WBEZ | Kanye West http://www.wbez.org/tags/kanye-west Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Hip-hop artist Common announces Chicago youth job program http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/hip-hop-artist-common-announces-chicago-youth-job-program-110003 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/common_140409_nm.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Hip-hop artist Common and the Chicago Urban League are teaming up for a youth jobs initiative as a way to prevent violence and whittle down a high teen unemployment rate in the city.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I see what&rsquo;s going on in the city. We all see it. Anytime I hear about anybody getting shot, young people with guns, it hurts me,&rdquo; Common said Wednesday at the Museum of Contemporary Art. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not proud to be like, yeah, we&rsquo;re &lsquo;<a href="http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/01/chiraq_war_in_chicago_prevents_solutions.html">Chiraq</a>.&rsquo; At certain points I feel like I have to do more.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The Chicago Youth Jobs Collaborative will focus on securing year-found jobs for people ages 16-24. The target is 15,000 youth over the next five years. The program is set to launch this fall with 1,000 young people.</p><p dir="ltr">Private money will be raised to subsidize salaries for some of the jobs. A key piece of the collaborative is engaging the private sector to identify jobs, from corporate to manufacturing to nonprofit. Organizers don&rsquo;t want jobs to end when the summer ends. Employing 1,000 youth would cost approximately $2.4 million, according to the Chicago Urban League.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not just jobs, it&rsquo;s mentoring and support so they [young people] know that there&rsquo;s a group around them supporting their success so they know there&rsquo;s a future for them in this city,&rdquo; said Andrea Zopp, CEO of the Chicago Urban League.</p><p dir="ltr">Teen unemployment in Illinois is among the highest in the United States, and for low-income minorities the rates are even higher.</p><p dir="ltr">Researchers at Northeastern University released a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/stagnant-employment-picture-illinois-teens-105108">report </a>last year noting that teens&#39; lack work of experience adversely affects their future employability and wages. The conclusions mirror previous studies that suggest job experience can help deter teens from involvement in the criminal justice system.</p><p dir="ltr">The report&rsquo;s authors found only 8.7 percent of black teens in Chicago were employed in 2010-2011. The rate for Asians, though, was 15.5 percent. Twenty percent of the city&rsquo;s Hispanic teens were employed, and the rate for whites stood at 21 percent.</p><p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, across Illinois, the teen employment rate fell from just under 50 percent in 2000 to 28 percent in 2012 &mdash; the lowest rate in the 42 years for which such data exist. If Illinois teens had been able to maintain their 1999-2000 employment rates during the past year, there would have been another 151,000 teens at work in Illinois in 2011-2012, the report said.</p><p dir="ltr">Native son Common, whose mother Mahalia Hines is an educator and Chicago Public Schools board member, recalled meeting with young people in Englewood, a neighborhood with high crime and unemployment.</p><p dir="ltr">They told the rapper they needed money and jobs, underscoring the link between poverty and violence.</p><p>&ldquo;What do they want? They want opportunity and a chance,&rdquo; Common said.</p><p>This summer The AAHH! FEST, a two-day concert in September, will kick off. Common&rsquo;s foundation will partner with Kanye West&rsquo;s <a href="http://dondashouseinc.org/">Donda&rsquo;s House</a> in which emcee Rhymefest is the creative director. Part of the money will fund the year-round jobs initiatives.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is a WBEZ reporter. <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a></em></p><p><em>Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 17:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/hip-hop-artist-common-announces-chicago-youth-job-program-110003 Kanye: 'The world can be saved through design' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-11/kanye-world-can-be-saved-through-design-109178 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/20131118_kanye_harvard.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe align="middle" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/xDbVz-7WH2o" width="420"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image ">Kanye West popped into a <a href="http://www.gsd.harvard.edu/#/news/all-news/feed.html">Harvard Graduate School of Design</a> studio earlier this week to talk architecture.