If you had asked local MC RhymSter 5 years ago that he would be where he is today, he more than likely would laugh you out of the room. After quitting a dead end job at a liquor store, RhymSter was kicked out of his house after a fight with his stepdad. After a short stint living with his Grandmother, he found himself living in a rented room in a Traphouse with barely anything more than a futon and the clothes on his back.
Living in a house frequented by gangbangers and drug dealers, RhymSter put all of his time into music, eventually carving out a name for himself in the local scene after participating in weekly cyphers at one of Chicago's most iconic music clubs, Subterranean.
In the five years since, RhymSter has become a force to be reckoned with around Chicago. His sharp, witty lyricism has won over the respect of older heads, while his business savvy and artistic adaptability have made him a household name amongst younger fans. He has opened up for nationally lauded Hip-Hop acts such as Curren$y, and has a show coming up where he is opening for Dave East.
RhymSter is making a name for himself as a business man as well. He co-founded Ever Evolved, an artists' collective who curates events all around Chicago. It started out as a blog simply aimed at helping Chicago artists, but eventually turned into a collective of rappers, producers, event curators and other creatives.
I recently sat down with him for an in-depth interview, where we discussed everything from his come up, to his business as well as his future aspirations.
Tell me about your younger days. Where did you grow up?
When I was younger, I bounced around. Cicero to Humboldt Park, then I got to Irving Park. I was a sports dude, so into basketball. But, music was always around me, so it was like I was being bred for it without really knowing it.
So you feel like you have a natural inclination for music?
Yeah. From my step-dad playing Wu-Tang to Michael Jackson to George Clinton, My mom playing Spanish music, my older cousins and uncles playing Tupac and Biggie, and then the Limewire days where you illegally download all that music, I listened to a lot.
I want to hear it in your own words. What is Ever Evolved to you?
It's a collective of creatives. There's music, production, songwriting, events....consulting people on artistry. The blog, doing that as well. Helping out Chicago artists. We want to evolve, but we want those around us to evolve. The main purpose of our blog is to only push Chicago artists. A lot of people say, 'you gotta go to L.A., you gotta go to New York,' and I'm like, 'that's fine and dandy,' but you have to build a foundation somewhere. If I build a foundation here (In Chicago) it's really going to get somewhere.
You mentioned clients. Ever Evolved is a business. What do clients come to you for?
It started with recording. The reason we decided to open our own studio was because people are charging a lot of money (to record). Then we took it to 'let's bring clients in and give them what they want.' A lot of studios won't be up front with you. They just hit 'click and record.' When you come to us, we provide an experience. You want to come back better than you did last time. It went from rappers, to singers to poets and comedy skits. Then, the clientele grew to songwriting. Then production. If you want me to make a beat for you, you can bring me a bunch of samples, or I'll make something original for you and you can sit down right next to me and you can tell me, "let's do that! let's do this!" versus me trying to send you a bunch of beats. It's more organic. Me and you are both putting our energy into it. That's an experience you don't get elsewhere. With events, we started putting a lot of local acts on. We've consistently done that for 3+ years.
Besides Subterranean, what other big local venues have you done?
As far as performance, we opened up for Curren$y twice. Once at the Portage Theatre, once at Metro. I did Cubby Bear, Elbo Room, Cobra Lounge, a bunch of DIY spots......There's so many.
What are your long term goals?
In terms of my music, definitely (just to be) impactful and timeless. Growing up on legends, I definitely feel like I have the skill to be in that conversation. As long as my music is respected and can inspire this generation and generations to come, I can live with that.
What about with Ever Evolved?
I would say Ever Evolved is my bigger goal. Being the first Major Label in Chicago and taking over the city. I won't ever stop until Chicago gives Ever Evolved a key to the city. 20 years from now, you're going to see 6-8 venues that are all Ever Evolved. Local ones to big ones to studios to buildings. Just to be a ubiquitous company. World domination; Chicago domination.
5 years later, things are looking a lot brighter for the Chicago MC. He has since left the Traphouse, now living with his girlfriend and one of his business associates. Looking ahead, RhymSter appears to be quite busy over the coming months. On Friday, December 7th, he will be opening for Dave East. On December 22nd, he will be putting out a compilation project with the Ever Evolved collective, which he says will consist of the best songs they've put out thus far. He is also working on an album entitled "English Ivy," which is set to drop sometime in 2019. He is also working tirelessly to grow his business as well, and has many events he is planning for the coming year. Given how far he has come in the last 5 years, it is impossible to imagine how far he will be in just 5 short years from now.
Links to his music and social media are attached below.
Follow RhymSter on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/rhymster13/
Listen to his music on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/rhymster
RhymSter's album entitled "39" is currently available on all streaming platforms. Check it out on Spotify and Apple music below: https://open.spotify.com/album/3aGbomFDGprVabqbhFhSSX
Filed under: Uncategorized