Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Chicago Tribune: The Players

A detailed list of some of The Go's finest which many fans of the local scene may already know. David Drake explores styles and recent project from each of the artist on the list. The article feature 10 local artist on the rise, check it out below.

 LEP Bogus Boys: With contemporary production wedded to high-concept, cinematic music videos and a gangsta rap mentality influenced by another era, Count and Moonie have worked for 13 years to make it to where they are today, and it looks like their time is finally arriving. They're fielding deals from major labels and collaborating with some of the biggest artists in hip-hop, including Rick Ross, Meek Mill and 2 Chainz. The duo's upcoming "Now or Neva" will be released Oct. 31 online. They perform Friday night at Metro.
Bo Deal: This performer's affiliation with Waka Flocka Flame's label, Mizay Entertainment, has raised his stature considerably outside Chicago, as did a guest spot on the now-classic 2010 release "Body Bag," with Brick Squad's Wooh da Kid and Waka. He has also released several mix tapes in the last year. Bo Deal might not have the most nuanced personality, but it's hard to beat for brutality. Bo knows gangsta rap. 
King Louie: With his fluently jagged phrasing and distinctive variety of flows, King Louie is a potential savior for Chicago street rap, a prodigious artist with the talent that could potentially find fans in other markets while uniting lots of Chicago hip-hop fans behind his versatile raps. His latest tape, "Dope & Shrimp," will be released in the next month. He performs Friday night at Metro. 
Rockie Fresh: His style fits in with a particularly popular style of hip-hop that is red-hot at the moment — part atmospheric and part ambitious. He joins artists like Kendrick Lamar, blending the stoned melodicism of Drake with the pop songwriting ambition of an artist like Lupe Fiasco. His album, "Driving88," comes out in November.
YP: An adroit rapper, YP has lines that wrap around each bar in a style reminiscent of New York rappers like Big L. YP has a traditional N.Y. feel, but a vibrant energy and personality that most rappers from the boroughs would struggle to imitate these days. His tape, "Still Awake," was released recently.
Mikkey Halsted: Although he's hardly a new artist — Mikkey was signed to Cash Money records a decade ago and even appeared on a Big Tymers major-label album — Mikkey has been bubbling underneath for so long as a solo artist that rumors of an impending "announcement" have fans buzzing.
 Sly Polaroid: A close associate of Bump J, the Chicago rap legend currently incarcerated on federal bank robbery charges, Sly is a talented gangsta rap artist whose tape earlier this year, "Honor Me," has garnered considerable attention. 
Cool Kids: The buzz may have died, but the group has matured. Mikey Rocks, rechristened recently as Sir Michael Rocks, has perfected his behind-the-beat, laid-back flow, as on this year's "Cell Dope." In the meantime, Chuck Inglish has stepped up his production, contributing beats to Detroit rapper Boldy James' incredible mix tape from earlier this year.  
Vic Mensa and Kids These Days: Though hip-hop with a live band is nothing new, Vic Mensa is one of the more gifted rappers Chicago has produced, and the band is a skilled, flexible machine. Although Kids These Days has a clean image, Vic, a charismatic performer, isn't afraid to tackle some rougher subjects in his lyrics. The group could as easily appear on the Disney Channel as it tours the country. It's the Roots for the next generation.
Kids in the Hall: The group repurposed Canibus' diss of LL Cool J into a brag ("Because 99 percent of our fans wear high heels.") but it's not a bad angle on the group's appeal. Rappers Naledge and Double-O have been recording for a decade and at some level have already crossed over. But the Kids also give the impression that they're one hit away from being much bigger stars.
— David Drake

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