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Yes, yes: West often comes off as a self-aggrandizing tool who beefs with presidents &mdash; and that&#39;s both Bush and Obama &mdash; and has frequent run-ins with the paparazzi.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But give him a listen here. West is smart, sensitive and has a feel for design; the creative process and the results those things should bring.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;I really do believe that the world can be saved through design and everything needs to actually be &#39;architected,&#39; &quot; he says in the video above made by Harvard GSD student Flavio Sciaraffia.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">West visited the studio Sunday, on invitation from the school&#39;s African American Students Union, and gave students 300 tickets to see his show in Boston that night.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;I believe that utopia is actually possible &mdash; but we&#39;re led by the least noble, the least dignified, the least tasteful, the dumbest, and the most political,&quot; he told students. &quot;So in no way am I a politician. I&#39;m usually at my best politically incorrect and very direct. &nbsp;I really appreciate you guys&#39; willingness to learn and hone your craft, and not be lazy about creation.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">West&#39;s remarks are also another example of his (and hip hop&#39;s) interest in architecture and design.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;I want to do product, I am a product person,&quot; West told BBC1 a few months ago. &quot;Not just clothing, but water bottle design, architecture ... I make music, but I shouldn&#39;t be limited to once place of creativity.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">And if <a href="http://www.icecube.com/">Ice Cube</a>, the actor and former member of rap group N.W.A,&nbsp;still counts, two years ago <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-12-09/ice-cube-chills-designs-charles-and-ray-eames-94756">he expressed his love</a> for the work of&nbsp;American designers<span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 16px;">&nbsp;</span><a href="http://eamesoffice.com/charles-and-ray/">Charles and Ray Eames</a>.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">For years now, rap and hip hop music videos have often brilliantly documented the beauty and scale of urban spaces. Their desolation and abandonment, too.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">One standout is the West-directed 2005 music video for Common&#39;s &quot;The Corner.&quot; The minor masterpiece showcases Chicago&#39;s built environment, beginning with the places formed by those utopian ideals he talked about, and then travels to the spots where politically-shaped and contested spaces hold sway.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6mnKNr2Tiq8" width="560"></iframe></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Speaking of contested spaces: <a href="http://www.preservationchicago.org/">Preservation Chicago</a>, the Chicago Film Archives and Kartemquin Films tonight are <a href="http://www.chicagofilmarchives.org/current-events/vanishing-neighborhoods">screening three short and rarely-seen 16mm films</a> that documented the demolition, change and tumult in Chicago during the 1960s and 1970s.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">One of the films, DeWitt Beall&#39;s &quot;A Place to Live,&quot; was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-01/place-live-newly-resurfaced-60s-film-sought-humanize-chicagos-urban-renewal">featured in this blog</a> earlier this year.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The group will also show<em>&nbsp;&quot;</em>Kali Nihta, Socrates,&quot;<em> </em>a short that looks at the demolition of the Greektown neighborhood in the 1960s and &quot;Now We Live On Clifton,&quot;&nbsp;a documentary about two kids who fear &mdash; and rightfully so, as it turns out&mdash; that gentrification will force them out of their multiracial Lincoln Park neighborhood in the 1970s.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><strong><a href="http://www.chicagofilmarchives.org/current-events/vanishing-neighborhoods">The screening</a> will begin at 7:30pm at Comfort Station, 2579 N Milwaukee Ave. Admission is free.&nbsp;</strong></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Lee Bey writes about architecture at WBEZ. Follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/LEEBEY">@LeeBey</a>.</em></div></p> Tue, 19 Nov 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-11/kanye-world-can-be-saved-through-design-109178 For fashion, if it's all white, it's all right http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-11/fashion-if-its-all-white-its-all-right-109069 <p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43b2ccfa-2338-ad57-6380-9b69538baf6c"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP924745381151%20%281%29.jpg" style="width: 620px;" title="(AP/Zacharie Scheurer)" /></span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Fashion is one of the last major industries to publicly and profoundly act as a system of discrimination and exclusivity. And Kanye West &ndash; despite his strange and inaccurate comments comparing his fiance, Kim Kardashian, to the FLOTUS, Michelle Obama &ndash; has recently come out with comments that touch on the industry&#39;s perpetual exclusion. