In order to be the man, you have to beat the man! West Side emcee Kel Francisco is styling and profiling in his latest visual as he enlists J. Krown to direct “Ric Flair”, an homage to the legendary professional wrestler in which we see the lyrical figure-four leg lock that young Chicago spitter Kel Francisco puts on the rest of his opponents. The Four Horsemen couldn’t be more proud as Kel sets to unleash his Good Raps EP very soon! [Ric Flair GIFS below]
This is the second installment to our Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago. For those that are not too familiar with the geography in the city of Chicago, there are different artists all over the city’s nine regions and all representing different community areas in Chicago. GoWhere Hip Hop is presenting the “Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago” in the attempt of exposing listeners to different rappers, producers, and even singers from various areas and as a result of this giving you readers a musical taste of what Chicago’s Hip-Hop scene has to offer. It also serves purpose to educate on the different community areas (neighborhoods) in the city of Chicago as means of fostering a greater community as well as unity through the Chicagoland area.
The second part of this Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago takes a look at what we have referred to the central region of the city of Chicago. It is composed by the Central and West Side of Chicago and will be showcasing artists and producers all over these regions. We also will be showcasing talent from the suburbs as a mean of getting out word on artists that aren’t directly from Chicago but have made their presence known through their work, hustle, and dedication. For those that haven’t read part one to Hip-Hop Taste of Chicago, click here.
Song: Soultrappin’ (I Believe)
The innovator of the soultrap movement had a great year as he teamed up with Scion to drop his “The @MCTREEC EP”. This past May Tree also toured Europe and released a single called “Look At Me” in commemoration of that opportunity. From a production aspect he has also been very productive in producing singles and projects such as Chris Cracks “TreeSwag” project. What makes MC Tree G one of Chicago’s elite artists is his versatility, his ability to be a great emcee and phenomenal producer which not many artists have been able to accomplish.
Song: Secondhand Smoke
PIVOT Gang member Saba has been one of Chicago’s most highly touted upcomers due to his ability to be a great emcee and producer. He can do it all while helping lead Pivot, one of Chicago’s premiere Hip-Hop groups which he believes is the West Side’s first boy band by not doing gangta rap but making N’Sync (In synch) music. Sab dropped a phenomenal project GETCOMFORTable a few years back but has contributed in production and lyricism to help deliver the Pivot Gang’s project “JIMMY” and has released solid singles leading up to his anticipated COMFORTzone project that drops July 15. What makes Saba a force within Chicago’s Hip-Hop scene has been his hunger to continue to improve and develop as an artists while helping others around him grow as well which is exactly what he’s done alongside MFN Melo, John Walt, Joseph Chilliams, DJ Damnage and countless others in establishing PIVOT as a respected force within out city’s music scene.
One of the most noticeable dedicated emcees that we have seen in our city’s music scene within this past year has been Logan. He led a successful campaign this past March with his #FEOMOBMarchMadness as he dropped singles every week in March and unleashed Famous EP. The kid isn’t about the fame or glory, he’s about the longevity and making sure his path to stardom is a long and fruitful career as he’s taken his mind off the short term goals and has shifted towards a long term approach. What has made Logan one of Chicago’s best artists has been his wisdom as his experiences have made him ambitious as well as have allowed him to recognize what he can accomplish when he’s focused and determined at the task at hand. The time is now for Logan, his path towards Chicago Hip-Hop’s echelon has begun.
ASA [Spazz & Reelo]
Song: New Places
When I first heard ASA [Spaxx & Reelo] they set themselves apart in my mind as a result of their sound as they mixed alternative and EDM sounds with trap styled beats. What has also set them apart from many other entities or individuals and what has made them two of Chicago’s best artists has been their easy going and laid back sound as they continue to illustrate how series they’ve become to make an impact in Chicago’s Hip-Hop scene while having fun at it.
Doc Da Mindbenda
Project: Welcome To The GrindHouse
Doc Da Mindbenda is a part of a collective of producers that reside and work in The GrindHouse studios. For years Doc has been grinding and perfecting the art of beat making but this year has been his most successful as he released his debut full length project “Welcome To The GrindHouse” that featured an onslaught of emcees and artists that have been guests at GrindHouse studios. Doc also produced some phenomenal records for various other artists including “Alright” for Dally’s West Side EP and the soundtrack to Sulaiman’s cinematic noir raps on Hook, Line & Thinker EP. It’s best to say that Doc will continue to grind his way as an elite producer, he’s already become one of Chicago’s elite beatsmiths.
