Thursday, November 1, 2012


All Underground. All Hip-Hop. All Day 

Since 1985 Chi-Rock Nation remains a powerful reckoning force in Chicago. With membership of some of the most talented and well-respected emcees, graffiti artists, b-boys & b-girls, dj's, beatboxers; CRN members also represent the fields of media, fashion design & entertainment, as well as community development, and social justice. The Chi Rock Nation isn’t just another big crew; it is a non-profit organization that stands as a pioneering force in organized hip-hop. 
 And now CRN brings us Chi Rock Radio! All underground, all the time! Tune in 24/7 for a taste of old school, new school, and all styles of underground hip-hop from Chicago and far beyond!
click image to tune in

Chicago Producer Coolout Chris Serves Up A Raw Slice Of Chicago Hip-Hop With A Side Order Of Africa!


Producer, DJ, Emcee, Hip-Hop Activist, "Coolout Chris" Hawkins has been rocking Chicago Hip-Hip for years and many artists regard him as a mentor and true Chicago treasure.  A founding member of one of the city’s premiere crews "Elements of Nature", and the 90’s era rap group Spalaney’s, Coolout’s music has been featured on radio, television, and in film. In 1999 he co-founded Urbanized Music and BeatQuarters Productions.  Coolout has worked with a host of artists and producers including Poetree Chicago, Amina,  Kevin Coval, DJ Emmaculate, Profound, Ang 13, The Opus, Maintain, Tall Black Guy, Cadre, Jrunk Unklz, Tina M Howell, Phillip Morris, and a host of others.

This year Coolout Chris returns with a follow up to last year’s ‘Listen 2 The Music’. This new compilation Coolout Chris’ B-Sides, Bootlegs, & Unreleased Music is the next chapter from his hidden vault catalog. The release is laced with hard-hitting drums, clever chops  and sweet melodies, accompanied by deep baselines and heavy rhythm, making this one a definite head knocker no matter what system you’re playing it through.

B-Sides, Bootlegs, & Unreleased Music includes songs by Chicago veteran artists like Urbanized Music, Ang13, Primeridian, Akbar, Awdazcate, Lomai, as well as newer artists on the scene like Moore & Kyle Cole of Watch City, Mookneto, Tek, & Jelify.  It also features exclusive songs with Theo Write, and Samiam Lewis, as well as features by Verbal Kent, and Mad One.  Coolout also collaborates with artists from Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa adding another highlight to this amazing project, which really distinguishes him from most other local producers. His work with Noble M.C is some of rawest boom bap Ivorian hip hop ever heard. His work with artists Ezzdean Duane, Face2Face, and the Cote d’Ivoire Hip Hop Initiative still continues strong two years since their original meeting in 2010. 

Coolout Chris’ B-Sides, Bootlegs, & Unreleased Music

Check out the featured artists online…

Urbanized Music Amina & Coolout: 
At the core, Urbanized Music is the performance, production, and songwriting duo of Amina and Coolout Chris.  Each is a respected artist of the Chicago hip-hop music scene, and collectively they have shared the stage with the likes of Dead Prez, Jean Grae, Killer Mike, Slum Village, Prisca, Rageman, and many others. Considered one of the most exciting, entertaining, and authentically hip-hop performance duos, Urbanized Music brings so much more to the table...

13 takes the direct approach in her lyrical subject matter. Growing up in the streets of Chicago,she has been able to speak the language of the streets with the intelligence of a scholar. Some of her early influences were MC's such as KRS one, Nas, Master Ace, Latifah, Rakim, and Lauren Hill. Her lyrical content is intelligent and up lifting without being preachy. 13's play on words is so clever that she is able to reach consumers from the streets to Wall Street. She is considered to be one of the illest elements in the game.

From "b-boys on the street" to "grown men with responsibility", they address harsh, contemporary themes with positive inspiration for the youth raw with refined experience. The Primeridian takes listeners on a soul filled "mental ride" and is filled with conscious lyrical content that is honest and genuine, inspiring critical thought, while touching on topics from politics, to relationships, to the present state of hip hop. 
 Every story has a beginning, mine starts in the Boogie Down Bronx, birthplace of whats grown to become known as Hip-Hop. That's where I was born. I also spent a few years in Puerto Rico, California, and Florida. It wasn't until leaving NYC as a teen and moving to Chicago that I realized how this music could influence people everywhere. I feel my life experiences and travels have given this native New Yorker a fresh and unique perspective on the culture as a whole.