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>In an interview with Ryan Seacrest on KIIS-FM, he <a href="http://guardianlv.com/2013/11/kanye-west-kim-kardashians-fashion-more-influential-than-that-of-michelle-obama/" target="_blank">said</a>, &ldquo;What I want to create isn&rsquo;t about black and white, but the reason why I&rsquo;m not able to create what I want to create is about being black, and is about classism.&rdquo; </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43b2ccfa-2338-ad57-6380-9b69538baf6c">The music industry works differently. It is not less racist, but it is more inclusive. It is driven more by profit (allowing for a more diverse array of voices) than by inclusiveness or exclusiveness. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Although the music industry also has a long history of cultural appropriation, the vast numbers of musicians and output has allowed people of color to flourish and cross boundaries in successes that can still be found in other industries such as the film, television, and yes, fashion industries. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43b2ccfa-2338-ad57-6380-9b69538baf6c">Kanye has not yet differentiated the two industries and he exists with a worldview in which success in one area can translate to another. His quotes may seem silly or idealistic, but they actually reflect a progressive challenge to the fashion industry that has yet to budge on its methods of exclusion. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43b2ccfa-2338-ad57-6380-9b69538baf6c">We allow the fashion industry to exist in this world of exclusivity and have for too long. It remains under the radar and most discussions about its exclusivity happen sporadically and only within its close, small circles. We&rsquo;ll see an editorial or two from a feminist or women&rsquo;s-oriented website. But for the most part, the general public does not understand how little the industry values inclusion. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43b2ccfa-2338-ad57-6380-9b69538baf6c">For most of us, our interactions with fashion are through the trends that have been reinterpreted from the runways and mass produced. We are not on the direct lines of the design process, the model selection, or the print publications. There is less choice for the public which makes it easier to exclude our voices. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43b2ccfa-2338-ad57-6380-9b69538baf6c">This is more difficult in areas like film and television, where our choices to watch &ndash; or not watch &ndash; have ripples that affect projects already on the air or in theaters and those in development. Although the last step in the Hollywood cycle, our direct participation is a key component to decisions made for the future (Consider the success of the first <em>Spiderman</em> and the glut of superhero movies we&rsquo;ve endured within the past decade as a result.). </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43b2ccfa-2338-ad57-6380-9b69538baf6c"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP785523062393%20%281%29.jpg" style="height: 461px; width: 310px; float: left;" title="(AP/Thibault Camus)" />The fashion industry is not a right system, but we can&#39;t pretend that it does not exist and ignore the far-reaching and continuous damage it inflicts. Its white supremacy and thin advocacy creates a homogenous culture that denies millions of potential customers the opportunity to own what has been created and makes those that are within the system exist in a constant state of reaction, maintenance, and competition. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43b2ccfa-2338-ad57-6380-9b69538baf6c">Recall the <a href="http://www.complex.com/style/2013/10/barneys-nypd-racial-profiling-trayon-christian" target="_blank">recent lawsuits</a> filed against the Barneys department store in New York City by two black customers. In one case, a young man named Trayon Christian was accosted by the NYPD under suspicion that he used a fraudulent credit card to purchase a $349 Salvatore Ferragamo belt. But the debit card and identification used to purchase the belt were his.&nbsp;These are clear cut examples of racial profiling, inherent to the very fabric of the fashion world. Underlying these incidents is the idea that black people can not possibly participate in the overpriced world of Barneys. Even if their forms of identification and debit cards form no problem (as was the case with the two lawsuits), their mere presence is cause for alarm. