Chicago.

In the interview, he spoke on a wide range of topics from the city to Trump and even Drake. From the interview, and from his time in Chicago in general, we’ve combed over and gotten the five major gems from his time.

Here they are:

Kanye reunites with former manager

Back in April of this year, Billboard reported that Kanye split with his longtime manager, Izvor “Izzy” Zivkovic, leading to a later tweet that he had parted ways with co-manager Scooter Braun as well.

To this day we’ll never know if that string of tweets was Kanye being Kanye or if it was a marketing ploy for the release of his album Ye — either way, he was clearly shaking up his inner circle.

Now, Ye is reassembling the team around him.

In his 107.5 WGCI Chicago interview Wednesday, he announced that he was reuniting with another former longtime manager, John Monopoly, who worked closely with him for the first decade of his career and who served as his manager through his first three albums

Kanye apologizes

If you remember earlier this Summer, Kanye made huge waves when, in defending his support, Donald Trump at TMZ headquarters that slavery was a choice.

During his visit to Chicago and the radio program WGCI he did his best efforts to apologize and backtrack those comments. He said to Chicago’s WGCI-FM on Wednesday,

“I don’t know if I properly apologized for how that slave comment made people feel. So I want to take this moment right now to say … I’m sorry for people who felt let down by that moment.”

Kanye Addresses Drake

One of the highlights of this summer was the Pusha T and Drake beef.

In the midst of that beef was Kanye, who many had felt fed Pusha T the sensitive information about Drake’s hidden child since he and Drake had been working closely together on music at the time.

Well, he addressed that, too, straight up saying:

“No, I didn’t.  “Don’t pull me into this conversation. I got major things to do other than telling [Pusha-T] some information about Drake. I honestly don’t care that much.”

He went on to speak on his relationship about his relationship with Drizzy and the future that may or may not lie there. West explained,

“People be around your family and be in your house and this and that, then they get mad about a beat and send purple demon emojis. I don’t play like that, I don’t play in that place. It’s like, look, it ain’t no beef. We’ll reconcile that one day because we got to. We got work to do because these voices are just too powerful.”

Mind you we’re not even one month removed from Drake dissing Kanye when his tour stopped through Chicago.

Kanye still loves Trump

As Ye was leaving the interview, he managed to get hit with a question asking if he shared the same feelings for Trump as Trump did he, who, a few weeks ago, said he was fond of the Chicago legend.

His response: “I like him too.”

Whichever sunken place we thought Ye was in, he still resides there.

Kanye and Chance are working on music

This is actually no surprise.

The Coloring Book artist and Chicago hometown hero made mention of Kanye coming to Chicago to help him with his album back in June, but it seemed a bit more real when Kanye showed footage of them vibing out to a chopped up Michael Jackson sample.

“We had to chop this up for Michael’s birthday,” West wrote on Twitter.

Only time will tell what other ways Chicago will influence Kanye or if his views on Trump will ever change. At the very least we can expect a Kanye-produced Chance album. How bad could that be?

Chance the Journalist: Inside Chano’s purchase of The Chicagoist

After hyping fans of a new album dropping this week only to later backtrack that it’ll not be this week, Chance the Rapper dropped four new songs on SoundCloud wherein which he announced that he has purchased the Chicagoist, a Chicago news site most recently owned by WNYC.

“I bought the Chicagoist just to run you racist bitches out of business,” Chance raps in the lead-off track “I Might Need Security”.

“I’m extremely excited to be continuing the work of the Chicagoist, an integral local platform for Chicago news, events, and entertainment,” Chano later said in a statement through WNYC.

He said that his focus on relaunching the site would be to bring Chicagoans “an independent media outlet focused on amplifying diverse voices and content.”

The Chicagoist, which is a part of the Gothamist family of websites, has been idle since last December when billionaire Joe Ricketts decided to close the website after unionization efforts in the New York offices of Gothamist and DNAinfo led to the termination of local websites in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington.

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Now, with Chance at the helm, the Chicago chapter (Chicagoist) has the opportunity not only to live again but to bring a new perspective.

