The Daily Blend’s March Top Ten 2018

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Yo, people of the internet! I am BACK for the month, and I’m so excited for this blog. March is one of my favorite months of the year, and this year’s March just happened to be an amazing month for music!

With everything that is played on my show, you all probably think I have way too much happening in the skull area of my body. So, I want to give everyone a little insight as to what’s going on in my brain, without having to look at the “Recently Played” section on my Spotify. The solution I came to was to tell everyone about the hidden (and not so hidden) gems in my music library for the month. Some of the music I post will be at the top of charts, some of the music won’t be your style, some will be a band’s biggest hit that I’ve just been happening to listen to a lot, and some will be completely unknown to you!

So, to start it off, here’s just a couple of my favorite artists for March, a little bit about them, and some song suggestions:

Continue reading “The Daily Blend’s March Top Ten 2018”

Chicago Rappers Of The New Age That Deserve More Appreciation

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.  Continue reading “Chicago Rappers Of The New Age That Deserve More Appreciation”

A Millionaire On Campus

Today there was a millionaire on UIC’s campus. Now if you try to think of who it might be, you would probably think of someone who made their money academically. Someone like a big scientist, inventor, computer innovator, business man, etc., but that isn’t the case.

Today on campus was the Chicago rapper known as Saba. If you don’t know who Saba is, I’ll educate you. Saba, like I said before, is a Chicago Rapper. He is a part of Pivot Gang along with rappers Mfn Melo, Joseph Chilliams, and the late John Walt. He has collabed with other artists which include Vic Mensa, Joey Purp, Taylor Bennett, and Chance the Rapper. Earlier this year he dropped his debut album Bucket List Project and has grown in fame because of it. So with all these accolades, why would he come to UIC??

On November 25th there is a concert called John Walt Day. It is a concert featuring all the members of Pivot Gang + special guests–Chance is a possibility according to Saba–in memory of John Walt. Walt was one of the founders of Pivot Gang but was stabbed to death last year, sadly. In his memory the John Walt Foundation was started to help the youth of today. All of the proceeds of John Walt Day are going to the foundation.

In these weeks leading up to John Walt Day, Saba and Mfn Melo have been going around Chicago hand delivering tickets to fans wherever the fans are. There were about 20 people who wanted tickets or just wanted to meet Saba; I was one of those 20 people of course. I had to miss part of my anatomy lab but it was worth it to meet Saba, get my hat signed–Mamby on the Beach is where I first saw Saba in concert–and get my hand delivered ticket. Oh and I got a retweet from Saba and there’s a video of him signing my hat on his Instagram story.

If you’re jealous of me getting to meet Saba then you can be mad, be more active on Twitter so you can know about these things orrrr just check out my pictures of today.


Writer’s Block

Has anyone else hit a brick wall that they’ve become stuck and uninterested in something you like to do?

I’ve hit writer’s block recently in writing raps/songs that it’s made me a little uninterested in writing, and it’s been hard to write about what I’ve wanted to write about, and it becomes more and more overwhelming in my head as time progresses. I usually write about a need for intimacy, my shyness, how life is going, and other things, but it’s been difficult to write and get out what I’ve been wanting to get out, because it’s about what you say and how you say it. I’ve made a playlist to help me try to get out of writer’s block, and get back into my groove of writing, whether it just be technical or writing full songs.

So in this playlist I’ve included mostly Hip-Hop songs with a few alternate rock and pop rock songs. I included some songs in this because they’ve helped me write before such as: “What’s Understood (ft. Joey Bada$$)” by Nyck Caution and “The Way I Am” by Eminem. Other songs, like “Illuminate (ft. Kendrick Lamar)” by Ab-Soul make me think about writing. Meanwhile songs, “Train Your Mind” and “State of Mind” by Dizzy Wright, “Enter the Void (ft. Ab-Soul)” by Joey Bada$$, and “YMF” by Ab-Soul make me think and overthink about what I want to say. Then there are songs like “Chum” by Earl Sweatshirt, “Hard Times” by Paramore, and “Slow Down” by Phora which I relate to personally as I go through problems and try to get through them. Lastly, there are songs about pushing forward such as, “Sing For The Moment” by Eminem. Many of the topics in these songs I’ve wrote about in some way, and can probably help me get through writer’s block and get me back in the moment. Maybe it can also probably help those out there struggling with writer’s block or if you’re stuck on a project.

Connie’s Deep Cuts – Vol. 1

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On Connie and the Deep Time, we strive to introduce our listeners to new songs, artists, and even genres. Unfortunately, two hours isn’t nearly long enough for me to go into detail on all of the music that I play on the show. To make up for this transgression, I would like to officially unveil the first volume of Connie’s Deep Cuts. Now, you might ask, “Connie, what are you talking about?”. Well, I’m talking about three albums that have been stuck in my head for the past few weeks. Let’s get into them.

