Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – White Walls ft. Schoolboy Q, Hollis

This song seems appropriate with the insanely amazing weather we are experiencing in Chicago. The sun is out–there is no snow, rain, hail, sleet, or any outrageous weather that we have had to endure this winter. As temperamental as the weather can be here, when the weather is FINALLY bearable, everyone is cruising through the city with their windows down, flaunting a sparkly clean car with the works!

Aside from ‘White Walls’, I think all of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ album, THE HEIST is great. I listened to a portion of it last week–I got hooked thanks to Pandora! Not only are his beats creative but his lyrics are meaningful. I can appreciate a song with substance instead of the same none sense, profanity infused Top 40. I just don’t understand how those hits become so popular and yet it took Macklemore a few EP’s to reach such high praise. Well deserved I guess.

Other hits to take a listen to are Starting Over and Same Love that are pretty deep. In the meantime, enjoy the lovely weather (while it lasts). I kid. Maybe.

Enjoy!

The Best in the Mid-WEST

The Chicago Reader is asking YOU for the best of our beloved city Chicago. Take a moment to support local Chicago everything from Best Shoe Store to Best Dentist! It’s simple, no login is required, and you can vote for any categories you’d like. Don’t have a favorite florist? No worries, skip it and go to what really matters–the music (and food)! 

Here are a couple of my picks:

Drum roll..best DJ, DJ Mr. West! I had the chance to interview him a few weeks ago, you can check his story out here. His humble beginnings and drive to succeed are impressive, but I’ll let you be the judge…but first VOTE! VOTE FOR DJ MR. WEST!

Best burger would hands down go to Kuma’s Corner! The heavy-metal band names don’t scare me–the burgers are amazing (not to mention, the size of your head) VOTE KUMA’S!

My pick for best Greek Restaurant (random I know) is Greek Islands! The saganaki cheese is on fire-literally. I primarily go for that and the theatrical OPA! that comes with your order.

Those are my two cents for Best of Chicago. SO, Vote. The categories are specifically catered for every lovely feature our city has to offer.

Help the Reader find the real best of the mid-west–who better to show off the best city than us?

You have until MAY 22, 2013.

VOTE HERE! <—-

ENJOY CHICAGO!

 

 

 

The Wonderful World of West

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Meet DJ Mr. West and his musical experiment.

At 23 years old he has created a following in Chicago with his style and ability to “give the people what they want and what they need.”

West combines Chicago House and hip-hop while also throwing in a song you’ve never heard (but should) to “educate” the listeners as he put it. All he wants is for you to DANCE!

I had the chance to interview this fine fellow and got to know, ‘Who is Mr. West?”

Continue reading “The Wonderful World of West”

29th Chicago Latino Film Festival

Absolutely see-worthy films at their best! The 29th Chicago Latino Film Festival is something every Chicagoan should take advantage of. Not only does it include films from all over Latin America but also local film makers; making our city look good! My trip was prompted by the documentary 19 and a day—a film about slain Pilsener /Hip hop artist Jeff Maldonado, Jr. (J-DEF) that I blogged about a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately, I missed the screening at UIC’s Latino Cultural Center but I did get there in time to speak to Elizabeth Maldonado, Jeff’s mother who told me to catch the next screening at this film festival.

Continue reading “29th Chicago Latino Film Festival”

19 AND A DAY: The Life and Times of J-DEF

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Come check out this impacting documentary at UIC’s Latino Cultural Center Tuesday, April 2, 2013 of a fallen Chicago emcee whose life was lost far too soon. He was not only an artist but an advocate for a safer community, creating music that educated listeners to seek peace and sanctity in the “hood.”

On July 25, 2009, one day after his 19th birthday, this young aspiring artist fell victim to Pilsen’s gun violence. Pilsen is no stranger to violence, but on this occasion, Jeff Abbey Maldonado, Jr.’s death was widely viewed as a testament to Chicago’s falter; gang violence. Known to many as J-DEF, Jeff touched lives with his music and optimism which caused family and friends to keep his name alive and attempt to build peace in our violent city.

Due greatly to his parents, his life has not been taken in vain with an array of memorials and tributes to Jeff’s life–one solely known as the J-Def Peace Project, creating scholarships, youth initiatives, and 19 AND A DAY, dedicated to Jeff’s life.

So, stop by the Latino Cultural Center and learn about our very own Chicago legacy–Jeff Abbey Maldonado, Jr., followed by a panel discussion lead by his mother, Elizabeth Maldonado.

FREE admission!

“Understand My Astronomy, Who Could Possibly Stop This Hood Prophecy”– J-DEF

Boombox & the Psychedelic Experience

I had the opportunity to take a trip up to Lansing, MI (3 hour drive if anyone was wondering) to see Boombox–a band capable of mastering the fusion of Rock, Blues, and funky house beats. With a name like Boombox, I expected nothing less than a show with a blaring bass and beats.