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>West <a href="http://www.complex.com/style/2013/10/kanye-west-fashion-rant-yeezus-tour" target="_blank">confirmed</a> as much in a recent 10-minute &quot;rant&quot; during his Yeezus tour about the fashion industry, comparing the incidents to the lyrics in his single &ldquo;New Slaves&rdquo; (&ldquo;</span>You see it&#39;s broke nigga racism, that&#39;s that &#39;Don&#39;t touch anything in the store,&#39; and it&#39;s rich nigga racism, that&#39;s that &#39;Come here, please buy more.).</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43b2ccfa-2338-ad57-6380-9b69538baf6c">Soon after the Barneys controversy began, Jay Z, a collaborator with the store, <a href="http://lifeandtimes.com/a-statement-from-shawn-jay-z-carter" target="_blank">said</a>:&nbsp;</span></p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;I am against discrimination of any kind, but if I make snap judgements, no matter who it&rsquo;s towards, aren&rsquo;t I committing the same sin as someone who profiles?&rdquo; </span></p></blockquote><p dir="ltr"><span>The prolific rapper and business man claimed that ending his collaboration with the store would ultimately hurt his foundation, The Shawn Carter Foundation, that stands to receive, &ldquo;25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and an additional donation from Barneys.&rdquo; </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43b2ccfa-2338-ad57-6380-9b69538baf6c">Rarely can someone outside of the industry breakthrough and Jay Z&rsquo;s comments reflect the isolation, exclusivity, and change the system places on who they accept. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Although he claims his decision to not pull out of the collaboration is solely about the lost funding opportunity for his foundation, he also makes a point of comparing the discrimination felt by the two customers to making &ldquo;snap judgments&rdquo; about the character of the store and its employees. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Any rational person can understand that these two situations are in no way one in the same. Discriminating against black customers further perpetuates a hostile environment of who is and is not included in the elite fashion world. Making judgments about Barneys documented actions against black customers creates an opportunity to create change, to eliminate that environmental hostility. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43b2ccfa-2338-ad57-6380-9b69538baf6c">The runways themselves are a perfect example too of the structural order. Rarely will one see a non-white face. Who belongs and who does not can be seen from the top (business executives, fashion designers) down. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/fashion/fashions-blind-spot.html?pagewanted=2" target="_blank">According</a> to the <em>New York Times</em>, </span></p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;After a notable increase in 2009 that followed extensive news media coverage, the representation of black models has remained fairly steady until this year, when they accounted for only 6 percent of the looks shown at the last Fashion Week in February (down from 8.1 percent the previous season); 82.7 percent were worn by white models.&rdquo; </span></p></blockquote><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43b2ccfa-2338-ad57-6380-9b69538baf6c">Kanye West&rsquo;s obsession with the fashion industry is an important one and his comments must play out on a world stage. While seemingly humorous, in fact, they highlight the very real barriers between what is and is not considered fashion. It is absurd to Kanye that he (and his fiance, Kim Kardashian) have been excluded because of their successes and infamy. But those two things are not enough for an industry that largely incorporates non-white people only as the labor to hem and stitch and toil and nothing else.&nbsp;Certain bodies belong and others do not. Anything that differs from this structure must be an affront to its natural order. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>In fashion, it is inherently &ldquo;not good&rdquo; and &ldquo;not right&rdquo; because it is different. It is not white.&nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span>Britt Julious&nbsp;</span>writes about race and culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 04 Nov 2013 07:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-11/fashion-if-its-all-white-its-all-right-109069 Chicago hip-hop stars team up to teach kids how to write music http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-hip-hop-stars-team-teach-kids-how-write-music-108202 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RHYMEFEST-KANYE_130726_JC (1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Kanye West and Rhymefest are collaborating on a free music writing program to assist at-risk youth on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side.</p><p dir="ltr">The &ldquo;Got Bars?&rdquo; program will teach young people how to write and record their own music over the course of 10 weeks. It&rsquo;s a collaboration between West&rsquo;s non-profit, Donda&rsquo;s House &mdash; named in honor of his late mother &mdash; and St. Sabina Church.