Chief executive of New York Public Radio (which includes WNYC) Laura Walker, said in a statement to the New York Times, “We are delighted that the Chicagoist assets are finding a new home in the hands of a proud Chicagoan.”

You don’t have to be a fan of Chance to have heard of his activism or heart for Chicago. His donations to the Chicago Public School system are generous and regular, he led a march to the polls for the Presidential election back in 2014 and even goes to city council meetings to make his voice heard. Reviving a publication for the sake of diverse voices is right on par for the kid Chance.

Chance now has the opportunity to groom a generation of journalists of color and although he has absolutely no experience, his influence alone is destined to shake up the playing field.

Chance released three tracks – “Work Out,” “65th & Ingleside” and “Wala Cam” – which are all available on the rapper’s website and streaming services.

In the meanwhile, although initially saying we’ll be receiving an album this week, we’re going to have to wait after he backtracked his original promise on Twitter.

Until then, these four tracks are going to have to hold us over.

Chance the Rapper and Dwyane Wade team up to produce new basketball documentary

Chicago’s history of crime and gun violence has been a point of interest for Hollywood and journalists for a while now.

Whether it’s genuine intrigue or an attempt to contextualize a plight, cameras have been sticking their lenses in the complex city of wind trying to make sense of what’s been going on for over an decade. Friday, February 24th, Chicago natives Dwyane Wade and Chance The Rapper take their tun.

Leaning on Chicago’s rich basketball heritage — littering the NBA with phenoms from Derrick Rose, Jabari Parker, and Jahlil Okafor to the late great Benji Wilson  — Shot in the Dark documents both the popular high school basketball circuit as well as the troubled lives these players often must return home to.

DWade and Chance put their resources together to serve as producers on Orr’s basketball academy program, chronicling their struggles and successes both on and off the court.

The documentary is raw and will pull on your heartstrings as the realities of Chicago’s gun culture are captured on film. You get to see, firsthand, the youth’s struggles, as well as the difference activism makes.

Shot in the Dark was first played at the Black History Month Film Festival for SocialWorks — a charity put together by Chano to empower the youth of the Midwest city of wind and is officially the second entry into the Fox Sports Film Documentary series, Magnify, which chronicles stories at the intersection of sports and culture.

Although he’s synonymous with the Heat at this point, Wade still has deep roots in Chicago. In August of 2016, Wade’s cousin, Nykea Aldridge, was shot while pushing her baby in a stroller near an elementary school in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood.

Even miles away, the Miami resident constantly feels the ramifications of living in this city and understands the importance of creating this kind of content.

Like Lena Waithe’s The ChiSpike Lee’s Chiraq and both of Noisey’s Welcome to Chiraq documentaries, Shot in the Dark will try and make sense of the mindless killing and try to find a solution.

Watch the gripping new trailer below.

Chance the Rapper on Sesame Street reminds us there’s good in hip-hop

I think we should get use to seeing Chance the Rapper…everywhere.

A couple of days ago, Chance made a stir when footage of him attempting to play weatherman for the day surfaced on the web.

He appeared on local Chicago news station WGN as a weatherman to discuss the importance of investing in Chicago public schools and to promote the WGN Toy Drive but it also kind of makes you think: is there anything that Chance can’t do?

Well, last night Tuesday (Dec. 12) Chance shared two videos from his Twitter from the set of Sesame Street, adding new meaning to that very question at hand.

The first clip shows Chance aside Oscar. Fittingly frustrated he says, “Honestly, I’m just tired of people saying my music is trash.” Being that Oscar lives in a trash can I’m sure he was the right shoulder to come to for help.

The second clip shows Chance around other Sesame Street legends like Elmo and the Cookie Monster. Together they give a shout to Chance’s daughter Kensli: “Just got done at work, see ya soon baby.”

This is not the first time Chance has done something major for his daughter. Around Halloween this year he appeared in a Kit-Kat commercial featuring Kensli as a mini lion and he dedicated his DJ Khaled collaboration on Grateful to her as well, making a kids’ anthem on a major hip-hop album.

