From cartoons to graffiti to fine art, Hebru Brantley is the hottest name in the Chicago arts scene with loyalists such as Jay Z, Alicia Keys, and LeBron James. His transition from graffiti to canvas has attracted some serious national attention. Through all of this success, Hebru represents Chicago. Recently asked by the Huffington Post, Hebru talks his love for the city and the family like feel here.
The Penny Candy shop ran from Friday to Sunday during Lollapalooza and was hosted all weekend long by Hebru in conjunction with Enstrumental, whose shirts have become iconic. Definitely check out his shirt (on Lupe in the pics) "Rap - Lies = Hip hop." (#TheMathematics). Ahhhhhhh he couldn't have put it better. Plus, Hebru combined with Enstrumental for the exclusive release of a line only available in the pop up shop this weekend — for example, the "Mike" series below.
We got the chance to chit chat with the big man, with an equally big heart. Coming up from the Southside, Hebru’s so grounded and his art illustrates his upbringing with fantasy like depiction. So much love for Hebru! Such a great event and such an amazing individual! #ChicagoPride
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
Another playground of fun during Lollapalooza at the Hard Rock Hotel: ck one Music Lounge, So Miami Lounge, Hard Rock Hotel Lobby Takeover, and #ASOSRocks & VH1s VIP After-Party Series.
Going on year number 8, BMF Media has created stellar hang out spots to relax while in between checking out the Lolla festivities. So Miami is all about fun in the sun - check out our beach pics! Watch sand being transformed into a sporty masterpiece before your eyes while sipping on some make-your-own sangria with Barefoot.
The So Miami Sandcastle
Play some giant sized chess & Connect Four (who will win: Maks vs Tibs) while enjoying a refreshing Starbucks beverage at the ice bar.
Winner in the slideshow :)
Herbal essences & red7Salon create suave new hair dos with flower crowns *festival fashion must have. I could not leave without rocking one of these myself.
Feeling the urge to add ink to your collection, Code of Conduct artists Floyd Davis & Kyle Morrison give free tattoos! Or you can always opt for some non-bodily ink and screen print a T with District Clothing as we did.
The CK One Music Lounge was another go-to spot to be at for Lollapalooza weekend if you weren't at the festival during the day. Exhibit A is this private performance from Eve, who performed a high-energy mix of classics and new cuts from her summer album, Lip Lock.
The intimate and exclusive setting allowed the crowd to interact with Eve in between songs, which gave the performance even more of a family feel. As a first-time viewer of Eve in person, I came away impressed with her engaging vibe and overall style. I was swept up with the crowd in all the fun when her classics came on like "Who's That Girl" and "Tambourine", both documented above. Plus, I'm seeing more and more that her Lip Lock album is nothin' to sleep on as the intro track "Eve", which leads off the video above, really resonated in person too. All in all, it certainly sounds like I enjoyed the performance doesn't it? So did the rest of our team and those in the CK One Music Lounge.
Give another one of our #GWHHVideos a look-see above and also browse below for a sampling of what the CK One Music Lounge was like. As Eve shouted out in the video too, shoutout to BMF Media once again for putting together the dope event and atmosphere.
Every year at Lollapalooza, I feel like there's one legendary hip hop act that either graces the main stage or a jam-packed after party. This year, it was Salt-N-Pepa in the latter environment at the ASOS Rocks After Party at the Hard Rock Hotel last Saturday night.
Before they took the stage, we got a chance to sit down for a candid talk with Salt-N-Pepa, as they updated their fans on...