</p><p dir="ltr">Donda&rsquo;s House Executive Director Donnie Smith said music writing helps the students, who will be between 15 to 24 years old, develop problem-solving skills.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Art instruction and particularly music instruction leads people to become better problem solvers, more flexible,&rdquo; Smith said. &ldquo;There are just so many outcomes that come from the study of music and particularly music writing.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">She said the program&rsquo;s targeting at-risk youth between 15 and 24 because there aren&rsquo;t enough activities for them.</p><p dir="ltr">Rhymefest, who&rsquo;s co-founder and assistant director of Donda&rsquo;s House, will help kids write and record music in a studio. The program also includes lessons about exercise, nutrition and life skills.</p><p dir="ltr">Donda&rsquo;s House will release an EP that includes the participants&rsquo; songs.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Lee Jian Chung is a WBEZ arts and culture intern. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/jclee89" target="_blank">@jclee89</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 26 Jul 2013 09:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-hip-hop-stars-team-teach-kids-how-write-music-108202 The battle for the soul of Chicago hip-hop http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-09/battle-soul-chicago-hip-hop-102642 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1Chief-Keef-550x537.png" style="height: 439px; width: 450px;" title="" /></div><p>Even after the phenomenal worldwide success of Kanye West, in recent years Chicago hip-hop took a back seat to the sounds coming from the left and right coasts, as well as the Dirty South. You know the knock: The Windy City is the home of backpackers, granola-eating hippies and feel-good rappers like Common, Rhymefest, Lupe Fiasco, the Cool Kids, Kid Sister and Psalm One who, even if skeptics begrudgingly granted their skills, just weren&rsquo;t &ldquo;real hip-hop.&rdquo;</p><p>That idiotic slight comes, of course, from the fact that if any one thing ever has characterized the diverse group of musically inventive Chicago-bred rappers who&rsquo;ve grabbed the national spotlight in the past, it&rsquo;s been the refusal to exclusively pander to gangsta stereotypes, the same old nihilistic celebrations of hopelessness, sexism and violence, instead collectively painting a much more nuanced, often more positive and ultimately more realistic portrait of the lives of the majority of young African-American men and women.</p><p>In the hip-hop underground, the rise of the troubled teenage rapper Chief Keef and so-called Chicago &ldquo;drill music,&rdquo; with its celebration of all those tired but still lucrative gangsta clichés, has been the major story of 2012. And thanks to Keef&rsquo;s repellant shenanigans&mdash;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-04/more-trouble-congress-theater-98249">from the use of a weapon in a run-in with police that first gave him bad-boy bragging rights</a> to his <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/chief-keefs-taunting-tweet-has-him-hot-water-102220">now-infamous Tweet about the shooting of rival Lil Jojo</a>&mdash;the &ldquo;new Chicago hip-hop&rdquo; is becoming a topic for the national mainstream media, with stories running side by side with coverage of the city&rsquo;s increasing gang problems and skyrocketing murder rate.</p><p>And let&rsquo;s not even go near <a href="http://www.theroot.com/views/chief-keef">the more exploitative end of things</a>, including Pitchfork taking Keef to a gun range for a video shoot and then <a href="http://pitchfork.com/news/47032-watch-chief-keef-freestyle-at-a-gun-range/">pulling the clip from the site</a> once things got a little too controversial and too real.</p><p>Disappointingly, West has given Keef&rsquo;s soulless rap his endorsement by including a remix of the 17-year-old&rsquo;s &ldquo;I Don&rsquo;t Like&rdquo; on <em>Cruel Summer</em>, the new and largely underwhelming compilation album from his G.O.O.D. Music crew. Not that Keef is signed to &rsquo;Ye&rsquo;s label: He&rsquo;s inked a multi-million-dollar deal with Interscope for his forthcoming major-label debut. As the man behind Dr. Dre, Marilyn Manson, 50 Cent and Eminem, and a tireless champion of cheap shock and desperately offensive schlock, we expect Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine to be a Keef fan. But we expected better from West.</p><p>In recent days, other established Chicago stars have reacted differently to Keef&rsquo;s rise. Common, who also appears on <em>Cruel Summer</em>, has called for a summit between the old-school rappers and Keef and the new breed. &ldquo;I feel like we just gotta sit &lsquo;em down and build with them,&rdquo; <a href="http://www.bet.com/news/music/2012/09/19/common-wants-to-host-peace-summit-with-chief-keef.html">Common told BET</a>. &ldquo;Talk to them, get some type of peace thing going. It&rsquo;s bigger than rap. Kids is dying. I would tell Keef and all of them cats, &#39;Man we gotta sit down and figure out how we&rsquo;re gonna get to a peace meeting.