Above: Mick Jenkins | Photo: @WhoDough
Vocalo’s Winter Block Party was one for the books! The all day event consisted of a film screening, B-Boy/B-Girl battles, a fashion show, an art showcase, and the most important being the concert at the end of the night that was showcased by some of Chicago’s elite artists. This was a night of unity for many as well as a small glimpse to Chicago’s Hip-Hop renaissance led by intellectual and crafty youth from Chicago.
The Chicago songstress had the crowd following her every word as she introduced herself to new listeners and got the crowd to participate in her set. If you hadn’t heard Daryn Alexus before, you definitely left knowing the greatness this artists had to offer as a face of Chicago’s R&B scene.
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One of the biggest surprises of the night was Noname Gypsy. As a follower of her music I had never seen her perform live but she definitely exceeded any expectations as she introduced us to some familiar sounds and even performed some never before heard music. She has definitely been the best femcee in Chicago in the last year or so. Her ability to flow lyrically and her ability to balance her lyricism with her flawless ability to sing makes her a gem in Chicago’s Hip-Hop renaissance. Her set left us wanting more.
I am no stranger to the Pivot Gang leader from the Westside, Saba. The Chicago producer/emcee left the crowd knowing his name as the people in attendance chorused Sab’s name as well as the Westside’s first boy band, Pivot Gang [they don’t do gangsta rap, they make in synch (N’Sync) music]. Sab performed all the hits from his acclaimed ComfortZone project through a high energy driven set.
Bringing fun to the party was ShowYouSuck. The Treated Crew/Legion of Dudez member’s easy going and often humorous act allowed him to become easily acclimated to new listeners that danced, jumped, and yelled to all of Show’s hits as he reminded folks to “Relax Bro”, and have fun.
The man that main evented the show was Chicago’s prolific, lyrical messiah, Mick Jenkins. Right off the bat Mick was able to captivate his crowd though jams off his recently released Water[s] project. His act was really interesting to see from the crowd as seas of black, latino, white, and asian listeners all clung to Mick’s every word. If there’s one word that describes Mick it’s definitely “Unity”, as the young emcee from Chicago’s South side was able to bring everyone together under one roof to showcase the empowerment going on in our music scene, led by artists like Mick Jenkins.