Felly & His Mermaid Gang Bring Inspiration To Chicago

Felly & His Mermaid Gang Bring Inspiration To Chicago

I haven’t been inspired this much by a group of musicians, let alone rappers, in a long time.

What I witnessed at the Portage Theater, was not only a movement of positivity, but a group of friends who really have their shit together.

Most of them are going to be college graduates soon, and not only can they rap, they are multi-instrumentalists.

Before I talk music, let me quickly describe the scene, as it was part of the night’s lore.

Outside, a few letters of the burnt-out Portage Theater sign read, “Tag,” which we thought was funny to pronounce like “Taj.” As in Taj Majal.


Inside, were the remnants of what once was a beautiful concert hall. Now, an underground lair for burgeoning hip hop artists.


The vibe was young and energetic, with girls running around, dragging their friends by the hand. Kids of all ages were texting and taking in the sounds. It was a scene.

The first artist I saw performing was Healy. A Drake-like protege, with pipes like those of The Weekend. This kid blew my mind, and still is weeks later. I’m loving this track “Slalom,” and I’m wishing I had a record label to put this music out.

On any other night I would say Healy stole the show, but headliner Felly would not be outdone.

He brought a professionalism to the stage, that was unmatched on this evening.
At times he reminded me of a young Kid Rock, playing different instruments, singing and rapping.

Felly bounced around, working all sides of the stage. Head banging with the crowd and trading versus with members of his Mermaid Gang. His act was air tight and the confidence he exuded was impressive.


His flow was super smooth, sounding just like it did on record. There’s some Mac Miller in his delivery, and most of his lyrics speak on good vibes, which is refreshing. Especially in this day and age of crack-cooking hip hop that plagues the radio.

For a 21 year old, this kid had swagger, and so did his crew. It became more obvious as the night progressed that each one of these artists have been hard at work on their acts. They talked to the crowd, and kept them engaged.

Two of the members, Trip Carter (bass player in Fel’s band), and GYYPS (drummer), also logged solid sets.

Felly has created a style all his own, a crew to back it, and a wave of fans that keeps getting bigger.


His wave, is now a movement.

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