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Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video)

The Midwest continues to represent in a major way on the music tip this Summer! Here are a couple of new releases that recently dropped that you will definitely need in your collection:

In late 2007, Chicago’s own HotStylz dropped a hilarious and creative hip-hop anthem called “Lookin’ Boy” which was based on “The Dozens”, a hood tradition of good natured trash talking and two or more competitors trading witty insults. This song featured Atlanta rapper, Yung Joc, who also signed HotStylz to his Swagg Team Entertainment label and became an instant classic. Virtually, nothing was heard from the trio for almost two years…until now.Hotstylz-ADD-Front

Thanks to Swagg Team/Jive Records and UIC Radio’s own DJ Moondawg, Hotstylz’ Raydio G, Krayzee, and Meatball are back with a funny, yet innovative major mixtape release, “A.D.D. : The Mixtape”. In this day and age of rappers talking about money, cars, and clothes, Hotstylz brings a great deal of comic relief, realism, creativity, and originality to the game. On “A.D.D.” they pick-up right where “Lookin’ Boy” left off with catchy hooks and infectious club beats. Standout tracks include “Michael Phelps”, the “laugh out loud” “Auntie Booty”, “Go Dutch” and “Thik & Fye” which features fellow Chi-town MC, Twista. Of course, Hotstylz’ true comedic talents shine on the hilarious skits. Check out the “Dead Beat Dad” skit and you will probably have tears in your eyes from laughing so hard. You can download this mixtape for free at DJ Moondawg’s website at www.djmoondawg.com

Shadowkat Nightson came to bring the pain…and it’s called “The Hurt Game”. This impressive collaborative effort brings together some of the Midwest’s best with a majority of them hailing from the Indianapolis area. “Nightsons Presents: The Hurt Game” presents a hard-hitting, unflinching soundscape that also has a very organic feel to it with a diverse collection of MCs rockin’ over beats provided by the Nightsons camp.

nightsons

Shadowkat and his fellow Plugg City family, Chi-town’s own Rhymefest let you know what time it is right off the top with the sickening title track where “they ain’t playin’ no word games”. They keep the energy going with the pulsating “Breath Control” which features alpha.live and it’s pretty much a straight listen from start to finish from there. Check out “Money Bags”, “Full Blown”, and the head bobbing “Cold Case”. Don’t let this one pass you by! “Nightsons Presents: The Hurt Game” is now available at iTunes and Amazon.com. For more info or a preview of the album you can also go to www.nightsons.com

Last but not least, the anticipated debut release from Chi-town MC and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music affiliate, Really Doe “First Impressions”, dropped via Cartel Records. Ever since the MC showcased his unique rhyme flow on “We Major” on West’s multi-platinum “Late Registration” album alongside the legendary Nas, hip-hop heads have wanted to hear more and Really Doe delivers on his first effort.reallydoecoverWEB

“First Impressions” has a lot of soulful hip-hop on it courtesy of producer Griffin Guess. “Sew It Up”, “RPS (Rock, Paper, Scissors)”, and one of my personal favorites, the unapologetic “My City” are indicative of that. Another single to check for on “Impressions” is the first single, “Mesmerized” which features vocalist Danny Klein and has a slightly similar sound to Lupe Fiasco’s “Superstar”. Other standouts to peep are “Follow Me”, “Million Dollar” and Mr. West even shows up on “Plastic”. Really Doe has been grinding for a while on the hip-hop scene and it’s good to see the hard work finally paying off. Hit up iTunes or Best Buy and cop this one for the iPod. He makes a good “first impression”…really doe.

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

If you would have told me 15 years ago that I’d ever be in the position to hang out with the brain trust of Public Enemy, the members of A Tribe Called Quest and B Real from Cypress Hill — all in the span of a couple of days — I’m not sure I would have believed you. But such is the nature of summer in Chicago that I was able to do all of that — not to mention, experiencing two days of some incredible live hip hop.

As I blogged about last week, Public Enemy kicked it off on Friday night, performing “It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold us Back” at the Pitchfork Music Festival. Needless to say, they didn’t disappoint. The full crew was there — except for the DJ, Terminator X — and the crowd, many perhaps too young to have known P.E. when they first burst on the scene, was energetic and appreciative.


Slideshow: Rock The Bells


Let me just say this. Flavor Flav is laughing all the way to the bank. Before he played the clown for a worldwide TV audience, this is a dude with a world of talent, which he displayed with his dexterious rhymes and a full drum solo. I was a bit apprehensive about their new DJ (Lloyd), but he also won me over with a dope solo.

On Saturday it was off to Tinley Park for the Rock The Bells tour. I was disappointed with the sound system at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheater, but the acts were for the most part on point. De La Soul was a bit underwhelming, however I’ll blame that on the sound system. Method Man and Redman probably whipped the crowd into the greatest frenzy, with Meth even crowd surfing. The Pharcyde performed for the first time in 11 years, and brought a full live band to back them up. Mos Def — one of my favorite MCs of all time — left something to be desired. It’s tough for a solo artist in that atmosphere to get the crowd moving, but I thought his song selectin could have been better. Nas and a Tribe Called Quest were fitting ends to a fabulous day of music.

Long live hip hop!

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Is there a better place to be in Chicago during the summer? Chicagoans know how to pack a party into a few short months, and despite my increasing annoyance with the cops, parking attendants and meter maids who are constantly hassling your boy over parking my Vespa, I’m managing to get out and enjoy.

Is there another major city in the country where you can be on the beach, and a couple of minutes later expose yourself to a completely different downtown experience on the Magnificent Mile? That’s what was going through my head as Saturday when I left Volleywood, the huge North Avenue Beach party thrown by Chicago Sport and Social. Mix Master Mike, the Beastie Boys’ DJ, didn’t disappoint. Click here to check out some of the pics.

Are you familiar with Daily Candy? It’s a female-centric daily email that covers everything from beauty tips to shopping advice. Now there’s a guys’ version, called Thrillist.com, “delivering a fresh take on the best in food, drinks, services, gadgets, gear, sports and travel.” They’re throwing a Chicago launch party at Fifty/50 on Wednesday. RSVP by July 21 at Thrillist.com/chicago.

Have you been following the flap over the New Yorker magazine cover featuring a turban-wearing Barack Obama and his gun-toting wife Michelle. The unfortunate thing is, it’s overshadowed what is actually a pretty fascinating article on Obama’s rise through the rough-and-tumble world of Chicago politics. Click here to read it for yourself.

Every summer I’ve been meaning to check out the Chicago Outdoor Film Festival, and I finally got around to it on Tuesday. What a blast! And free to boot. Check out Megan’s blog earlier this week for info.

If you haven’t bought your tickets for this week’s Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park you may be too late. Saturday and Sunday tickets have sold out. Tickets remain for Friday, which is when I wanted to attend anyway. Public Enemy is performing their seminal album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, from start to finish at 8:30 p.m. Folks, Rolling Stone ranked this the No. 48 on the list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, the highest ranking hip-hop album on the list.

Oh, and don’t forget about the
Rock The Bells Tour
Saturday in Tinley Park. A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Mos Def and De La Soul are just some of the acts scheduled to perform.

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