“It feel like NY, Summertime Chi” What we’re listening to this week…
“Ain’t no religion sh*! / Chi-raq look like the Middle East / And White kids still with problems we never knew to bother / Arguing with they dad, we pray we ever knew our fathers”
Roses in the concrete. In the midst of the slow and ceaseless death march of slain Black bodies eminating from just a handful of neighborhoods on Chicago’s South and West sides, this is shaping up to be an incredible year for the Windy City’s contribution to hip-hop. From the ultralight light beams of Kanye’s The Life of Pablo, to the soul-filled ballads of BJ the Chicago Kid’s new album, to the hopeful spirit of the movie Barbershop 3, to the uplifting sounds of the Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book…the city is very much alive and is fighting for its soul.
The latest contribution to this parade is CORNERSTORE (Ft. Saba & theMIND) from Chicago emcee Joey Purp. A member of Chance the Rapper’s Save Money collective, it’s clear that Joey is definitely bringing a different level of intensity to the team. This track is a hard baseline drive with a tomahawk dunk on the rap game. Reminds us of the rap we used to know.
We’re staying in the Chi for our next selection, and moving from music you can turn up to…to music that you can two-step to. Poet/writer/singer Jamila Woods has dropped her latest single, Heavn, and this definitely needs to be a part of your summer playlist. Music for love. Music for life.
Get Free. Our next pick should be a nominee for Video of the Year…or at least of the summer. Canadian super-producer KAYTRANADA just dropped his first official album, called 99.9%, and the lead single LITE SPOTS is a beautiful expression of joy and freedom. Amazing beats and strong production have been KAYTRANADA’s calling card for many years, but what takes this video over the top for us is the power of seeing Black bodies (and one dope robot) moving freely in public spaces. Given the current climate in many of our neighborhoods, we hope this summer is full of scenes like these.
Staying with the tempo up – and with your body free – we cross the Atlantic for our last pick this week. Nigerian afrobeat singer Timaya is back at it again with his latest single, I Concur featuring his fellow Nigerian, producer Don Jazzy. Again, the importance of Black men making space to dance and laugh and live in freedom cannot be understated in this moment. All Summer ’16.