What does Hip-Hop in Chicago look like for ‘18?
My picks of rising artists to watch over in the new year...
You can’t deny the fact that Chicago has been a goldmine for the hip-hop industry, especially with such promising talents emerging each year. Our favorite artists such as Chance the Rapper, SZA, Chief Keef, Kanye West, and so many more have originated from the heart of Chicago. Now that the new year has begun, you may want to watch out for even more new faces in the ever-changing music industry. Although not all of these artists are hip-hop artists, they are indeed connected to the consistent and reassuring of Chicago music.
1) Ravyn Lenae
Ravyn Lenae, the R&B/Neo soul songstress, brings on a bounciness to her music; one that’ll make you feel youthful. If you’re a fan of Jhené Aiko, you will absolutely like her because she has a voice that is feminine, yet savvy. She’s collaborated with fellow skilled artists such as Smino, Monte Booker, Jean Deaux, and much more. Her soft, but versatile tone will have you compelled sooner rather than later.
You might recognise TheMIND, a Chicago singer who has linked up with more than a few fellow Chicago artists such as Mick Jenkins, THEMPeople, Joey Purp, Knox Fortune, Noname, and more. As witty as the title of his track “Ms. Communication” is, his groovy music style is truly refreshing. This soulful single will have you appreciate his gentle and effortless voice as he portrays the common miscommunication within relationships.
3) L.A. VanGogh
One of the main reasons I enjoy L.A.VanGogh is how he’s able to play around with the beat. His deliverance is inconsistent, particularly in his song, “When I Get Rich,” but that’s what makes it such a unique experience. He will tighten and stretch out his rap verse like a rubber band, and he is absolutely capable of showing us the ambition behind his poetic music style. You must check him out:
The multitalented musician, Phoelix, has worked with many growing artists such as Noname, Saba, Smino, and even THEMPeople. He first caught my attention when I initially realized he was behind such amazing songs by those artists. His casual rapping style is also without a doubt, charismatic and stylish. Although he has yet to release more of his own singles, we can definitely have strong expectations for this artist.
5) UG Vavy
UG Vavy has a signature music style. You’ll know when it’s him because his songs are incredibly catchy and danceable; similar to Post Malone, but with a different element. He often incorporates electronic-influenced instrumentals into his beats in order to produce a trippy tone. If you’re into more upbeat party songs, you will most likely be hooked on his music.
6) Knox Fortune
If you’re into nostalgic vibes, Knox Fortune is your man. He has been an amazing producer, as well as featured with famous artist like Chance the Rapper. One of my favorite works of his is the “Lil Thing;” this track isn’t your average alternative song. His music triggers all of the feels with his unique voice as an indie artist.
Listen to this track; it’s groovy, but also has profound summery tones:
7) Mick Jenkins
You might already know Mick Jenkins as an amazing producer, but he’s also an amazing rapper who I feel is on the underrated side. He has featured and collaborated (many of times) with hot artists. His recent single, “Vampire in Brooklyn,” will prove it alone. This guy has so many bars, and his rap lyrics are filled with hard rhymes and true meaning. If you like Logic, G-Eazy, Blackbear, and such artists, this is the rapper for you.
The American rapper, Saba, first gained recognition through his work with Chance the Rapper, and he has consistently collaborated with artist, Noname. His soulful song beats contrast with his clear and powerful rapping skills, and that’s what makes him stand out. As a fan of such music, he definitely satisfies the spectrum of hip-hop and R&B while also giving you some hipster vibes. His energetic flow and chill beat makes him one of my favorite rising artists to this day. Check out his limitless flows:
It’s amazing how many talents consistently arise, especially in the heart of Chicago. It is the legendary city of hip-hop, as well as artists of various genres that are constantly showing up and wowing us with their music skills. As the new year progresses, these artists will hopefully be gaining more recognition for their jaw-dropping talent. Undeniably, there must be something in the water in Chicago.