Last Friday, Sway kicked off Lollapalooza weekend right with a take over of New Era Chicago for a live broadcast of Sway in the Morning. A variety of Chicago artists were in the building and partook in the festivities as Sway interviewed them for their perspective on the Chicago scene and what each individual has going on. And it wouldn't be Sway In The Morning without freestyles... some of the artists kicked some rhymes as well.
I can say from personal experience that it was not only a great turnout of up and coming Chicago emcees (particularly in the drill scene), but that it was also warming to see the genuine love and engagement that Sway had with everyone — both on and off the airwaves. First, it was great that he came to town during our biggest music weekend and put the spotlight on these talented Chicago artists. And just as noteworthy: Sway was appreciative of everyone who just wanted to chat off-air as he asked for everyone's name, humbly accepted respect, and really wanted to get to know both the rising Chicago artists and the tastemakers behind the scenes. It really is refreshing when a living legend in the game like Sway is coming into Chicago with the love and curiosity to get to know the city more and do his part to spread the word. Need more people like that in the industry.
Anyway, all week, Sway has been releasing a few videos a day as part of what the morning show is dubbing '#ChicagoWeek'. Here are three that caught my eye for a variety of reasons, and the full list of artists and the released videos below (more to come tomorrow, I presume).
UPDATE: It is 'tomorrow' now as #ChicagoWeek concludes with the main event: a dope cypher from Naledge (Knowledge?!), MarVo, Giftz, & The Boy Illinois. There are highlights in every one: in particular, watch out for how Naledge and Giftz end theirs and MarVo and Illi grab your attention at the beginning of their rhymes. Dopeness!
Naledge, MarVo, Giftz, & The Boy Illinois "Sway In The Morning Cypher"
The Boy Illinois & MarVo on violence and lack of guidance in Chicago
King Louie on writing with Kanye West on "Send It Up" & "New Slaves"
Twista on how the music scene has changed in Chicago and advice to Chief Keef
Sad news as the Chicago Tribune is reporting that OTF/Def Jam artist Lil Durk was arrested earlier today in Chicago for having a loaded .40-caliber pistol. Durk was on his way to completing parole for a previous gun charge that was due to end in July. He is expected in Cook County Criminal Court tomorrow for his bond hearing.
I have to say that reading that Tribune article was really annoying. The media never really address the reasons that culminate in most young black men that live in Chicago believing that they have to carry weapons in order to feel safe in their own neighborhoods. Famous or not. Instead they are quick to villify him, and others, making it known that he associates with other menaces to society like Chief Keef. Rehashing memories of Lil Jojo's death, which is still an open investigation.
I am in no way defending his crime, I'm actually rather disappointed in him myself as I am more a fan of Durk than I am of Chief Keef. At the same time, I can't help but see the other angles involved in this case and am hoping for the best.