The life not lived. Lyrics by Lupe.
Jonylah Forever, Lupe Fiasco
I’ve just wrapped up a week with 42 amazing people from 19 different countries. Spending a virtually uninterrupted block of time with people from such a broad swath of the world filled me with a still-to-be-processed stockpile of thoughts and emotions, but among these something simple stood out: pride for the City of Chicago. For you city-dwellers out there keeping score, the chi is doing great, thank you very much.
Such is my pride that I’ve pulled together some Chicago-themed songs, with nary an ironic wink in sight. Proof positive of the power of place in music.
Kanye, coming home.
Ryan Adams, writing to the City and what could have been.
Dear Chicago, Ryan Adams
Wilco, on the City and where it could take them.
Via Chicago, Wilco
And Common, elder statesman of the Chicago rap scene (given a nod of respect in Kanye’s video above) talking about his home town. Continue reading
You could be walking through a blizzard in the middle of the night and this song would find a way to have you think of summer sunshine. For you Chicagoans out there, this is one to file away for February when we’ll need it. Props to Sunset in the Rearview for the discovery. Continue reading
It was a Saturday night in 1998. The Cabaret Metro in Chicago was packed, sold out and then some. Though the show was slated for 10pm, it was pushing midnight. And then, suddenly, the lights cut out. Against a backdrop of smoke, thunderous applause and palpable anticipation, out come a set of four djs in what seemed to be monk’s hoods. Monk’s hoods that seemed mysterious and cool as hell, and somehow didn’t seem like a bad Halloween leftover. One of them you knew to be Roni Size: a mysterious DJ who had come from nowhere to take England by storm, winning the Mercury Prize and dropping the fresh new genre dubbed drum and bass onto the world. And now, here he was in Chicago at the onset of his very first US tour.
It was one of those nights where you didn’t know what to expect, but yet you felt for sure that something was happening. You weren’t just an attendee, you were a witness. Continue reading