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Meanwhile, even as he&rsquo;s dropping his fourth studio album <em>Food &amp; Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1, </em><a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1693272/lupe-fiasco-chief-keef-considers-retirement.jhtml">Lupe Fiasco is saying he&rsquo;s considering quitting rap</a>, largely because the success of artists such as Chief Keef disgusts him. The two rappers fought it out on Twitter after Lupe said the following in a radio interview: &ldquo;Chief Keef scares me. Not him specifically, but just the culture that he represents&hellip; The murder rate in Chicago is skyrocketing, and you see who&rsquo;s doing it and perpetrating it&mdash;they all look like Chief Keef.&rdquo;</p><p>Fired back the ever-eloquent Keef: &ldquo;Lupe fiasco a hoe ass n---a And wen I see him I&rsquo;ma smack him like da lil bitch he is.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1Keef_0.jpg" style="height: 297px; width: 450px;" title="Chief Keef." /></p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1lupe.jpg" style="height: 310px; width: 450px;" title="Lupe Fiasco." /></div></div><p>Will empty nihilistic drill music come to represent the new sound of Chicago for the world, flipping the script on what Keef&rsquo;s predecessors have built up as the city&rsquo;s hip-hop legacy? Is it part of the problem on the streets, or a symptom? And what are its merits and demerits on a purely musical level?</p><p>These are complicated questions that this blogger only is beginning to wrap his head around. Meanwhile, <a href="http://thedailyswarm.com/swarm/rational-conversation-fake-shore-drives-andrew-barber-chief-keefs-rise-amidst-chicagos-murderously-successful-hip-hop-moment/">the most cogent and insightful conversation on the topic that I&rsquo;ve encountered</a> to date was posted yesterday by the invaluable music-news aggregate <a href="http://thedailyswarm.com">The Daily Swarm</a> (which has its roots in Chicago). The latest installment of the site&rsquo;s &ldquo;Rational Conversation&rdquo; series, editor Eric Ducker talks Keef and drill music with Andrew Barber of the Chicago hip-hop website <a href="http://www.fakeshoredrive.com/">Fake Shore Drive</a>. Among his comments:</p><blockquote><p>The scene still has its supporters and stars. It&rsquo;s by no means dead, and there is more to Chicago than just the &ldquo;drill scene.&rdquo; That&rsquo;s what bothers me the most about the coverage Chicago is getting right now. All anyone wants to talk about is Chief Keef, but there are a ton of other artists here whose content is completely different. Artists like Rockie Fresh, YP, Spenzo, Chance the Rapper, Sir Michael Rock, and Kids These Days are incredible talents and deserve the same recognition. Around ten artists and producers from Chicago were signed in 2012; many of them sound nothing alike and have their own styles and movements. Record execs and A&amp;Rs hit Chicago like the gold rush this past spring and summer, and I think a lot of artists&rsquo; stuff will see the light of day on a major label. Now the artists just have to stand out, but all eyes are on Chicago right now, good or bad&hellip;</p></blockquote><blockquote><p>I can say that as far as cities go, Chicago has had a big year&mdash;its biggest since Kanye first emerged, and arguably the biggest in all of hip-hop in 2012. I just hope that when it&rsquo;s all said and done, the scene is remembered for the music instead of the controversy surrounding it.</p></blockquote><p>The interview is a must-read. And here is another, <a href="http://gawker.com/chief-keef/">a provocative think-piece from Gawker</a>. As for Keef&#39;s music being a must-listen... well, as I said, I&#39;m still grappling with that.</p></p> Tue, 25 Sep 2012 10:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-09/battle-soul-chicago-hip-hop-102642 John Monopoly: The guy behind the guy http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/john-monopoly-guy-behind-guy-100775 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/johnmonopoly.jpg" style="height: 354px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="" />They were only teenagers when John Monopoly and Kanye West began working together. Kanye was the artist, John was the manager. The year was 1991.</div><p>By the time Monopoly stopped serving as his manager, West had racked up 10 Grammys and sold millions of records. Monopoly had his own impressive achievements- he ran G.O.O.D. Records, had his own nightclub in Chicago and could call many of the top rappers in the world his friends.