Chicago places and spaces, accompanied by rhythm and rhyme

July 18, 2011

For the past year and a half in this space, I've talked quite a bit about television shows and obscure movies that feature Chicago architecture.

But I still say--pound for pound--music videos give Hollywood a darn good run for its money in depicting the city. I've posted Chicago-centric videos by Common, Kanye and others, including a local artist named Cojack whose videos show the seldom-captured Southeast Side. Today's offering above is from a local rapper named B-Lones; I stumbled on his year-old video My Hometown on YouTube. The tune uses a sample of British singer Adele's poignant Hometown Glory as its foundation to good results--even if B-Lones sounds a bit like Jay Z. Director Ben Vogel's crisp black and white video shows the L, the Sears Tower and a place probably never seen in a music video before: a stretch of Dodge Avenue in Evanston. (I should also point out the lyrics are R-rated, so turn the sound down after the intro if you're easily offended, listening at work or the kiddies are present.)

And I'll close with this gorgeous piece of soul, Love Has Spoken, featuring the talented Chicagoan Khari Lemuel. Intriguing how director Sean Fahey seems to use tight, intimate spaces to convey isolation, but employs open space--Grant Park, the Art Institute's South McCormick Court, the pedestrian bridges over the Metra Electric tracks in Grant Park--to show people coming together. The shots of Khari against the Michigan Avenue streetwall are just plain beautiful--as is the song itself.