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.

Leather Corduroys Feat. Vic Mensa – Have U Eva (Production by Ikaz Boi and Myth Syzer)

Save Money is on fire. The Leather Corduroys and Roc Nation signee Vic Mensa pose questions and serious situations in “Have U Eva” that will leave you with the understanding that they probably have, but “you ain’t neva.” This track was produced by Ikaz Boi and Myth Syzer with some additional work by Peter Cottontale and Knox Fortune. Leather Corduroys are having a big year with the release of Season, many shows and featured on God In Me for Towkio’s .WAV Theory. XXL said the track “thumps with ridiculous aggression and ferocity.” This week Vic performed with Kanye at Chance’s Open Mic and appeared on Sway in the Morning. “Have U Eva?”

Michael Uzowuru – April 13th ft. Vic Mensa & Donnie Trumpet

While Vic prepares for his (sold out) homecoming show this Friday, Michael Uzowuru pulls this track out of the vault. With the signature horns from the homie Nico Segal and tappy sing/rap prose from Vic, this track is real smooth. Give it a listen and get yourself hyped up for Friday…

Brian Fresco – SoulMoney EP (prod. by Tree)

Brian Fresco released his SoulMoney EP a few weeks ago. It’s as good as promised, I’ve been listening since it dropped. The entire project was excellently produced by MC Tree who has some verses on it as well. Brian is a versatile artist and you get to know the range of the SaveMoney rapper here. It’s comprised of 10 tracks with features from Sterling Hayes, Tree, Dally Auston, OG Big Lurch, Trell, Mama Allen, Thomas Mac & Christopher James on guitar. The mixtape is great from start to finish, tough to choose favorites but “Rose”, “Neva Had” and “Some Day” stand out for me. Go get you some #SoulMoney!