</p><p>Now Monopoly is trying to break the next generation of Chicago hip-hop stars. His new label <a href="http://lawlessinc.net/">Lawless, Inc</a> is pushing the career of rapper King Louie and his southern-influenced street rap. Louie and his contemporaries have a less enlightened take than the conscious lyrics of the previous generation of Chicago rappers. It&#39;s drawn <a href="http://donnienicole.com/2012/06/27/chief-keef-is-the-bomb/">some criticism</a> from the older generation, including one of West&#39;s old collaborators, Rhymefest.</p><p>We ask John Monopoly about the changing of the guard in Chicago hip-hop on Wednesday&#39;s <em>Afternoon Shift</em>.</p></p> Wed, 11 Jul 2012 03:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/john-monopoly-guy-behind-guy-100775 Kanye West gets an epic profile in 'The Atlantic' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/kanye-west-gets-epic-profile-atlantic-98551 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS2429_KanyeWest_Joe%20Corrigan-scr.jpg" style="height: 452px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="(Getty/File)">In the May issue of <em>The Atlantic</em> David Samuels <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/05/american-mozart/8931/#" target="_blank">profiles Kanye West in an article headlined "American Mozart."</a> After recounting his PR fiascos related to Hurricane Katrina and Taylor Swift, Samuels begins to arrive at West's artistic persona:</div><blockquote><p>"So it is worth noting, then, that while Kanye West is a next-level producer and rapper, a high-impact tweeter, a public consumer of chicken fettuccine, and whatever else he might be, he is also something different from a political leader or celebrity pitchman. Kanye’s emotional landscape may be troubled, but it is also a unified whole, which is the mark of any great artist. He is a petulant, adolescent, blanked-out, pained emotional mess who toggles between songs about walking with Jesus and songs about luxury brands and porn stars. Raised by his college-professor mother in Chicago, and spending summers in Atlanta with his father, a former Black Panther turned newspaper photographer turned Christian marriage counselor, Kanye united hard-core rap and the more self-aware and sophisticated inward style that had evolved in the early 1990s."</p></blockquote><p>Samuels draws distinctions between West and his "Big Brother" Jay-Z's more controlled, success-oriented persona. The two have had a mutual attraction and competition for years, ever since West produced Jay-Z's hit single "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)." Their recent collaboration, <em>Watch The Throne</em>, is the climax of Samuels' piece. He followed their tour and gleaned insight into the differences in their approach.</p><p>On Wednesday's <em>Afternoon Shift</em> we talk with David Samuels about Kanye West's place in the cultural landscape.</p></p> Wed, 25 Apr 2012 09:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/kanye-west-gets-epic-profile-atlantic-98551 An interview with Fake Shore Drive founder Andrew Barber http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2012-02-16/interview-fake-shore-drive-founder-andrew-barber-96473 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-16/kanye_flickr_jason pearsse.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>If you're interested in rap music — specifically the Chicago scene — beyond what you hear on B96, there is no better place to go than <a href="http://www.fakeshoredrive.com/">Fake Shore Drive</a>. The editor and founder, Andrew Barber, stopped by <em>The Interview Show</em>&nbsp;last month to talk about the site, what artists to look for this year in Chicago hip-hop (King Louie, YP, among others) and why Kanye West can't live here anymore.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/LlfPJcfxRhQ" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;">The next&nbsp;<em>Interview Show</em>&nbsp;-- our four-year anniversary -- is Friday, Feb. 17, at The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia) at 6:30 p.m. Guests include WBEZ's Steve Edwards, Hot Doug's Doug Sohn, the Portable Models, Soup &amp; Bread's Martha Bayne and DePaul "embedded sociologist" and filmmaker Greg Scott. More info&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hideoutchicago.com/" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 16 Feb 2012 17:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2012-02-16/interview-fake-shore-drive-founder-andrew-barber-96473 The Paper Machete Radio Magazine 8/27/11: The Getting Screwed Episode http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-31/paper-machete-radio-magazine-82711-getting-screwed-episode-91301 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-August/2011-08-31/briarrabbit.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-31/kellykleiman.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;" title="Kelly Kleiman (Photo by Ali Weiss Klinger)"></p><p>We at Paper Machete have a new theme song this week -- it's "Pickin' Up the Pieces" by Fitz &amp; the Tantrums -- and lots of stories about and for people who just aren't getting what they should.