GIF Me The Deets: Pitchfork Music Festival 2017

If you’re a true music fan living here in Chicago, you know that Pitchfork is THE event of summer music festival season. Charming as always, the laid-back festival featured numerous food and alcohol vendors, as well as the brand-new Pitchfork PLUS+ section. In PLUS+, cocktails and food were curated by Chicago’s Land and Sea department (I tried a fish-focused dish from Lost Lake, which was delicious), and included air-conditioned bathrooms, which were a welcome reprieve from Sunday’s humidity. Other features of the festival included the pop-up Saint Heron house on Sunday, CHIRP’s record store, and the poster vendors—I was very excited to snag a Sonnenzimmer piece this year!

Musically, the festival tended to lean a little heavily towards the rock and indie side this year, with acts like Pinegrove and LCD Soundsystem drawing almost shockingly large crowds, but the lineup was excellently diverse nonetheless. All of the hip hop acts were some of the best that I’ve seen at Pitchfork: Isaiah Rashad was extremely charismatic, while Joey Purp brought an intense energy to his set. Of course, A Tribe Called Quest’s closing performance on Saturday was legendary, and a highlight of the festival. Arca and Derrick Carter gave electronic music a great name—Arca’s performance was absolutely wild, as he played high-intensity Latin music and unsettling visuals while rocking heels and a leotard.

My favorites, however, were Nicolas Jaar and Solange. Both artists were mesmerizing in different ways; Jaar put the audience in a trance-like state, making an hour feel like 15 minutes (no exaggeration). Solange, however, felt reverent, as if I was in a place of worship. Tears were shed as she performed her catalogue of hits (shoutout to “Locked In Closets”). While it may not have been my most exciting year at Pitchfork, it was an enjoyable one nonetheless, and a festival that’s always worth going to, in my opinion.

Vic Mensa & Joey Purp – 773 Freestyle

Even though they’re currently on tour together, that doesn’t stop Vic Mensa and Joey Purp from dropping a brand new freestyle for their fans. The song was first premiered at Vic Mensa’s closing set on Saturday July 28th at the 25th anniversary of Lollapalooza. The song shows love to their city, the 773 312 aka Chicago. Listen to the freestyle.

Towkio – PLAYIN FAIR feat. Joey Purp [Prod. Smoko Ono]

It’s been a Savemoney 2016 thus far and it’s far from over. Yesterday, Towkio delivered a one off with Savemoney affiliates Joey Purp and Smoko Ono entitled “PLAYIN FAIR” that’s as high powered as it is heavy hitting. Make sure you’ve got Twokio on your watch list for the remainder of the year. Word from the top of the Savemoney Army hints he’s been working with some heavy hitters.

Joey Purp – GIRLS @ (feat. Chance The Rapper)

I’ve personally heard this track about a hundred times (courtesy of Knox Fortune) and I couldn’t be more pleased that it is finally out for the world to enjoy.

Joey Purp returns for the third single from his iiiDrops project with one of the bounciest songs I’ve heard in years in “GIRLS @”. Featuring hometown hero Chance The Rapper, fresh off the release of his highly praised Coloring Book, the track plays fun at looking for all the girls who have the all finer things. The SaveMoney duo lace hot bars over the infectious beat produced by Knox Fortune, with additional production from Peter Cottontale. I’m making this claim right now: This is THE Chicago rap song for Summer ’16.

If you aren’t excited for iiiDrops after these 3 singles…WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU???

Joey Purp – Photobooth

Chicago’s Joey Purp is back with the second single from his highly anticipated, solo debut iiiDrops with “Photobooth”. An beat I couldn’t classify any other way besides “bonkers” pumps through speakers as Purp laces together bars challenging his superiors, his rise to greatness, and enjoying the perks of newfound success. The track was produced by West Coast producer GARREN, with additional production courtesy of Chicago’s Knox Fortune (you’ll see him all over the iiiDrops credits.)

Make sure you’re at the iiiDrops release show at Metro on May 27th, and keep your eyes peeled as Purp is still announcing special guest openers.

Joey Purp – Cornerstore (feat. SABA & theMIND)

Fans of Chicago’s Joey Purp have been patiently awaiting iiiDrops for damn near years, and yesterday we all got our first taste of his upcoming solo debut. A straight to the fundamentals hip-hop anthem, “Cornerstore” addresses the harsh realities faced by Purp and Saba growing up on Chicago’s South and West sides. While Joey talks about facing issues like playing with a found gun as a kid and Saba remarks on watching an old friend submit to a life of crime, a soul-filled beat from Thelonious Martin featuring additional production from Knox Fortune, Peter Cottontale, and Donnie Trumpet, pumps through speakers, accentuating Joey and Saba’s hard hitting raps. The whole track is topped off with a beautiful bridge delivered by theMIND. It’s a much more mature subject for Purp, but “Cornerstore” has me incredibly excited for the release of iiiDrops.

Joey Purp headlines the Metro on May 27th for the release party for iiiDrops and you can cop tickets right here.