As a fan of Sesame Street, it’s dope seeing a frontrunner in hip-hop showing that you’re not too tough to show some love. In an age where the depressing headlines are legion, it’s dope to see rap promote positivity for kids.

10 things you should never do when you’re in Chicago

It could just be my narrow perspective, but I feel like everyone always has something to say about Chicago.

The deep dish is challenged whenever someone gets a chance, people who have never lived in the city love to speak for it, and somehow it’s become the scapegoat for every act of violence against African American lives.

The rise of drill music hasn’t helped either. Unintentionally I’m sure, but producer/videographer DGainz was instrumental in reflecting that limited perspective of Chicago.

We’re talking 308,293,331 views on YouTube from shooting mega-hits like “Don’t Like” and “Love Sosa,” painting a picture of a prominent but small fraction of what Chicago represented.

You bring up Chicago to anyone and the first thing that comes to their mind is bang, bang.

I figure people buy into what they hear simply because they have not heard any other side or seen anything else represented to contrast their preconceptions with.

So I figure I’d give you mine — an alternate reality to what you’ve heard in the news or on songs from someone who’s lived here for the past three years.

And what better way to tell you what I know about a city than telling you what I learned not to do in the city. Here are my top ten things you should not do in Chicago.

#1: Do not false claim Chicago.

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Let me start off by saying that I was not raised in the city of Chicago. I’ve only moved here recently and by no means am I claiming to have been from here at any point in my life.

You see how easy that was?

Yet somehow that’s become a main point of contention for Chicagoans and the suburbanites and implants who come here.

The people from Chicago take living here with a sense of pride. Yeah, it’s some bullshit sometimes. But it’s their bullshit. When it’s poppin’, it’s poppin’ and when it’s not, they bundle. Why let anyone just claim that?

It’s a pass that will be checked and snatched. Towns as close as Evanston — less than ten miles out — don’t get to claim Chicago.

So, if you are to ever move to Chicago and fall in love with the city (which is inevitable), don’t suddenly get amnesia and forget where you came from, regardless of how long the stay.

#2: Do not call Chicago ‘Chiraq’.

The fastest way to be a goofy in Chicago would be referring the city to “Chiraq.”

That nickname has not endured well here and it’s actually pretty bogus.

All it does is perpetuate a culture that Chicagoans are fighting to suppress. Don’t ever do that.

#3: Do not call The Willis Tower ‘The Willis Tower’.

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Want to know another way to stick out like a sore thumb? Call the Willis Tower it’s proper name.

No, they literally don’t care who changed it when and why. It’s the Sears Tower.

#4: Do not order chicken without mild sauce.


Ah yes, the condiment exclusive to the windy city: mild sauce.

Don’t ask what the ingredients are or what it is. Just know that you would be out of your mind to eat a piece of fried chicken without it.

There are two main chicken spots: Harold’s (Southside) and Uncle Remus (Westside). Both have it, so there is no excuse.

#5: Do not put ketchup on a hotdog.

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It’s an unwritten rule in Chicago that if you put ketchup on your dog you’re not a Chicagoan.

President Barack Obama has said that once you’re past eight years old, ketchup does not belong on a hot dog. Vienna Beef executive Bob Schwartz feels so strongly about this that he titled his hot dog history book Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog.

It’s just something you don’t do.

#6: Do not leave the house without a jacket.

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Ignore the weather channel. Ignore the app on your phone, ignore what it currently feels like outside, and listen to me. Take your jacket.

The weather in Chicago changes like a wardrobe. You’re better off stuffing your jacket in your book bag than being caught in the rain, snow, or hail.

Also, the weather randomly drops out of nowhere. You can see the sun and be enjoying a seventy-degree day and after lunch suddenly find yourself chattering from thirty-degree wind chill.

On top of that, whatever building you go in is just as wrong as the weatherman, often guessing the temperature wrong. Cold when it’s hot, hot when it’s cold.

Take a jacket always.

