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
Last week Thursday, the place to be was at the New Era boutique in Chicago Illinois. Many supporters of the Hip-Hop culture was in the building. If you wanted to know anything about it, this was one spot you needed to be. Tons of people from each region of Chicago, came in with some of the dopest gear and cameras ready to capture pictures of CyHi The Prynce (G.O.O.D Music Recording Artist), Tink G, That's Broadway.
Before entering the building, you can see the anticipation of this event was at an all time high. The line was streched out pretty long, full of fans expressing how much they couldn't wait to see the special guests that were performing for the evening. Along with that, many were trading information about the style and clothing they were wearing for that night. But thats just the begining...
Stepping into the building, you see an amazing layout right away. While waiting on the performance, there was DJ That's Broadway mixing it up on the 1's and 2's. Let it be stated, he surely has some skills in his craft of being a DJ. The crowd cheered for Browadway as he blended Hip-Hop tracks from the late 90's, early 2000's and tracks from the present. As the crowd was getting warmed up by the music of DJ That's Broadway, some heavy networking went down. A load of media and representatives of Swank Publishing, HipHop Weekly and many more also came to catch the evening's performances.
As the night grew older and the music seem to become louder, fans and the media knew it was time for Tink G and CyHi The Prynce. First, making a her grand entrance to the stage was Tink G. Her performance had the crowd at full attention. The crowd that once was spread throughout the building all crowded around to see Tink G while she represent for Chicago and the female MC generation for today.
As for CyHi The Prynce, the fans in the crowd roared with excitement. While stylishly walking to the front of the stage, he entered to the "Sin City" track from the G.O.O.D Music compilation album. With the crowd rapping every lyric to each track he perfomed, CyHi gave a huge shout out to Chicago and perfomed one last song. Before making his exit, DJ That's Broadway dropped the music and CyHi spit some amazing lyrics acapella.
Now this was an amazing night for Chicago and New Era. Want to see more? Check out the pictures posted. #GowhereYouLove
Photos by: Dartise (Additional photos: GWHH's Chris Shields & Scott Shniderman at New Era)
Last week, we threw our first of more events to come at the New Era Chicago flagship store downtown - a FREE show, nay! Experience.
Gemstones headlined "Elephant In The Room LIVE!" - the first time he performed tracks from his new mixtape (a must-DL), which included remixes of Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" and Fun's "We Are Young". Additionally, Gem performed many verses a capella style, to really drive home his eye-opening messages of building a relationship with God as well as the ills of society and the music industry. It's quite frankly the first, and only hip hip show we've all been to, that began with a blessing and ended with everyone joining hands in prayer. Yup, literally everyone. It was a powerful series of moments to say the least.
Adding to the experience was the live art during Gemstones' performance from Janeen. You can see her creation in the photos - a painting entitled "Gemstones" that was inspired by the words he was intensely delivering to the packed store. We'll have our own, in-depth video covering it all coming soon, but for now, get a glimpse of what went down with the amazing photos above and a bonus guerilla-style video of Gemstones performing "Crazy" below.
New Era & Gowhere Present: Gemstones "Elephant In The Room" LIVE with Janeen's Art
Gemstones & Janeen's Art
Fri, 2012-12-14 19:00
New Era Flagship Store (207 S. State St.)
event producer New Era & Gowhere Hip Hop
For the first time ever, Gemstones will be performing tracks from his newest mixtape 'Elephant In The Room' LIVE at the New Era Flagship Store in downtown Chicago!
Powered by New Era & Gowhere, come out for a night filled with fun giveaways, Shade 45's DJ Averi Minor on the 1s & 2s, live art from Janeen Kern, and a performance from Gemstones! (with more announcements to come!)
Oh, and did we mention it's...
Hope to see you there and come on by and meet our team!
Last week at New Era's downtown flagship store in Chicago, we sat down with Big Boijust before getting an exclusive listen to his upcoming album, 'Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors'!
In a collaborative video with our friends at Rap Genius, GY312 talks to Big Boi about how personal the album is to him - find out how the title is derived from the ATL emcee's grandma. We also get a genuine reaction from Big Boi about the creative GIF-style artwork for the album, the fun behind his bowling name (yup, Big Boi bowls in a league every Wednesday with his studio mates), and last but not least, a lyric from "In The A" is officially verified for Rap Genius. Catch the line in a slick graphic in the video and then hear the song for yourself here.
Lastly, catch a glimpse of the listening party itself with footage of the happenings at New Era, including a sneak peak at how the album monumentally starts off at the very end of the video. Other tracks to look out for: the fast-paced flows on the B.o.B collab "Shoes For Running", another Sleepy Brown feature that connects in "The Thickets", and (released earlier today) "She Hates Me" featuring Kid Cudi. The album has an impressive variety of sounds and I can't wait to sit down with it myself on December 11th.
One last shoutout to Rap Genius and GY312 as the groove maker just moved to NYC this weekend to build with RG. Follow 'em both closely for more major moves to come. Groove!
The Chicago flagship store for New Era just recently celebrated their 1-year anniversary as the downtown store opened its doors for a private party, complete with a mix of barbeque, cupcakes, giveaways, a DJ, and a showcase of their consistently new and fresh gear. Above is a collection of photos from New Era and an Emmy-Award winning photographer and videographer, Dartise. We enjoyed the event together with artist Janeen Kern as well. She'll be a part of an event we're presenting with New Era's Chicago store next month! Stay tuned for more details...!