21st Century Hip Hop doesn’t want to save hip hop – they just want to carve out a space for themselves that they can call their own within the rap industry. “Everything is basically about branding these days; you don’t have to be bound to one style of hip hop,” says Absurd, the producer for the collective, which features two lead M.C.’s (Lomai and Braids), a singer (E-FX), and a champion D.J.(D.J. Ceez), plus various satellite rappers and musicians.
Noble M.C  
Download a 9 track collection of songs from Ivorian rap artist Noble M.C. "Straight Outta Yopougon"features Lyrical Heavyweight Verbal Kent, Dynamic Duo Urbanized music (Amina&Coolout), and Ft. production from legendary Chicago producer Coolout Chris and a remix from North Carolina Native KiofNC.  

ft Verbal Kent  
In an Internet Age where billions of people are at an artist's fingertips, it's easy to forget that connecting wholly with 10 people is often better than touching 10,000 on the surface. Chicago emcee Verbal Kent never forgot. Like the music over his 10-year career, the grind isn't about about the money, but carving out a place of respect in hip-hop history.
Treichville, Cote d’Ivoire: Ezzdean a.k.a Duane a.k.a Douahou born was Moritadar Ezzedine. An Ivorian of Nigerian origin, he was influenced at an early age by many  cultures and his travels throughout Africa helped him create his unique artistsic voice.  EZZDEAN has collaborated with artists from around the world like Anarchy Trial with Mode9 from Nigeria; and Big up with Gunman Xuman from Senegal; Ricks laguinte from France, and Urbanized Music from the US.  His debut solo album MUSTARTPEACE RENDEZ-VOUS is for real hip-hop lovers.

Moore & Kyle Cole (Watch City) 
Formed in late 2010, Watch City set out to become the ultimate super group of emcees. Some being childhood friends and acquaintances, others being local artists just trying to establish a name for themselves. Hailing from Elgin, a northwest suburb of Chicago Illinois, they chose the name Watch City as representation of where they come from. (Do a google search and you'll be able to put 2 & 2 together...) In the summer of 2011 they put out their first project together entitled "It's Only A Mixtape..." which gained them critical acclaim as well as becoming known as a force to be reckoned with around the Chicagoland area.

 Also visit these artists online.

Theo Write  





ft Mad One  

Moore & Kyle Cole (Watch City) 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Check out this collection of classics, vintage music, old videos, and fond memories of Chicago's Hip-Hop past that I compiled from YouTube.  Some of you will know all of these songs and even remember where you were when you heard them. It is also very likely that many of you are a part of this collection in some way. There are also those who will only know a few of these songs and maybe just a handful of artists.

Either way enjoy the memories, and remember this: In 15-20 years some of today's music & videos will look and sound corny too! This was life before we all had digital home recording studios and HD cameras on our cell phones.  
The collection includes 50+ music videos, songs, and interviews,

including: The Realest – Recshop, Rubberoom - Bouncin' Off The Walls, Spalaney’s - Universal Language, The Figure - Dream Come True, Ang13 feat E Drop - No Contest, Undaground Solution – Sandbox, All Natural - 50 Years, Crucial Conflict – Hay, Do Or Die - Po Pimp, Ec Illa - Game You Claim, Triple Darkness - Cold Blooded,Twista - Mr Tung Twista, No I.D. - Sky's The Limit, Common Sense - Take it Easy, Psychodrama – Magic, Ten Tray ft Dj Xrai - I Convey, Kool Rock Steady - You Ain't Nobody, Weekend Aerosol Action - Chicago Graffiti Originals, Akbar – Akbar’s Groove, Dirty MF & Ang 13 Freestyle, Liquid Soul - Salt Peanuts, Poetree Chicago – Spinning And many more… Click PLAY, then SCROLL through the playlist!!!! Or simply click the YouTube link on the player, and see the whole playlist on YouTube.   