- The 25th anniversary tour for the 'A Salt With A Deadly Pepa' album
- Their thoughts on Nicki Minaj, and if she could have made it in their era
- A message to today's generation of artists
- What else to expect from Salt-N-Pepa going forward
Right after the interview, we got as close as we could amongst the die-hards to capture their full-out show where Salt-N-Pepa performed all their biggest hits including "Whatta Man", "Let's Talk About Sex", and my favorite: "Push It", complete with a couple of dancers and a well-planned routine. It was pretty surreal watching the legends take me back to my early childhood (or the hilarious Jeffster cover on 'Chuck'), as the concert was a shoulder-to-shoulder party in the pit right in front of the stage. The true Salt-N-Pepa fans were having a blast up front: dancing and bumping into random fans all the while. Great times. It was an honor to see them perform and talk candidly above. Because, no matter your generation of hip hop fandom, Salt-N-Pepa is a must-see!
Other standout performances at the #ASOSRocks After Party this weekend were courtesy of Emeli Sande (whoo, she can sing.) and Angel Haze (whoo, she can rap.) More photos and a recap of our three nights at the #ASOSRocks After Party coming later today! Shoutout to BMF Media for putting on yet another fantastic weekend of events, year after year here in Chicago.
Thanks to The DePaulia, the student newspaper of DePaul for which I edit the Arts and Life section, I obtained a coveted media pass to Lollapalooza 2013 last weekend in Grant Park. It was a great experience, especially when compared to my Pitchfork press adventure; Lolla is a much bigger festival, presumably with a much bigger budget than P4K. Not to brag or anything, but with my press pass I had access to free food and drinks in the media lounge, plus access to artists for interviews or just for gawking purposes. I couldn't go backstage or take pictures in the pits or anything, but I did get in for free to provide comprehensive coverage of the weekend's festivities.
And man was it festive. Weather-wise, this was the best Lolla weekend in recent memory. There was a smidgen of a rainstorm on Friday afternoon, but otherwise the skies were mostly clear and temperatures were in the mid-70s, perfect festival conditions. Although the weather held out, some of the bands were not as gracious with their presence. Most notably, Death Grips cancelled their set on Saturday night after no-showing their Friday night aftershow at the Bottom Lounge, probably in the name of "art." Harlem upstart Azealia Banks also poked holes in Saturday's lineup, cancelling with a little more notice due to illness.
This past weekend was in full effect. If you didn't know, it was Lollapolooza weekend in Chicago, Illinois!! This three day weekend was full of events. Each day was full of entertainment with a swarm of people, that filled Millenium Park awaiting the arrival of thier most favored artist. But, Friday at Reggies Rock Club was a night to create an eternal memory. Chance The Rapper held the official Lolla atfershow.
Before entering the venue, the line stretched out with an impressive amount of fans. From the amount of people waiting to enter, it was known that this place would turn up tonight. As 11 o' clock hit, fans rapidly entered the venue. It took no time for the crowd to pack the building. The DJ's had the speakers thumping with recent Hip-Hop tracks played today and tracks that people were very familiar with from a few years ago. While the DJ played these hot joints, fans were chanting each lyric aloud as if there were on stage performing. Although it was pretty loud in the spot, it became even louder when the lights dimmed down and the red lights hit the stage. The ladies in the building lost their minds.
BJ the Chicago Kid hit the stage with an applaud from the crowd that made the speakers rattle. The homie BJ handled his business while he was on stage. As BJ said, he was "On his Chi-town R&B sh*t". Hands was stretch up in the air, and a chanting clap followed as BJ performed. After BJ performed a few of his original tracks, the big homie decided to show Chicago how much he really was on his "Chi-town R&B sh*t". Being the souful artist he is, he decided to dedicate his tracks to some R&B legends. Lastly, BJ ended his time on stage as he performed a dope cover of the Chicago Hip-Hop group Crucial Conflict "Hay" which has to be one of my favorite performances by BJ of the night.
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BJ The Chicago Kid "Hay"
As BJ left the stage, shorty after it was time to turn the hell up! Next up to the stage was Alex Wiley, Kembe X and a squad of friends that had people in the crowd lose their minds as they performed the "Mo Purp" track off the "Club WIley" mixtape that was released earlier this summer. As the performance rolled on, the crowd got even louder. From the water splashing to the speakers thumping and crowd jumping, it was a known fact that Alex Wiley, Kembe X and more put on one hell of a performance!