The Culture (Dir. by Cole Bennett)

“People become so comfortable with their own lives and form perspectives resulting in them forgetting to look at anyone else’s. That right there is the premise of this documentary – to look at various perspectives which form a bigger picture… This documentary intentionally has no narrative for the reason that narratives create for a molded perspective, this is for you to build your own.” Cole Bennett

The Culture is the debut full length documentary by Lyrical Lemonade founder Cole Bennett. His contributions to Chicago’s music scene have already been significant, in addition to running Lyrical Lemonade, he’s presented shows, countless video recaps and a series of cyphers giving well deserved light to emerging rappers. Read more about him and his work in a recent interview with These Days News.

The Culture succeeds at capturing the present and important moment in Chicago hip hop, described by many as a renaissance, in a way that can only be achieved by talking to the people living here and making it happen. In a series of interviews with such luminaries as legendary rappers Twista, Do or Die, bop king DLow, Supa Bwe, Save Money’s Joey Purp and Dally Auston, Taylor Bennett, Lucki Eck$, musician & activist Ethos, producer Noah Sims, journalist Jake Krez and many more – the city’s music scene is depicted broadly and in a way that wasn’t fully covered in works like Noisey’s “Chiraq” or WSHH’s “The Field.”

The film doesn’t ignore the challenges here, the violence is addressed, and in a very personal way by Chicago Mayor Deputy Chief of Staff & father of Chance The Rapper and Taylor, Ken Bennett, who talks about the loss of Chance’s close friend, Rodney Kyles Jr., a philosophy student at Roosevelt University, and his profound impact on their lives. Even with our many problems, the feeling I took away from The Culture was one of pride. Listening to Closed Sessions’ Michael Kolar describing the citizenry and its tenacity and heartiness, Twista and more discussing our musical past and present, and hearing fire freestyles by Logan and Femdot, it’s without question that this community is still growing, and there will be much more to come. As Cole stated, “Whether it be next month, or 50 years down the road – there will never be another time like right now.” The Culture documents this moment, be sure to watch the film and see the bigger story of Chicago hip hop told by those that are living and creating it.

Taylor Bennett – Broad Shoulders (Prod. by Ludlow)

“Reach for your goal, hear what you’re told
Think that you know
See what you’re shown, watch it get old
Watch, it gets old”

Taylor Bennett’s long awaited debut album, Broad Shoulders, has arrived via Rolling Stone.. It’s a brilliant follow up to his strong mixtape from 2014, Mainstream Music. His growth is evident from the first track, the celebratory lead single, “Happy Place,” which features Brill. The album was produced entirely by Ludlow, and both rapper and producer should be proud of the organic process with which Broad Shoulders was created, all production is original and sample free. The project shows an older and more introspective side of Taylor, it also delivers a track that has been anticipated for years, a collab with his brother Chance. Their song is the title track, “Broad Shoulders,” it’s inspirational, conveys wisdom and speaks of growth & family. The song was worth the wait. I’m probably one of few who heard Taylor’s music before I knew of Chance, my son showed me his video, “Goldie,” several years ago before I knew about Chicago’s forthcoming hip hop renaissance, Taylor has come a long way. One of my other fav tracks is “Dancing in the Rain,” it’s a smooth, uplifting piece.The project was executive produced by Tay Bennett Entertainment, UPNORTH Music and co-executive-produced by Joseph Cabey. The artists featured include King Louie, Donnie Trumpet, Joey Purp, Jordan Bratton, Simone Bisous, Shay Lewis, Brandon Fox and more. The cover art is by Hebru Brantley. Catch Broad Shoulders live on Dec. 26 at Lincoln Hall, Taylor will be performing alongside Logan, Morocco Brown and DJ Oreo. Congratulations to Taylor Bennett on 12 months of hard work paying off with Broad Shoulders.

Leather Corduroys – Season

The Leather Corduroys got 14 here on Season. This is their debut mixtape and it’s first class, Joey Purp and Kami de Chukwu are on fire, the production by artists including Peter Cottontale, The Internet, Papi Beatz, Thelonious Martin is consistently strong and the quality of sound is impressive. Even the release was fun, Chance the Rapper who features on “I Told You So” leaked it a little early. The project is taking me some time to fully absorb, there’s a lot to hear on this bold and adventurous album. Kami tweeted “Season is us representing our vulnerability, it is formatted meticulously, yet raw and unforgiving, beautiful and annoying at the same damn time.” That all sounds true, but I’d replace the word annoying with intriguing. Happy Leather Corduroys Season.

Thelonious Martin – Wünderkid Singles (Purp Interlude Ft. Joey Purp + Corners Of Your Mind ft. KSRA & Nylo)

Thelonius Martin has begun the rollout for Wünderkid and is going big! I pre-ordered my copy about 45 seconds into “Purp Interlude” where Joey Purp sounds better than ever. I’m a KSRA fan and she is outstanding here on “Corners Of Your Mind” with Nylo. The excellent cover art is by Herbru Brantly. The album features Ab-Soul, Curren$y, Mac Miller, Joey Purp, KSRA, Domo Genesis, Smoke Dza, Nylo and Michael Christmas. It comes out on Dec. 2. Hat’s off to the Wünderkid Thelonious Martin!