Topping off our latest hip-hop roundup, we wanted to put some shine on a friend of WARR and a brother from Chicago doing big things in New York, Grant Yanney, better known as GY312, if you’re from here you should know what the 312 is for.
Yanney has interviewed dozens of headlining rap and soul artists and here he builds with the one and only Mobb Deep prior to their nationwide tour in support of their new double album, The Infamous Mobb Deep, a double set featuring a whole disc of unreleased sessions from their 1995 classic The Infamous, which is available now. Havoc and Prodigy are headlining tomorrow night at the Abbey Pub, part of a busy few days to follow for rap shows in Chicago — more on that below and check out more from the homie Grant at GY312 on YouTube and at GY312.com.
More Headliners in the Coming Week
The Abbey may shut the door on you tomorrow if you try to squeeze into the Mobb show, but several other standout acts will be in town including West Coast beat wizard Exile, headlining a show the very same night at the Double Door as part of the extra-large festivities of the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (around 100 events), which kicked off tonight.
Originally a Blu and Exile show, the ever-enigmatic MC of the Below the Heavens duo dropped out at the next-to-last minute, allowing for just enough time for a laundry list of Chi spitters to hold the show up including up-and-comers ShowYouSuck and Alex Wiley and veteran ism-distributor GLC.
Another friend of Regal, J.R. Bang, is hosting and with the Blu dropout, Double Door is offering $7 tickets at the door. Hard to beat.
Costing a little more is another CIMMfest show this Sunday called the “Ingenuity of Hip Hop” with two of the city’s underground mainstays — Psalm One and Serengeti. Like Friday’s show, you can also catch in that in Wicker Park at Subterranean.
Another, somewhat larger, celebration of independent hip-hop will take place as next week develops, Tuesday to be exact, as Kansas City’s Tech N9ne brings his “Independent Grind” tour to the House of Blues. Respect Niner, but I’d be there for second-headliner Freddie Gibbs of Gary, Indiana — he pledged his love for new home L.A. on his 2014 Album of the Year candidate Pinata with Madlib, but Gibbs is straight Midwestern gangsta uncut.
North Coast Fest Featuring Snoop, Cudi
In the wake of earlier announcements from the Pitchfork and Lollapallooza festivals, Chicago’s third major youth-oriented summer music festival, North Coast, released its initial lineup early Thursday, which you can take a look at here.
North Coast, which has previously featured legacy acts like Wu-Tang and Nas is appealing to those who came of age in the 90s again with Snoop Dogg as its final day headliner, who 20+ years in the game is still as likely to rock and smoke out all of Union Park as much as any act North Coast will put out.
Kid Cudi is another headliner (do with that info what you will) among the many EDM and rock acts North Coast often features. Little Dragon would be a nice act to take your girl to and seeing Action Bronson and Riff Raff both on the poster makes me hope sincerely that they will be in town the same day, if only to increase the chances they recreate this video.
Salute DJ Rashad
To wrap things up, I feel it necessary to shout out Chicago’s DJ Rashad, who passed unexpectedly last weekend.
Rashad was little more than a name to me prior to his death — a name and a style of music — footwork — which every black youth in Chicago becomes familiar with at some point of their upbringing.
Because of footwork’s ubiquitous standing in Chicago culture it might have been easy to take the work of a DJ Rashad for granted, especially given that no one had really blown up off that type of music yet. But in the past year it was getting harder to ignore DJ Rashad and it was looking like he was going to be the guy to take footwork/juke/ghetto house to another level. This indeed is a tough follow-up in the wake of Frankie Knuckles passing just weeks ago and a big blow to Chicago’s DJ culture.
There’s still more exploring for this writer to do on Rashad’s music in particular, but finding this track was a great entry point, featuring WARR-approved MC Add-2 — a true merging of lyricism, bass and sampling that only this city can provide.
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