Can We Talk?: Interviews w/ Lil Mouse, Joe-Ski & Mr. G’s Supper Club

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So I’ve been in contact with a few sources. One is Lil Mouse, the 13-year-old rapper who performed at Mr. G’s Supper Club in March before their gang related shoot out that same evening. Since the shooting, aside from his recent videos, the young star has been receiving quite a lot of backlash from Chicago parents. I spoke with one of his representatives and while he cannot talk about the shootings in particular, he may be able to shed some light on how is experiences as a young, south side rapper are different from ones up north (Wicker Park).

I’ve also reached out to another south side rapper Joe-Ski, the cousin of another good friend of mine in the industry, who seems very eager to talk about his experiences as a rapper as well. I’m sure his own experiences as a self-managed hip-hop artist from the south-side will be interesting, to say the least.

Next, there is the possibility of getting in contact with TheGrio‘s Taleah Griffin who’s done a few stories about hip-hop in Chicago. One in particular was about Chief Keef’s portrayal of the violence in Chicago.

Finally, I’m working on speaking with the owner of Mr. G’s Supper Club, Gene Linton (or someone from their staff) to speak on changes that have taken place since the shooting to tie in with the Congress theatre case. Basically, what are they doing, or not doing, to make sure things like this don’t happen again? Does this mean no more hip-hop shows?

Welp, looks like I have a lot of work to do. Let’s get to it!

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Reflecting On Internships

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After listening to Randi Belisomo’s advice last night in class, I continue to question how important internships are. I have found several articles that questioned the worth of unpaid internships. However, after listening to Randi talk about her career, I am reconsidering the importance of internships. Randi discussed how she landed her job at WGN. She started out as an intern with CLTV and then was referred and hired by the company, which later was bought by WGN. Randi used her internship to network and build relationships, which helped her to land a job in her field. After hearing Randi’s success story, I have gained more confidence back in the worth of unpaid internships. However, I would like to explore more studies and find out how many students with unpaid internships land jobs in their field.

I found an article on usanews.com that gave tips for students who are considering taking an unpaid internship. One thing the article discussed was researching the track record of the company to see if they are known to hire interns. Possibly WGN is more prone to hire interns then other companies. The article also said to consider if the internship is going to help widen and sharpen your skills in your field. Maybe the internship will add to your skill set and help to give you the experience that you need to land your dream job. Or you could just be grabbing coffee for your boss during the whole internship and be wasting away your skills and failing to gain beneficial experience.

I want to talk to several students who have interned or who are interning right now. I want to find out their experiences and what they are getting from their internships. I also want to weigh out the options and help to give better insight into the worth of internships and how beneficial they can be.

Wicker Park and Logan Square Prep for Festival Season

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Wicker Park and Logan Square are happening places. With the mix of warm weather and young-ish professionals with disposable incomes, the area will have its share of events in the next few weeks and months. DNA Info just posted an article highlighting the beer fests and bar specials going on this week.

I think there could be a story somewhere in here. The fests alone could make an interesting article, but then again this isn’t an uncommon thing. But if you think about it, just what effects might the fests have on the neighborhood? Take, for instance, the Wicker Park Fest in late July. Looks like a good time. But how does this affect businesses? Do they do better after these fests, because of successful promotions at the event? Do residents in the neighborhood like the influx of people who visit the area on those days? Is there a rise in crime/vandalism/public lewdness? Or is this something the neighbors look forward too, a chance to show off their home? Do people attend the fest and eventually move into the area? There are a multitude of story ideas.

The Logan Square and Wicker Park chambers of commerce would be good sources for this type of story, as would their neighborhood associations. They would presumably have valid opinions. Again, there could be an interesting story here.

What Now?: Next Steps in Hip-Hop Discussion

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Last week I touched on the differentiating perspectives of rappers from Chicago’s north side and rappers from the south side. The one that stands out the most is the emphasis on criminality. While I do believe that the “thug-life” mentality is an aesthetic all rappers use, when it comes to Chicago, I think it affects south side rappers more than it does north side ones.