As the night rolled on, the artist that everyone had been waiting on finally came to. It was time to clap it up for Chance The Rapper! As Chance gave the indication that he was about to hit the stage by giving his well know adlib "AH!" the crowd went completely nuts! The crowd grew louder as the DJ had the crowd clap along with the tempo of Chance's "Good Ass Intro" track, to bring out the high energetic emcee. If you missed the opportunity to see Chance perform at Lolla, he made it clear that he was bringing Lolla to Reggies.
As Chance performed each track from his "Acid Rap" album, the crowd followed along with him. There was not a track that Chance could sing alone because everyone was singing, rapping and jumping along with Chance. The crowd gave just as much energy as Chance did, and we all know that Chance have some extremely high energy when he performs. Yes! It was turned the hell up in Reggies. The show was full of Mosh-Pits, Foot-working, fist pumping, crowd jumping with hands waving in the air. If you were depressed because you missed Lolla, by the end of the show, you would have forgoten that you missed Lolla because Chance brought the party all the way to Reggies. I must say, I was highly impressed.
I look forward to seeing another show by Chance. It was well organized. From the entrance to the stage, to Chance giving a shout out to all the performers of the evening. Also, the instrument solos were amazing. I have to say that this aftershow was Dope. So, a big shout out to BJ the Chicago Kid, Alex Wiley, Kembe X, Vic Mensa, The Band (Trumpet, Drums Piano, etc.) and Chance The Rapper for giving us all one hell of a show Friday night.
Mumford and Sons and Postal Service went head to head in Saturday’s most coveted headliner spot. To be expected, these were great, but check out what else happened this weekend besides the perfect segueway from Lumineer's set to Mumford and Sons, the Postal Service farewell, Haim (pronounced "hime"), and the red red lipstick of lead singer of The Cure.
The Gowhere team attended the #CKOne shows throughout the weekend. Eve sampled her new CD, including her single with Dawn Richard she personally dubs her "lollipop" song. She played classics, club hits, Ruff Ryder hits, and future classics off her upcoming album. Look out for our exclusive video of her performance coming soon!
She first appeared at Lolla in 2011 and since then she’s had smashed hits such as “Lights” and “I Need Your Love” f/ Calvin Harris. She tweeted that Saturday was one of her best performances to date – which says a lot because she does a show almost every other day according to her Instagram. Though she says her last Chicago show wasn’t her best work, I still thought it was dazzling. Her Saturday show proves that she can really put in work.
The greasy spills are just windows to heaven. The corndog was rich and flaky with a lobster meat sausage topped with a zippy aioli sauce, herbs, and smoky cayenne. Grahamwich has had some serious mixed review since their opening downtown, but after the festival I definitely will give them another try later this week.
The sign language specialist to Phoenix evening set at the Bud Light Stage
How do they keep up with Phoenix lyrics. Two sign linguist switched off between songs and danced the night away. Sun drenched smiles and people grooving out to Phoenix at the Bud Light Sound Stage. People were friendly and not pushing and shoving. Why aren’t all festivals like this? I had a fun time just drinking beers and chilling on my picnic blanket. Good music and good vibes, perfect for the last day of Lolla… in contrast to 2 Chainz show at the Grove. Aren't they just adorable?
The 2 Chainz show was something else... Crowds fled in and out to see the spectacle at The Grove stage. He put on a show but there was some drama ranging from thrown bottles on stage to a person climbing a pole. And he wonders why he gets injured at music festivals. The crowd was so rowdy, but do you expect anything less from 2 Chainz? The best thing of all? - I know him...
First I thought it was attached to her shirt but then a piece broke off and we realized it was a necklace. Not only is her style cheeky, but so are her lyrics. The London songstress wowed an crowd of new listeners and devoted fans. I would definitely keep my eyes peeled for this girl. Could she be like the future Ellie Goulding?