</p><p>On our most recent episode, <strong>Kim Bellware</strong> talks about Syl Johnson, whose song "Different Strokes" wasn't cleared to be sampled on Kanye West and Jay Z's new album <em>Watch the Throne</em>.</p><p><strong>Kelly Kleiman</strong> discusses how some MAJOR Chicago institutions aren't paying property taxes and why-on-earth they'd do such a thing.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Shannon Cason</strong> goes to the Southside and fills us in on&nbsp;the Moo and Oink grill, and food deserts.</p><p>And <strong>Briar Rabbit</strong> wraps things up with some tunes.&nbsp;</p><p>As usual, if you can hear us, this magazine is LIVE.&nbsp;Download it&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=450280345" style="color: rgb(0, 104, 150);" target="_blank">here</a>, or listen below.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483704-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/2011-08-27-thepapermachete-radio-magazine.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><div style="word-wrap: break-word;"><p>And this coming Saturday promises to be an exciting one -- we have <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0842140/">Julia Sweene</a>y, SNL alum and very funny lady. Chad Briggs from <a href="http://www.chicagoundergroundcomedy.com/">Chicago Underground Comedy</a> will be there; Erin Shea Smith, author of<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Scale-Erin-J-Shea/dp/1593373287"><em> Tales from the Scale</em></a>; Phil Dawkins, <em>The Paper Machete</em> "Culture Schlock" reporter who combines arts &amp; crafts with skewering pop cultural analysis; Stephanie McCanles of <a href="http://thecancershow.com/"><em>The Cancer Show</em></a>; Bond Benton of the <a href="http://www.palookajournal.com/">Palooka Journal</a>, and <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3694753/">Michael Patrick Thornton</a> of ABC's <em>Private Practice</em>, and The Gift Theatre. And finally, Paper Thick Walls will serenade us with the sweet sweet songs of the end of summer.</p><p>Additionally, if you liked what you heard at the end of this week's podcast (or even if you didn't, just suck it up), head to <a href="http://lincolnhallchicago.com/">Lincoln Hall</a> tonight for more Briar Rabbit.</p><div style="word-wrap: break-word; text-align: left;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-31/briarrabbit.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" title="Briar Rabbit (Photo by Ali Weiss Klinger)"></div></div></p> Wed, 31 Aug 2011 13:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-31/paper-machete-radio-magazine-82711-getting-screwed-episode-91301 2010 year in music roundtable wrap-up http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2010-year-music-roundtable-wrap <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Kanye.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Alison Cuddy got a chance to review the year in music. She invited WBEZ's&nbsp;&quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.wbez.org/radio-m">Radio M</a>&quot; host <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wbez.org/staff/tony-sarabia">Tony Sarabia</a> and music critic and &quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; contributor Althea Legaspi in to talk about the highlights of 2010. <br /><br /><em><strong>Althea's Picks:</strong></em><br /><br /><a target="_blank" href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;source=web&amp;cd=4&amp;ved=0CDQQFjAD&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FTreats-Sleigh-Bells%2Fdp%2FB003KT3NS4&amp;rct=j&amp;q=sleigh%20bells%20treats&amp;ei=0rsLTfaaMtKenwfdx8njDQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNFflObyiaFFR5iFlw_qTlLbadml4g&amp;sig2=u-PkVGe57GF40Nb6F4tWTg&amp;cad=rja">Sleigh Bells--Treats</a><br /><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_25?url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;field-keywords=deerhunter+halcyon+digest&amp;sprefix=deerhunter+halcyon+digest">Robyn--Body Talk<br />Deerhunter--Halcyon Digest</a><br /><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/This-Happening-LCD-Soundsystem/dp/B003BEE0F8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1292615264&amp;sr=8-1">Kanye West--My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy<br />Hot Chip--One Life Stand<br />LCD Soundsystem--This is Happening</a><br /><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/Suburbs-Arcade-Fire/dp/B003O85W3A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1292615339&amp;sr=8-1">Arcade Fire--The Suburbs</a><br /><br /><em><strong>Tony's Picks:</strong></em><br /><br /><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Limi%C3%B1anas/dp/B004ATT5IU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1292615682&amp;sr=8-1">The Limiñanas</a><br /><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/AfroCubism-Digital-Booklet/dp/B0047P1SX2/ref=sr_shvl_album_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1292615792&amp;sr=301-1">AfroCubism</a></p></p> Mon, 27 Dec 2010 07:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2010-year-music-roundtable-wrap