Enjoy!  ;-)


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicago Hip-Hop To The Rescue!

Chicago Hip-Hop To The Rescue!


There’s no debate Chicago is a world-class metropolis. And we know it’s a first rate destination for music, arts, and culture. And our music roots run deep. From the early Chicago Boogie Woogie days, through the waves of Jazz, Rock, and Soul; to the emergence and domination of House music, Chicago has always been innovative and on the pulse of music & pop culture.  And now Chicago hip-hop is featured prominently on the world’s music stage.  With the commercial rise of artists like Common, Twista, Lupe Fiasco, and of course Kanye West, Chicago is now known and respected for its Hip-Hop.  But something else has also been brewing in Chicago’s underground for quite some time now, and it’s staring to create some major ripple effects. 

The fusions of art and community, hip-hop and activism, youth and empowerment are not new concepts, but Chicago hip-hop artists and community groups are implementing new strategies in inner city neighborhoods that are reaching and uplifting young people.  With all the negative controversy surrounding rap music these days, one might be surprised to know that Hip-Hop has a heart, a soul, and a very positive and progressively conscious agenda.

Community and arts groups are developing formulas for change that begins with young people, and they are using hip-hop in a big way to engage, empower, and mobilize youth to create the change they want to see in their neighborhoods. Kids are learning some important life lessons in critical thinking, team building, and defining their place in the world. Hip-hop is giving them a key to unlock their optimum potential, and open the door to a brighter future. 

We could begin our tour on the city’s south side at the Ark of St Sabina in Chicago’s Auburn-Gresham neighborhood where Hip-Hop Detoxx has modeled a unique holistic hip-hop approach. Since detoxification refers the process of removing poisons from the body, Hip-Hop Detoxx has developed a formula that uses ‘Hip-Hop’ as the tool to help remove the poisons of unhealthy lifestyle choices and negative influences, and helps strengthen the socio-emotional life skills of youth and teen members. Founded in 2004 by Enoch Muhammad and Kesha Wells, HHD has presented workshops across the country, reaching over 100,000 individuals.  They now offer programs & workshops from Youth Leadership, Talent Development & Music Studio Apprenticeships, to Food & Drug Addiction Prevention, Entrepreneurship, Family Mediation Workshops, and so many more.  They provide services for teens and young adults with solutions that consider healthy social, emotional, and physically development. They highlight the interplay between the family, school, community, socio-economic status and environment and provide the tools that inspire hope, change, and truth. 

Kuumba Lynx (KL) an Arts Partner with the Chicago Park District, and provides free drop-in arts classes from their home base in Uptown’s Clarendon Park Community Center at 4501 N. Clarendon Avenue. An an arts and edutainment organization formed by three young women, Jaquanda Villegas, Jacinda Bullie and Leida Garcia, in 1996, their mission is as important today as it was 16 years ago. Kuumba Lynx provides access to programs that preserve, promote and present urban arts & culture; empower youth and their communities, and use hip-hop culture as a vehicle for inter-generational and cross-cultural dialogue. In conjunction with community arts programming, Kuumba Lynx developed a traveling intergenerational performance ensemble, comprised of children as young as eight years old. KL believes it is important to help develop healthy hearts, minds, and bodies so that strong community foundations can thrive.  They are dedicated to providing programs for creative expression & literacy, and work diligently to increase social consciousness, community analysis & exchange, global action, inner peace, and universal freedom. KL offers Arts Residencies and Workshops, Kuumba Lynx Performance Ensemble (KLPE), and Community Cultural Events. These programs push community reflection, critical thinking and support the active exchange of ideas., 

Also in the Uptown neighborhood  Connect Force uses instruction in the core hip-hop elements including breakdancing, graffiti art, MCing, DJing, and music production, as artistic expressions to bring together a diverse group of youth and community members to promote a positive, healthy and productive way of living. Started in 2003 by Justin Grey, Connect Force offers hands-on opportunities for youth to develop their artistic ability, physical fitness and critical life skills through a combination of structured and self-directed activities including community service projects, monthly performances, peer-led workshops and social justice events. They recently presented a Back To School Jam free to all children, in partnership with one of Chicago’s premier crews, the Chi Rock Nation. Together they collected donations and distributed school supplies to hundreds of local children at a daylong event hosted at Alternatives on Sheridan Road. In addition to giveaways for students, there were free haircuts, manicures, food, entertainment, and many arts activities. Connect Force is an oasis in Uptown for community empowerment, portrayed in the dynamic work they do!, 