Thundercat – Drunk
Genre: Jazz Fusion/ R&B
Moods: Funky / Drunk

If you haven’t heard of Thundercat yet, here’s an introduction. He’s a multi-instrumentalist, certified funky dude, and has done collaborations with as far-ranging artists as Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and even Eric Andre (with whom he made a very entertaining music video with). On Drunk, Thundercat lays down tracks with what seems like a lack of inhibition. Within the span of a few minutes, Thundercat goes from contemplating life on the track “Where I’m Going”, to singing chorus for Wiz Khalifa on “Drink Dat”. Earlier in the album, Thundercat boasts about leaving a girl in the “Friend Zone” before pining about his feelings of ineptitude on “Them Changes”. While the topics of his songs may seem all over the place, its the production that really ties the album together. Harkening back to 70’s funk, Thundercat’s basslines and beats could get even the oldies grooving. On top of that, the album features a plethora of outstanding features, such as Kendrick on “Walk On By” and music legends Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins on “Show You The Way”. While I can’t legally recommend the consumption of alcohol, I can definitely recommend listening to Drunk.

Shag – Me Again
Genre: Beat Tape/ Hip-Hop
Moods: Chill

I first found Shag through a youtube video featuring his song “Know the Feelin'” overlayed over scenes from the movie Lupin III: The Fuma Conspiracy – and I was immediately hooked. The song features a sample from A Tribe Called Quest‘s “Stressed Out” and a primo beat. Words can’t really do it justice, so here’s the link. After a few weeks of deliberation, I finally gave his debut album a listen. Undoubtedly, Shag shows real finesse in picking out samples. The titular track, “Me Again”, features a sample from The Pharcyde‘s “Passin’ Me By”, another hip-hop classic. Just from these samples alone, it is obvious that Shag has an appreciation for 90’s rap – which makes sense, as the guy is only 24 years old. The majority of the album is relatively relaxed, except for highlight “Ring Out”, which has a distinct chiptunes-inspired production. If you’re beat-hungry or just need something to study to, give Me Again a listen.

Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band – S/T
Genre: Big Band/ Disco
Moods: Uplifting / Spring

I cannot explain how happy I was to stumble upon this album. I was hooked through an off-chance listening to “Sunshower”, a song that I can easily see myself listening to decades from now. With a chorus that is as much of an ear worm as it is cheerful, its hard not to love. A quick round of research revealed that the song has been sampled by the likes of Ghostface Killah, De La Soul, and A Tribe Called Quest, among others. Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band was a disco band from the late 70’s, who are mostly known for their #1 Dance hit, “Cherchez La Femme/C’est Si Bon”. If you haven’t the faintest idea what I’m talking about, don’t sweat it too much. The point is, this is possibly one of the most feel-good albums of all time. Just listen to “Hard Times” once, with its booming bass drum and soulful hook, and I’m sure you’ll agree. The whole album features a plethora of instruments, utilized in a way that gives each one its own weight. The vocals are so interlaced with the beat that they are basically another instrument in the orchestra that is Dr. Savannah’s Original Savannah Band. If you ever find yourself on a Sunday afternoon with nothing to do, do something productive and give this album a listen – and then a few more.

I hope you liked the first edition of Connie’s Deep Cuts, dear readers. If you haven’t figured out exactly what this is yet, I guess I should explain (but honestly, I think you get the gist). Every few weeks I’ll be putting out these blogs to highlight some albums that I appreciate. Each new edition will feature completely different albums, with fresh moods and quirky tidbits. If you liked what you’ve seen so far, keep in touch and I’ll serve you up some more tasty recommendations. Come meet me in the Deep Time, Connie out.


Stepping Into Hip-Hop

I’m still struggling to make my blog about something. I love music as equally as the next blogger, but there’s already so many blogs dedicated to that and they’re much better at talking about the topic of music than I ever will be. I like science and random factoids and knowledge bits that you can either apply to your life or just feel enriched by. But that doesn’t seem like a good fit for UIC Radio. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’ll find my special radio voice, but for now I’ll follow on the same trend of sharing bits and pieces of my life…

Tonight I did something new. Tonight I went to a hip-hop class lead by one of my friends. It’s something that I don’t think I would have ever done, regardless of knowing the person who was teaching. I’d be too embarrassed of looking foolish or messing up or questioning why I was there at all because I’d probably think I look like garbage. But for awhile now I’ve been harboring the strange desire to dance, any kind of dance. Maybe it’s because I’ve missed skating and feeling that creative connection with my body, but it’s also been the desire to be more confident in myself.


For some time now, it’s becoming more and more apparent how reserved and timid I am, and how unwilling I am to make a mistake in fear of looking poorly in front of others. That hasn’t gone away, and it won’t after one hip-hop class, but I’m glad that this desire has become strong enough for me to do something about it. I’m already thinking about finding classes on my own and trying different styles. There’s so much that I feel I’ve kept hidden and it’s about time that it surfaced.

