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!

Follow me @AllieLyke 

 

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.

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.

The Fuel, Not The Fire: Aerias & The Clyde Project on Chicago Hip-Hop & Crime

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Local hip-hop band Aerias & The Clyde Project address Chicago crime and how their musical maturity transcends it’s negative influence on hip-hop music.

“I don’t think hip-hop music causes violence, it may be a consequence of it though,” says Josh Luis, lead guitarist and composer for the Chicago-based hip-hop band Aerias & The Clyde Project regarding concerns of Chicago hip-hop having an affect on the city’s crime and venue interests.

This is due to  reports of Congress Theatre being shut down due to drug-related and other alleged violations at the popular venue, which may, or may not, pose a negative threat to Chicago’s hip-hop industry and how other venues tighten up to avoid potential suit.

But when asked if there were any noticeable changes in the Logan Square’s concert/venue community, the band was soft-spoken. As a matter of fact, the band considers the area their best venue and credits their success to fans in the area.

“The shows that we’ve done so far are shows that I’ve only dreamed of doing..[and the] wicker/Logan Square has always been a bit of a ‘hot spot’” says trumpet player, Tyree Williams, the band’s newest member.

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Violence & Crime w/ Aerias & The Clyde Project

Hello All. Today I took the liberty of catching up with some cool dudes of mine–A hip-hop band called Aerias & The Clyde Project.

These Chi natives have opened up for some of the greatest old-school, New York hip-hop artists of all time: RZA, Ghostface Killah, and Method Man.On Thursday, May 9th, they will be opening for Mobb Deep at the Double Door in Wicker Park. 

My intention was to gather their thoughts about violence in Chicago and how it may affect the city’s hip-hop community. I also wanted to see if it has affected (or facilitated) interest with regard to their business & and if popularity is more important than social responsibility. 

But unfortunately, time got the best of us, and I had to reschedule the interview for another date. Sorry guys. 

But, what I did manage to get is a quick sample of their upcoming set. The song is untitled for now (it doesn’t even have lyrics yet), but I’m sure it will turn into a classic chill tune. 

If you hurry, you might be able to still get tickets

Aight, it’s back to rehearsal. 

I hope y’all didn’t think I was gonna give up a free show? lol. 

 

Scoping Out The Area: Logan Square Cycling

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I went out to Wicker Park yesterday, a sunny spring afternoon. Even though it was a Monday, I saw just how many people from the area get around by bike. I talked with a couple of people, and surveyed Facebook statuses and Tweets and the consensus seems to be that a protected bike lane on Milwaukee would be a huge deal.

I took a few photos when I was there. I walked southeast on Milwaukee Ave. between Damen and Paulina, and I got a first-hand look at how hectic and congested the street is. I compiled my photos into a photo slideshow and added some commentary.