#7: Do not explore an unfamiliar hood.

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This is advice that should be taken anywhere, but especially in Chicago. This is not the city to just go exploring for the heck of it.

With nearly 3k shootings in Chicago so far this year, it’s smart to have someone with you if you’re going to a place you’ve never been before. Whether it be a party, art show, or whatever, don’t go venturing off somewhere that’s unfamiliar to you.

It’s just a matter of moving the right way and being where you’re supposed to be. “Stay Safe” is how they say goodbye in Chicago because lacking ain’t always what you aren’t carrying, it’s being where you shouldn’t be.

#8: Do not answer to ‘Check it out’.

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Your instincts should always be keen and on point so hopefully this advice doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, but you should never answer to “check it out.”

In these instances, said individual asking for your attention most likely does not have your best interests at heart and it would be best for you to move along.

Again, beckoning to a stranger’s call goes against conventional wisdom yet it’s still important to state that those are trigger words meaning get the heck out of dodge.

#9: Do not clout thirst at functions.

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The art and music scene in Chicago is small and now that some of the biggest names atop of the music industry are from Chicago, everyone is bound to have known or seen someone with notoriety at one point in time.

Good. Keep it to yourself.

Do not be the guy who name-drops or who is over-the-top about networking and “building.” Such antics of thirst do not bode well and will have you out here looking really dumb.

#10: Do not step on my G Fazos.


“Do your thing just don’t step on these all white G Fazos Gang …”

G Herbo aka Lil Herb renamed and really rebranded the Nike Air Force One as the G Fazos and made them immortal in his 2015 hit “Rollin” off his mixtape Ballin Like I’m Kobe.

More than a song and some shoes, stepping on someone’s shoes in Chicago is a no-no and is viable cause for a fist fight.

Whether it be G Fazos, J’s, or some slides, watch where you step at all times.

Knox Fortune steps outside the producer’s studio on glittery debut album ‘Paradise’

Knox Fortune has been hovering around the margins of the Chicago music scene for a minute now.

He has produced for Vic Mensa, produced all of Joey Purp’s iiiDrops, and sang the chorus on Chance the Rapper’s “All Night.”

His hip-hop production is soulful and instrumental, drawing from all the genres on offer and Knox Fortune’s beats helped make Joey Purp’s iiiDrops one of the best indie hip-hop releases of 2016.

Now Knox Fortune, real name Kevin Rhomberg, has stepped out of the shadows of hip-hop production and released his own solo album Paradise.

Anyone who has paid attention to Chicago’s indie hip-hop scene will undoubtedly know Knox Fortune the producer, but Paradise is much more rooted in hazy synth-pop and indie rock than hip-hop, at least on the surface.

From the opening track “No Dancing” it’s clear that Paradise is somewhat of a departure from Rhomberg’s hip-hop production.

There’s this quality that runs throughout Paradise, a lightness to the music and lyrics, that feels like one big musical embrace. Although it came out at the end of September, Paradise is one of those nostalgic summer records, recalling the good times while recognizing we still may be living in them.

“No Dancing” is a track about a break up where Rhomberg bemoans the loss of someone he cared about, singing,

“Will I ever see you again?
Was this our last dance at our last dance?
Sometimes I wish I could see you again
But I know, I know you don’t”

And despite the subject matter and song title, you’re probably going to want to dance to “No Dancing.”

Rhomberg is really fucking good at making irresistibly pleasant, emotive music. Exemplified most by the lead single off the album “Lil Thing,” which sort of crystalizes his entire sound.

“Lil Thing” is a prototypical summer track that goes hard for the nostalgia points,

“We were just 19, alive and new
My heart can’t keep from beating
It does it for you, it does it for you”

Rhomberg is one of those musicians that is clearly able to do whatever he wants instrumentally, but keeps the music from getting overly complex.

It makes for super fun listening as he goes from the bouncy indie R&B number “24 Hours” to the pop punky “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It.”

The end of “I Don’t Wanna Talk About it” ends with a Black Flag-esque guitar riff then fades out into the haze of “Strange Days.”

