Yesterday, I had the privilege to attend a local artist showcase at Star Bar in the Chicago Ridge/ Palos Area. It was an all ages show, showcasing Hip Hop/Rap Artists in the Chicagoland and neighboring suburban areas. Hip Hop has evolved from the street corners and basements to the yachts and rooftops. No more rags to riches stories. Everyone has a million dollars on their wrist and five women on each arm. Luxury and opulence ring out in their lyrics. The one thing that is consistent is the misogynistic overtone. Lots of Bitches and Hoes. SMH.
Nonetheless, two acts stood out in the night's events: 4Kings and Lizzie G.
Lizzie G "featured on 107.5 WGCI, WPWX Power 92, CBS2, NBC5, ABC7, WGN9, CAN TV, The Villager paper, Northern Star paper, Roosevelt Torch paper, and Goddess Girl magazine, Lizzie G’s music has resonated with her generation, " boasts her bio. Recently graduating with her Master's Degree, she's pushing a message of positivity. Her "Team Make It Happen" Movement moved the crowd with ease and permeated the minds of every age group and ethnicity. "Make it Happen" and "Go Cray" were the tracks she performed with energy and clarity. Her stage presence was authentic and genuine. There's nothing gimmicky about this artist. While others are pushing the luxe life, she is pushing positivity... period.
4 Kings consisting of Devin 2XX and B.Scott were more than typical. B.Scott the singer/rapper opened with the catchy tune "The Man," speaking of the bravado that young adult men often brag about. The Swag, the Juice, the Machismo. Puffy coat under hot stage lights, but he made it look easy. He looked unbothered in a crowd hanging on his every word. Riffs and runs like Brian McKnight but lyrics like Fabolous or Rae Sremmurd. His counterpart, Devin 2XX was all flow. All lyrics. All word play. Energetic stage presence that made you want to know the words, just so you could sing along. A clear following standing down front, mouthing the words to "Bizness." A young J.Cole with an edge. A dark edge. Songs filled with sex, drugs and being great. Pushing the envelop with his lyrics will be this young rappers challenge in a city full of talented rappers who want the same thing... success.
Overall, this was a clear contrast of artistry, yet entertaining. I'm not sure where this generation will take hip hop. I come from Leaders of the New School, 2Pac, Biggie, Kwame, Nas, Kid N Play, Mc Lyte era- this era of legends that made hits that are classic. I'm not that the hip hop today is classic, but it's catchy.
Catchy or Classic? You decide.
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