Southwest Youth Collaborative’s, University of Hip-Hop located at 6400 S. Kedzie in the Chicago Lawn/Marquette Park neighborhood combines art and the urban landscape through dance, poetry, music, mural arts and gardening in an environment that promotes respect for all cultures and the world around us.
‘UHIPHOP’ (where hip-hop stands for Healthy Independent People Helping Other People) examines the historical socio-cultural backgrounds of its participants, and engages them in the study of diverse cultural identities and expressions. They offer multi-disciplinary courses in dee-jaying, rap, graffiti/mural arts, and break-dancing, as well as classes in political education, outdoor and environmental education, humanities and social sciences. Working with professional artist, participants learn the histories, philosophies, and methods of urban art forms with particular emphasis on the values of the Youth Liberation Movement. Community service is a central component of this program and typically involves replacing graffiti vandalism with professional-quality murals, and hosting open mic nights for the community., 

Developed and facilitated by two Project NIA volunteers in Rogers Park, Ethan Ucker and Emmanuel Andre launched Circles and Ciphers, a leadership development program for young men who are prison, court, and gang involved.  Through the use of improvisational hip-hop freestyle ciphers, as well as talking and peacemaking circles, participants become community organizers.  Participants conduct research on re-entry, identify beneficial resources available to young men returning to their neighborhoods after incarceration or disengagement, and they facilitate public forum to present research findings, as well as developing and touring a youth-led street law curriculum to CPS high schools in partnership with First Defense Legal Aid, and the "Know Your Rights!" project of the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University School of Law.

This list only skims the surface of one of the ways hip-hop is playing a major role in the lives of young people, and helping to inspiring progressive and empowering change in Chicago neighborhoods. Hip-hop is more than music here. In some cases it’s a safety net, in others it is an outlet for creative expression and individualism, but in many cases hip-hop is the last resort… and when all else fails, they bring hip-hop to the rescue. 


Monday, October 22, 2012

TGCF2! Blazing Like Catie O'Leary's Bovine Mishap!


>Friday, November 23rd, 2012<

Yes! This is one of those rare, can't miss events for lovers and supporters of Chicago Hip-Hop. It's the kind of event you don't want to just see pictures and read status updates about. You've just gotta be there! And it's at Double Door! How much more nostalgia do you need? So go ahead and make your babysitting arrangements, put in a request for the next day off work, and make sure you have gas or bus fare. Rain, sleet, blah, blah, blah, yeah it's Chicago, you never know. Get ready ya'll! CHI TOWN STAND UP!!!

**Get yourself ready! Click below for artist links. See videos, download music, join mailing lists, and more.**

 of Scope Radio 89.3 WNUR

Friday, November 23rd, 2012
1572 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Doors at 8:00pm Show at 8:30



Sunday, October 21, 2012

I Still Love H.E.R. Is A True Kick Ass Gem For Chicago!

Chicago’s I Still Love H.E.R. is the highly anticipated monthly event dedicated to the love of hip hop and its four elements through the feminine experience. Since 2011 LadyGemStar and  KickAssAlyssia have produced the monthly series featuring a variety of female DJs, MCs, Breakers, and Graffiti artists. “We want to create a platform for women in Hip Hop and raise awareness to the importance of the feminine contribution in the Chicago hip hop community as well as in its culture worldwide,” they say, and they have been doing just that. 

As a tribute to the first fantastic year, they released the mixtape entitled “I Still Love H.E.R. (Vol.1)” It is hosted by I.S.L.H. founders LadyGemStar & KickAssAlyssia, and mixed by DJ ALO.

