When it comes to the rap underground, Black Kray is one of the true living legends. Though he has historically shied away from the limelight, Kray has managed to build an extremely strong, organic, and like-minded fan base. His supporters are the product of tireless and innovative music-making rather than tireless public relations –for that reason he will always have loyal fans, especially here in Chicago. It is almost appalling that Kray and Kane’s Grocery’s had never performed in our city before so I felt extremely blessed, if not a bit jealous when I found out that IC3 3NTERTAINMENT was bringing the figureheads of Goth Money Records to Pilsen’s AMFM Gallery.
Inside the impeccably curated gallery was a small stage adorned with soft pink cassette tapes. To say the venue was “based” would be an understatement. But it was based. It was drippin. It was everything you could ask for. The lineup was programmed with an acute attention to detail –all of the performers made sense performing side-by-side and many were featured on each other’s songs. The shared influence of Spaceghostpurrp, Lil B, and Black Kray was palpable –all these young performers had clearly worked extremely hard to push the underground sound forward in the years since Kray first burst onto the scene. Easeworld, Muddy Mick, Sovren, and BiGBODYFiJi were four rappers that stood out particularly to me and I hope you will listen to their tracks below.