I’m so thankful for my friend Ziba and how enthusiastic and inviting she is of others. She’s got a talent of making people feel comfortable and to just be themselves. I’m looking forward to this next month of hip-hop, and what’s looking like a step in the right direction of getting myself out of the rut I’ve been in.

Dally Auston drops “99¢”

c1bkdynuaaawoxqChicago has been put in the spotlight for many years to work from city natives Twista, Common, Kanye West, and more recently: Chance The Rapper. For years, social media has been exploding over good friends of Chance and affiliates of the “Savemoney army”. Talent in this super-group are Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Joey Purp, RnB artist Brill, Towkio and more. Although all of these are artists have developed over the past few years, they still give back to Chicago and often host concerts and secret parties for their most loyal fans.

In the month of January, fans have expressed their excitement for one of the member’s new projects: Dally Auston. It is his first project in about 3 years and everyone is very eager to jam on his latest work. On January 20th at 3pm (CT), Dally released his latest project, titled “99¢”. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Dally will be live on UIC Radio’s Thumpin’ Thursdays show on Feb 2nd at 3:30pm (CT)

Make sure you follow us on Instagram:
@CeaseDays @DjSoundUTB @LiveLenora @ThumpinThursdays
And tune in Thursdays from 2-7pm (CT)

Criminally Underrated: Juicy J & Three 6 Mafia

Today, in honor of Halloween, I’d like to speak about an artist who has done more to embrace the dark side of life in his music than just about anyone else.

That person is Jordan Michael Houston; 41 Year old rapper, actor, academy award winner, and innovator.

You might know him as Juicy J.

While known for his modern club bangers like Bandz a Make Her Dance or his work with Wiz Khalifa (different rant for a different day), I’m here today to tell you why Juicy J is one of the most underrated rappers in the history of Hip-Hop. Yes, really.

Continue reading “Criminally Underrated: Juicy J & Three 6 Mafia”

“Grip The Mic Mondays” & “Broad Shoulders Live”

What a year it’s been. 2015 has treated us so well; we hope it has for you as well. Next week will be reflecting on the year as a whole, but for today, we have some news:

This year we’ve been hustling on creating a better brand for ourselves and bettering our relations with artists. Let me just say it has been working really well. In addition to being a DJ, I had the honor to be given the role of a manager to my long-term friend: Chris Ruben. We’ve invaded just about every university campus in the city, as well as performed at shows and open-mic events. The most popular one has been “Grip The Mic Mondays” which takes place at Grandbar every Monday night from 10pm-3am. Open mic performances take over from 10pm-12am, followed by 3 hours of your favorite Hip-hop tracks by yours truly.12434281_10156477979470294_1411102027_n

Most recently, DJ Serdna and I have been working with Taylor Bennett & Morocco Brown with rehearsals for the upcoming show on 12/26 titled: “Broad Shoulders Live” at Lincoln Hall. Artists on the bill include an all-Chicago roster: Morocco Brown, his manager Taylor Bennett, producer Ludlow, Logan, DJ Oreo, and a couple special guest appearances including Chance The Rapper. The almost sold out show brings a lot of excitement for youth in Chicago, seeing that Taylor is only 19 years old. Check out Taylor Bennett’s new project below, and remember to follow us on social media to keep up with events in Chicago. Happy Holidays!

Introduction To Johnny Fan

Hey Everyone,

My name is Johnny Fan. I wanted to introduce myself to the UIC Radio audience and community as I’ll be a new writer to UIC Radio. My post days are on Sundays so why not start your Sunday right by relaxing and reading a blog post! =)

Photo of me by my friend Thomas.

To tell you a little bit about myself –  I am 19 year old sophomore studying and majoring in Business Marketing. I love coffee, dancing, traveling, writing, photography, and filmmaking. I think these 6 things pretty much sum up my life because they are all extremely time consuming – yes, even coffee.

I don’t have a lot of images of myself mainly because I am more used to being behind the camera rather than in front of it. With that being said, I have been spending a lot of time behind the camera recently. I’ve been taking photos on my phone for fun as soon as I got my first iPhone which was about 2 or 3 years ago. It was a hand me down iPhone 4, the one without Siri sadly. Nonetheless, I would just take random pictures wherever I could snap a photo and just keep tapping away at the capture button. You miss the 100% of the shots you never take, haha – am I right? Safe to say, I took 100 photos and still missed the shot…

It was not until a year and a half later where I really dived into taking photos for a purpose – to tell a story and share my vision with the world on my iPhone. This year, near the end of June/early July I wanted to take it more seriously so I picked up my first DSLR camera and started teaching myself and sharing my work on Instagram.

Here’s a few photos that I have taken since then. Continue reading “Introduction To Johnny Fan”