As times have changed and the genre of Hip-hop that continue to evolve, Chicago holds home to a variety of creatives that are very talented to each in their own right. With rappers like Chance The Rapper representing the city in such a great way, there are also many other artists making really great music right now that deserve more light.
While the Drill movement during 2011-2013 will forever holds it’s influence in rap, there was some artists in their beginning stages that showed potential to be great. G Herbo or originally known as: Lil Herb had a certain aspect in his music that differed him from the rest. With his mixtapes: Welcome to Fazoland released in 2014 and Ballin Like I’m Kobe released in 2015, showed that G Herbo at young age was someone special. His talent of storytelling present in his raps that showcased a vivid imagery for a listener on the harsh street life present where he was living in Chicago. Taking roots from many legends and incorporating it into his music to create something a sound that was hard hitting, inspirational, and creative.
Now in 2017, he has finally released his heavily awaited debut album: “Humble Beast” that showcases G Herbo in a very mature mindset at only 21 years young. He has taken what made his past projects great and polished it into an album that was well worth the long wait. Highlights of the album include songs such the intro “Street” featuring beautiful soul sampling from Thelonious Martin, “Mirror” featuring Lil Bibby that proves there chemistry together on a song is unmatched, and “Red Snow” that is on my list for one of the hardest songs of 2017.
An artist that originates from rap collective: SAVEMONEY that features other well known artists such as Vic Mensa, Chance the Rapper, and Towkio. While many may not heard of Joey’s music compared to his counterparts and even with only one mixtape under his belt, his talent shows that he is a top rapper of the windy city. His debut mixtape: iiiDrops released in 2016 put Joey on the map and was one of the top mixtapes from a new artist that year. The mixtape only being 11 tracks showcases a variety of Joey’s talents and the potential for his future. Tracks like “Girls” featuring Chance the Rapper are greats fun tracks that shows Joey isn’t always serious and can make tracks fit for the club. Though, his true talent lies in tracks such as “Godbody” featuring hard hitting production from Thelonious Martin. Joey showcases his ability to flow on a song where the beat is evolving throughout and combined with great lyricism shows him at his best. He currently has a project coming with no TBA date, but be on the lookout for this artist in the near future as the new material he has hinted at during his live shows shows Joey has ability to takeover the game.
A female rapper that initially made guest appearances on projects from other Chicago rappers, most notably on Chances breakthrough mixtape: Acid Rap. While her presence as an MC was very subtle on her features and wasn’t until her first mixtape Telefone released in 2016 that truly showcased Noname’s talent as an artist. The mixtape filled with 10 tracks of great jazzy instrumentals combined with her sweet lyricism makes this project a great listen front to back. Her style of rap filled with poetry shows that Noname is a top lyricist and easily one of top female rappers currently. While Noname has been pretty quiet for the majority of 2017 aside from a great guest feature on Smino’s blkswn, she has revealed the name of her name project Room 25 with no set release date yet, but is definitely on my list of anticipated projects.
A Chicago rapper that has arisen from Soundcloud community and Warhol is one of the few that stand out from the rest and certainly has the potential to be a star. While his voice on first listens may be hard for one to get into on initial listens, it is one of the key aspects with his bitter verses that shows his uniqueness as an artist. With only his Soundcloud catalog of loosies and one mixtape that dropped in 2017 under his belt: Where’s Warhol? that gives a nice introduction of who he is as an artist with good highlights. His upcoming project: Chest Pains that he’s been teasing for a while will be the project to look out for that could set Warhol on track to blow up and be a star of the city. With how Warhol is consistently progressing throughout his releases, it is very possible.
A 28 year old Chicago rapper that packs a lot into his short songs and I’m surprised hasn’t gotten a bigger push from the city yet. Having only an assortment of Soundcloud songs and two tapes: 1988 and VTM with producer Chase The Money is enough to show me that Valee is a great rapper. With his unique flow and punch lines throughout his songs will have a listener wanting more especially with most of songs being short. Give this artist a listen and I can guarantee a line from one of his songs will be stuck in your for the rest of the day.