At this point, I want to delve into this negative perspective of south side rappers and shed some light on just how different their perspective is.

Here’s a list of some references/articles I’m building off:

Chief Keef Arrested in Atlanta

Party Police

Seven Shot at Mr. G’s Club in Gresham Neighborhood

Chicago Parents Condemn 13-Year Old Rapper, Lil Mouse, Appearance at Nightclub

The plan is to speak to at least 2 of the rappers mentioned in these articles so that I can generate their perspective and report on it. I know it may seem outdated, but this aspect of policing and criminality can be translated to a lot of injustices in Chicago, not just hip-hop music; especially CPS school closings (I won’t go there today). Whether we like it or not, every experience in Chicago can have either a negative or a positive effect just by simply being in a specific “side” of town. I think that looking at hip-hop trends in Chicago is one of the many ways we can address this everlasting elephant in the room and may be a creative way to come up with ways to resolve those problems in perspectives.

Follow Me @AllieLyke

How Useful Are Unpaid Internships

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While examining how worthwhile internships are, I wanted to focus specifically on unpaid internships. I found an article from last summer in the Wall Street Journal that focused on unpaid internships. The article discussed a 2012 survey from the National Association of Colleges and employers, which found that students chances of getting a job are better if they are getting paid for their work. The study revealed that 60% of 2012 graduates who worked a paid internship got at least one job offer, while just 37% of those in unpaid positions got any offers. The article also reported that Intern Bridge, a recruiting research and consulting firm, found that more than half of internships reported for its 2011 Internship Salary Report were unpaid.

These reports suggest that unpaid internships aren’t worth the effort. I agree that unpaid internships can be a hassle. Although interning can provide students with hands-on experience, they also can be time consuming. Many students can’t afford to intern full time without any compensation. I was fortunate enough to have an unpaid internship that was flexible. My internship didn’t require me to go into the office and I was still able to work part-time. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have an unpaid internship that allows them to still work and bring in an income.

I want to explore how students are able to survive while working an unpaid internship. Do they work other jobs outside of their internship? Do they rely on their parents? Do they find their internships to be worthwhile? Have they been able to find jobs after their internships?

 

 

 

Hip-Hop Wake Up Call: North vs South

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Chicago tends to split views once you take into question how certain issues affect specific areas. As it relates to Chicago crime, there is a huge gap in perspectives between the North Side and the South Side.

Where I live in Uptown, there are always police officers, very little instances of crime, and when there are incidents, there is usually a quick response from the police department. A similar perspective can be felt in the Wicker Park area–at least before you walk into Humboldt Park territory. A lot of my friends argue this is due to the amount of white people who live in the area. No matter the reasoning though, the crime rate is still noticeably better.

Then there are areas like the Wild 100s and Washington Park, where police officers are scarce, resources are few and far between, and the death tolls are increasing daily–most of which are Black and Latino. It’s only Wednesday and the area has already reported five homicides according to the Redeye Homicide Tracker. All were African American males.

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Envisioning the Final Project

For my final article, I was probably (I never like to commit too early) going to continue on with my bicycling story. I’ll go a little more in-depth with the topic, focus more on an organization or specific cyclist, and what problems there are in the city with biking.

There are a number of bicycling groups in Chicago that deal extensively with the Wicker Park/Bucktown/Logan Square/West Side area, so I might try to profile them. For instance, I found one group in Pilsen, so perhaps I can speak with them or find a sister organization in Wicker Park.

One thing I do know is that I’ll be going with all new sources for my final paper. I talked with two random strangers on Milwaukee Ave., so I won’t be able to track them down again. Also, the lady I talked with who works with The Chainlink was nice, but it was a huge ordeal to speak with her. I’ll move on from that.

If I don’t write another biking story, I might go with a story on pick-up basketball, or I might just walk around the neighborhood this week and see what catches my interest.