button

Memoirs of Chicago Hip Hop

Memoirs of Chicago Hip Hop

May, 27, 2011 by: Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

Though originated in the South Bronx of New York, hip hop has its own special twist here in Chicago culturally and musically. For years, it has existed in the shadows of other flourished hip hop scenes in cities such as New York City, Houston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. Common reasons for this are the lack of successful labels and recording studios devoted to hip hop in Chicago, as well as the dominance of house music of South Side clubs. However, since the ‘70s, with Hyde Park as a Chicago hip hop focal point, graffiti trends, and the emergence of Chicago hip hop and rap artists, Chicago has definitely placed itself in hip hop history.

Hyde Park had quite an influence on Chicago hip hop. In the late ‘80s, several hip hoppers would come to this South Side neighborhood and congregate at various hangouts, such as Steps, an all-ages club that hosted break-dancing and other hip hop events. One popular landmark in Hyde Park was the Blue Gargoyle, formerly the University of Chicago’s University Church and was closed down in April of 2009. It was occasionally rented out for all-age hip hop shows and was a common social spot for hip hop fans. Performances by Twista and Common, both Chicago natives, occurred at the Blue Gargoyle. WHPK, a radio station out of the University of Chicago and right across from the University Church, was the first to bring hip hop to radio on the South Side about 20 years ago and is still known for having the best rap and hip hop shows out there. JP Chill is a popular radio deejay from WHPK who has been visited by many during his show to perform or give demo tapes. From 1986 to 1987, he used to have a brief Graffiti Report where taggers would call in and either brag about their own art or criticize others’ work. JP Chill started Sunday Graffiti Day, where taggers bought a Supertransfer, an all-day Sunday CTA pass that cost $1.75, and allowed the graffiti artists to paint pieces in several neighborhoods all in one day.

A common graffiti spot with dozens of murals was the Wall of Fame, a highway underpass located on 18th Street. Since graffiti was a popular, yet illegal, art form for Chicagoans and was expressed on several buildings and structures of the city, Youth Guidance, a social service agency, ran a summer program from 1985 to 1987 called Graffiti Artists Through Education (GATE) that influenced taggers toward legal artistic careers. In 1993, Mayor Daley started Graffiti Blasters to remove and cover graffiti. In 1995, Chicago authorities began to enforce a ban on spray paint sales within city boundaries.

Twista & Kanye West

Kanye West & Twista, two of Chicago's several native rappers

Some of today’s most recognized rappers and hip hop artists are from Chicago, like Common, who actually brought Chicago’s hip hop music scene out of the shadows when he started releasing albums with an East Coast label. Other mainstream artists from Chicago include Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, R. Kelly, No I.D., and Twista. More of Chicago’s distinguished musicians are listed below:

Add-2
Da Brat
Do or Die
E.C. Illa
GLC
The Individuals
Kid Sister
Malik Yusef
Molemen
Qwel
Brandun DeShay
Demarco Castle
Eratik Statik
Gerald Walker
The Hood Internet
Jeremi
Kidz in the Hall
Marz
Mr. Lee
Serengeti
The Cool Kids
Diverse
Fast Eddie
Crucial Conflict
Hotstylz
Keezo Kane
The Legendary Traxter
MC Juice
Psalm One
Shawna
Snypaz
Speedknot Mobstaz
Soundmaster T
Vakill
Yung Berg
Rhymefest
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • MySpace
  • PDF
  • RSS
  • Technorati

Post to Twitter

Lpdeezign
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • MySpace
  • PDF
  • RSS
  • Technorati

Leave Your Response

* Name, Email, Comment are Required

CHHC Advertising

Are you a member of the Foundation Room Chicago? Members will enjoy three Prayer Rooms, internationally collected architectural artifacts, original folk art, fine–dining, and live entertainment. Find out more info here.

CHHC Hot Topics

CHHC Twitter

CHHC Facebook