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1
Popstar
Intellexual, Liam Kazar, Benny Sings
02:46
2
Shadow Man (feat. Phoelix, Smino & Saba)
Noname, Phoelix, Smino, Saba
05:11
3
Pharoah
Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
07:11
4
interstellar
Monte Booker, Bari
03:38
5
Jazz
Mick Jenkins
04:20
6
Reality Check (feat. Akenya & Eryn Allen Kane)
Noname, Akenya, Eryn Allen Kane
03:03
7
Suite for Artis Gilmore
Makaya McCraven, Don Leisure, Darkhouse Family
03:02
8
The Exchange
The JuJu Exchange
03:24
9
interstellar house mix
Monte Booker
05:10
10
Due Time
Phoelix, Nemo
03:59
11
Look at We
Pete Sayke, Roy Kinsey
03:48
12
Z4L (with Bari & Jay2)
Smino, Bari, Jay2
02:42
13
Anita
Smino
03:40
14
Mortal Kombat
Pivot Gang, Kari Faux, Joseph Chilliams, Saba
03:31
15
Understood
Mick Jenkins
03:28
16
LOGOUT
Saba, Chance the Rapper
02:30
17
Pasadena (feat. Vic Mensa)
Donnie Trumpet, Vic Mensa
03:07
18
BALDWIN
Jamila Woods, Nico Segal
03:53
19
Sing It Louder
Intellexual, Jean Deaux
02:40
20
A Seasoning Called Primavera
Ben LaMar Gay
03:51
21
Cliche
Jeff Parker
04:09
22
Destination (Dr. Yusef Lateef)
Angel Bat Dawid
02:22
23
Love is the Key
Isaiah Sharkey
05:39
24
Taking Flight
Resavoir, Brandee Younger
03:37
25
Jubilee
Ben LaMar Gay
03:22
26
(How Could Anybody) Feel at Home
Open Mike Eagle
04:14
27
Very Close
Alex Wiley
03:43
28
Elastic
Joey Purp
02:06
29
Cause You're Mine
Isaiah Sharkey
06:08
30
prayer for amerikkka pt. 1 & 2
Jaimie Branch
11:26

Chicago

Chicago has all the musical richness of Great Black Music with a remarkable rise in rap and jazz over recent years.

Every cause has an effect. Early on, Chicago had one of the largest Black populations in the country and this was to have historical repercussions on the music that came out of it. In the autobiographical novel American Hunger, its Black American author recounts his escape from the South to the North, a journey which, for many, ended in the Windy City where there was work, and where Black people could settle with their own in South Side, as was wished by the White American population. In this town, still plagued by high levels of violence, has developed a strong and exceptionally creative artistic community, conscious of its situation and strongly attached to the concept of freedom. Since 1965 The Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM) has given the city the image of a Holy Land for every free jazz amateur, working as much for the local community as for global creativity. Members of the Art Ensemble Of Chicago – its flagship group – grew up on the South Side. In addition, it is unsurprising that an icon of conscious rap like Common comes from there.

All the musical wealth of Great Black Music is extremely well represented in Chicago. In recent years, its rap and jazz have experienced a remarkable boom, with a rare concentration of newcomers. Chance the Rapper led the revolution in the early 2010s, bringing in his wake Noname, Vic Mensa, Smino, Mick Jenkins, Saba, and the musician and producer Nico Segal. On the rap side, groove prevails in warmly coloured productions where the rhythms are often light and cutting, created with a thousand little details. The beatmakers Monte Booker (Smino), Phoelix, and Nico Segal contribute to establishing a certain homogeneity in Chicago’s rap scene.

This last musician brings together neo soul, jazz, and hip hop. He won fame with Chance the Rapper, under the name of Donnie Trumpet, created The Juju Exchange (his jazz quartet) and is half the new group, Intellectual, and the author of a remarkable debut album of pop and neo-soul in 2019. The signature of a trumpeter and producer can be found in each of these three projects. Again, consistency and a tendency to the opening and mixing of Great Black Music are strong. Nothing comes more naturally for Makaya McCraven than the influence of hip hop, and that of J Dilla, on new generations of jazz musicians – it’s what they grew up with. 

In the manner of hip hop producers, McCraven makes use of samples – especially his own recorded live – from which he creates new tracks using Ableton software. Behind him – on the International Anthem label, of which he is the spearhead – has emerged a series of gifted groups and artists, through which one feels more directly the influences of free and spiritual jazz, such as the Art Ensemble of Chicago, or Sun Ra. Chicago is the land of feeling as witnessed by Isaiah Sharkey, a gifted guitarist and singer who brings just as much gospel as jazz, a touch of D'Angelo (with whom he’s played) and Marvin Gaye. Experience the sound of Chicago!

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