Amidst the Michigan State University students drenched in green glitter and beer, we arrived fashionably late in time to hear the headliners–Boombox. The instant they began to play, the bass vibrated through to the floor and I wondered how all that sound could come from two men in furry hats and sunglasses! And this wasn’t your typical crowd. No crowd surfing or moshpits, but rather a lot of swaying to the music.

Despite my description, front men Russ Randolph and Zion Godchaux claim they play nothing but Rock n’ Roll. I like to call it Psychedelic House, music that transcends through language and time created to stimulate your mind by leaving out lyrics to allow you to focus on the beat. Trippy huh?

This style is no accident, Godchaux, guitar/vocalist, is son of Grateful Dead’s Keith and Donna Godchaux–contributers to the Psychedelic music movement in the 60s.

Overall it was an enjoyable experience that I recommend to everyone—and all for $20? An affordable St.Patrick’s Day weekend indeed.

So, relax & enjoy!

Check out their interview here :

Spring Awakening Music Festival 2013

Spring Awakening is coming to Chicago and bringing an array of must-see DJs for a 3-day festival of electronic house that any house music junkie can fill their fix for a year! It is without a doubt a blessing to be taking place in Chicago’s very own Soldier Field on June 14-16, 2013. The line-up includes Calvin Harris, Bassnectar (headliners), and a few of my favorites, Flosstradamus, Felix Da Housecat, and Boys Noize plus many more!

If you love the upbeat, energized atmosphere that these artists bring to the stage its worth checking out the 3-day long ‘dance til you drop’ party–How much you say? The 3-day package ranges from $150-175.

Also a unique twist to this festival is the DJ contest (LISTEN UP ASPIRING DJS!) that will offer  one lucky DJ to open on one of the four stages (plus VIP tickets) of this massive music festival. For any DJ’s out there, check out the link below for further details and the fierce competition.

Out of your budget? No worries, there will be after parties featuring DJs from the festival that won’t break your pocket!

For more information about the line-up, tickets, contest, and after parties check out: http://www.springawakeningfestival.com

I’m excited, let’s go!

Throwback Monday: Jungle Brothers- “I’ll House You”

To ease the Monday Blues, today’s throwback is a classic house track. Jungle Brothers- “I’ll House You” will give Chicago natives a flash back to a time when beats ruled–a true mesh of synthesizers and electronic beats. A homegrown musical wonder, House Music is a Chicago staple that has generated a clear break into mainstream. But let us not forget the classic tracks because every Chicago Teen has met the “perculator” at least once in their life.

We can credit house music to the death of disco in the 70’s and underground DJ’s mixing dusty disco with new funky beats. It was a match made in heaven for enthusiastic dancers and DJ’s–a subculture of music aficionados and break-dancers was born. Types like Frankie Knuckles, Fingers Inc., and Steve “Silk” Hurley helped define Chicago House and continue to create those must-have beats that can’t be emulated.

And that is today’s throwback for Monday– a bit of forgotten Chicago history.

Lovin’ what you hear? Some DJ’s to look into: Felix DaHouseCat or DJ Funk. Let YouTube be your best friend on this one–the wonders that lie in underground music will astound you.

So, relax and enjoy!

Ready To Lose It: Jargon ft. Grace Garcia

If you missed him on air here’s a sample of his track. He’s a Chicago native who will be joined this Friday, March 1 at North Side College Prep Theater by Traphik (aka Timithy DeLaGhetto), J.Reyez and many other talents at the ‘Academy of Heroes.’ And today just so happens to be his birthday. So Happy Birthday to you sir! Continue reading “Ready To Lose It: Jargon ft. Grace Garcia”

Introducing Young Sinatra


Originally from Maryland, Logic hit YouTube by storm, creating new and eclectic beats that are far from the mainstream monotony. “Mind of Logic” is a track from his second mix tape, “Young Sinatra: Undeniable,” released in 2012, blending a soulful melody to go with his thought provoking lyrics. Why is he the next Sinatra?

From humble beginnings, Logic demonstrates a genuine drive to create rhyme with reason while still entertaining everyone who listens. You can hear Logic’s passion in “Mind of Logic,”

“Sorry if I digress all I ever wanted was to be the best
Through lyricism to put your mind to the test
Stayin’ up late night no rest”

He caters to the everyman–the student, the 9-5’er, his fellow up and coming artists who work tirelessly to be recognized. At 23 years old, Logic is taking great leaps with his unique style, releasing a new mixtape Spring 2013 and beginning a tour in Europe next month. Sadly, we missed his visit last August but let’s hope for his soon return to the Windy city.

Why Young Sinatra? Aside from the uncanny resemblance to Frank Sinatra, Logic idolizes Sinatra’s classic “swag” even naming his musical crew the Rattpack (Real All The Time). His style is definitely real as is his musical talent. There is no doubt we will continue to see his success. In the meantime, relax and enjoy!

Like what you heard? Check out Logic’s other tracks, The Dream, All I Do, or Let Me Go.