This transition exemplifies Rhomberg’s diversity as an artist as he can basically do whatever the hell he wants.

His influences are clearly legion, everything from Animal Collective, Beck, Toro y Moi, and indie hip-hop can be found on this record, but he combines these influences in a way that doesn’t feel overbearing or complicated.

And for all the different sounds on Paradise, it’s an incredibly cohesive record.

Rhomberg told Rolling Stone last week about being able to make his own music outside the hip-hop producer’s studio,

“With me there’s no compromise. I can do whatever the fuck I want. It was so freeing after doing all this crazy production work for other people just to be like, ‘That’s what I like and that’s what’s going to do.'”

This freedom allows Rhomberg to drift around through different genres and styles and he relishes the opportunity to do whatever the hell he wants and make his own music. Rhomberg told Rolling Stone,

“People would be like, ‘Your solo stuff is really gonna be the thing for you. I’m telling you’ and I’d always be like, ‘Yah. Maybe.’ But then after ‘All Night’ it was like I’ve been given this crazy opportunity. I have a Grammy. I have the ability to contact people I like if I need their help now. If I weren’t to take full advantage of it I’d be tweaking on myself. I was trying to step away from that dude who is locked in the studio producing all day.”

For a dude that’s made his name off hip-hop production, besides some drum mixing and bass lines, there’s very little hip-hop on this album.

So when Joey Purp comes on in “Stun,” which otherwise sounds like it could have made the most recent Toro y Moi record, it provides a pretty cool contrast in styles between Rhomberg’s indie-pop (yes this is a term now) and Purp’s monotone delivery.

The ability to bring worlds together makes Rhomberg an impressive and interesting hip-hop producer and also what makes Paradise such a compelling record.

For as grounded and straightforward as most of the album is, Rhomberg clearly let it go a little bit for the ultimate track “Spill,” a slow-rolling number with bubbling drums that calls Animal Collective to mind.

For someone who just wanted to diversify his sound a little bit and make his own music, Knox Fortune has made a remarkably polished first album in Paradise.

Surely he’ll keep cranking out bangers for the Chicago hip-hop scene, but his solo work deserves all of our attention.

J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League says Chance the Rapper stole their beats, owes bread

There Might be some dread-head n****s in Chance the Rapper’s lobby soon.

Lil Chano is having some payment and recognition issues with American production team, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League.

Ironically the track that’s causing the drama is the Grammy Award-winning Coloring Book track, “No Problem.”

According to the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, their company was hired by Chance to reimagine a sample for which they have not received any payment, publishing, or production credit for.

Don’t know who the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League is? They’ve been poppin’ since 2004 and have collaborated with Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, and more.

They have plaques, they’re salty, and they want their money! After Chance took to Twitter regarding the Soundcloud situation. The League flamed him.

Ouch! The roasting continued as the League’s Twitter fingers kept pulling 140 character triggers. They even brought up Chance’s baby mama situation.

The league is savage af. They even posted the article regarding the arbitration.


Some fans, in replies to the ghastly tweets, even mentioned the idea of getting Lil Chano on the phone instead of beefing on Twitter.

The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League took the advice and after getting Chance on the phone the rapper told the production gang to either sue or pull up.

The tweet did get a reply out of Chance the Rapper. I guess men of God are not afraid to shoot the hands.

So wait, what’s really good? Is the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League the ones who are playing games? Apparently, the production duo Brasstracks is credited with “No Problems” but J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League member Cam O’bi is credited as a songwriter on the Grammy Award-winning track.

This is not the first time the production company and the Chi Town rapper have gotten into beef regarding recognition and payment.

The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League was also tight earlier this year when Chance the Rapper refused to pay for the “Cocoa Butter Kisses” beat on Acid Rap. 

This beef is type crazy, could these allegations be true about Chance the Rapper not showing respect to producers? Is the Chitown rapper stealing beats?

It seems as if the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League just wants recognition and for Chance to admit he was wrong. They don’t give one flying fuck about the money.

So, Chance whats really good?