No other event series can claim the ranks of showcasing female hip-hop artists in Chicago. I Still Love H.E.R. has featured a stellar lineup of DJs, MCs, Breakers, and Graffiti artists, including emcees Ang 13, Anyiahlation, Dream, Maya Odim, Rita J, Flipsidee, Spq-Her, Ruby Yo, Camoflaj Jones, Milly Mango, Crystal La’Juene, Davilla Tha Dutchezz, Psalm One, yours truly, and so so many more… I.S.L.H. has also featured DJs Tess, Bumblebee, Gemini Jones, Kristin, Rhated R, Am Pm, Narz, Karma (from STL), All The Way Kay, Chante; and Graf artists Stef Skills, Nisi Rok, Urbal, Beloved, Zena, Blis, Ms Bel; and B-Girls Lady Champ, Sweetfeet, Dirty Sneakers Crew, and a host of other wonderfully talented women.        

I Still Love H.E.R. takes place every fourth Monday of the month in ‘The Lounge’ at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave, in Chicago’s Wicker Park/Bucktown neighborhood. It runs from 10pm-2am. There’s a $5 cover. And it is a 21 and over event.

Visit I Still Love H.E.R. online or on “Like” them on Facebook at . For booking or more information send inquiries  to

Friday, October 19, 2012

Check Out Primeridian, Tomorrow Kings, Pugs Atomz, and more Nov 30th at Empty Bottle

Beast Productions Presents: 
Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave
Fri Nov 30 2012 - 9:30 - PM $7

Don't miss out on this underground event!

Hosted by Shadowmaster & DJ Epik 1

The Primeridian
From "b-boys on the street" to "grown men with responsibility", we address harsh, contemporary themes with positive inspiration for the youth raw with refined experience. Disciplined, educated artists who work have studied and performed with numerous artists of various genres including the legendary Run-DMC, Redman, Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, Common, Fareed Haque, Frank Orral, Bobby Irving, Kahil El Zabar, Ari Brown, Dizine, and Tamara Shaw and many others. the primeridian has remained active in the community working extensively with youth & performing at anti-war demonstrations across the nation and standing in solidarity with the struggles of the oppressed peoples in the world. The primeridian takes listeners on a soul filled "mental ride" and is filled with conscious lyrical content that is honest and genuine, inspiring critical thought, while touching on topics from politics, to relationships, to the present state of hip hop. Also check out Primeridian on Coolout’s B-Sides, Bootlegs, & Unreleased Music featured on and catch The Primeridian on Facebook:  

Tomorrow Kings
Tomorrow Kings is a group of seven emcees and one DJ with a wealth of musical styles and artistic directions at their command. The central aim of the collective is to break the typical mold usually prescribed to Hip Hop artists through creative deviations that shed light on life in a globalized and postmodern world. With several distinct styles of delivery and cadence along with their own varied influences, each emcee plays their part. These roles range from traditional storytelling and skill rhymes to vivid hardcore imagery and avant-garde soundscapes and lyrics reminiscent of John Coltrane or Ornette Coleman. Tackling subjects like religion, social change and global politics, each member expresses themselves in their own unique way, yet display a colleagueship which results in multidirectional and electrifying musical rawness. You would need to witness it to get a glimpse of what's happening here. Composed of multitalented creative technicians known for taking the mold, shattering it, and representing several facets of reality for what they are, Tomorrow Kings is self destined to release an aesthetic ethos so universally transformative that life as we know it would fade into black if it failed to imitate their art.  

Pugs Atomz
Fresh off a Worldwide tour with his group The Electric (DJ Vadim/Graziella) Pugs Atomz is ready to release "The Decade" teaming up with the legendary BBE records for a compilation of old and new tunes he wrote between 2000 and 2010. All the classic Pugs songs from his out of print albums, plus new music with some of Chicago’s best talent...The album is available now at all online merchants. On his latest mixtape "Enjoy" he teamed up with producers DJ avdim, Dj Simbad, Dirtty Dunnz, Grant Parks and more it also features Brandun Deshay, and Naledge (KITH). Download it here Okay Player describes him as "a rare renaissance figure in hip hop with a background in all the elements. Pugs drops a fun and thoughtful albums that take a few listens for you to realize how rare that combination is nowadays. It's clear he takes rapping seriously without being so himself, always exuding laid back confidence".

Also performing
Hank McCoy:

Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave
Fri Nov 30 2012 - 9:30 - PM $7