Reps: Humboldt Park [Originally from Flint,MI]
Song: Ballin’ Like Ricky
Legion Of Dudez member Cadillac Duke has been on a quest in showcasing his lyrical prowess in singles leading up to his Dirty Bruce project. He dropped a Pop Out Remix on us as well as his homage to legendary Hip-Hop film Boyz N The Hood with his track Ballin’ Like Ricky. What has made Caddy one of Chicago’s best artists is his ability to mix gangsta rap with gritty, eclectic Hip-Hop instrumentals.
New Deal Crew emcee Chris Crack has been on a journey to showcase why he is the best in the city of Chicago and he has exemplified his quest through his relentless work ethic. He has dropped projects such as Kitchen In The Bassment, FreeSwag EP, FreeSwag 2 EP, and most noticeably dropped both the MC Tree G produced TREEswag EP, and the JackedTAPE. What has made Chris Crack one of Chicago’s best artists is his work ethic, he’s always working on the next project, single, visual to continue to grow his cult like following he’s been generating. He’s simply been two steps ahead of his peers, not many have been able to accomplish that feat.
Song: Ric Flair
Kel Francisco is relatively new to the Chicago music scene but that can quickly change as he’ll become a more familiar figure as he continues to drop singles and visuals. He’s also been crafting his first debut project the Good Raps EP that features a lot of golden age Hip-Hop production with solid boom bap instrumentals. What makes Kel one of Chicago’s best artists is that he’s a young, determined, and hungry artist that has much to prove and impact to make in this vibrant music scene our city has.
Song: Smoke Wit Me
Saint Millie’s been making moves and his hard work and dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed. The Treated Crew emcee dropped his project Road To Glory and was also the protagonist of a series Red Eye Chicago did as they followed Saint Millie in a five part series that captures his experiences leading up to SXSW in Austin, TX, the work that goes into being an artists at the music festival, and ultimately the effects and reflection it causes artists following the end of the festival. The culmination of the project and series led to a packed headlining show at Schubas where Saint Millie cocked the show. He’s also working on his project Glory and has been releasing singles such as Get Em High, Money Motivation and Let You Know leading up to the release of the project. What has made Saint Millie a great artist within Chicago’s music movement has been his humility in continuing to stay focused and dedicated amidst any adversity that comes his way in his pursuit of glory.
Song: The Heist- Sticking Up Sallie Mae
One of the most distinguished lyricists around has been Peoria, IL native Real T@lk. The man is in a class of his own as he has been able to illustrate his experiences in college through his music and projects such as The Talented Tenth 8.0 LP. Real T@lk has become well-defined through his connection to Hip-Hop elite as he’s toured with and opened for Outkast’s Big Boi and Killer Mike. What has made Real T@lk one of the best musicians within Chicago’s respected Hip-Hop scene has been the honesty, wit and integrity he’s been able to demonstrate within his records in exploiting some of the pains of being in college as well as the work and dedication he’s continued to uphold that he learned as a brother of fire and brimstone [ΦΒΣ] as he’s used Hip-Hop culture for service, a service to humanity.
Suuuuupa! The LOD and Hurt Everybody member has been making a name for himself delivering positive and uplifting music. He just dropped the Hurt Everybody EP along with Qari and Mullato Beats and was continuing to put out singles before and the project was dropped. He’s a producer, singer, rapper, and engineer, which speaks volumes as he’s always working and putting out good material for his fan base. Supa is one of Chicago’s best artists because he believes in solidarity, in fostering bonds and creating giants, which has made himself a force and innovator in our music scene. He’s giving a reason to Chicago give hope in artists such as himself as through his humility he has continued his pursuit to create a new standard in our music scene and become a visionary figure.
Auggie The 9th
Auggie the 9th isn’t your ordinary rapper. Living in an era where rappers embrace the lavish lifestyles his work takes a step back and embraces the common man, as well as the inner geek in us all, which is a reason why he’s been an innovative force in Chicago’s Hip-Hop scene. His #GAWS project isn’t your generic project which is a great example of how creative Auggie The 9th is in allowing us to enter his mind and learn more about the simple things in life that he appreciates through his music. Following #GAWS he’s been releasing singles and visuals leading up to his second project that he is still crafting. Auggie has been one of Chicago’s best artists because his music has transcended beyond the typical Hip-Hop genre, it’s music without a border or restrictions, which is more of a reason to continue to support him.
Song: Video Tapes
Jofred Estilo is one of the best pure lyricists around and he’s formed a part of the Hip-Hop collaborative Chinza//FLY for many years now as one of the group’s lead emcees. The time for Jofred to become one of Chicago’s elite rappers is becoming a reality as he’s expected to drop his TULPA project very soon. He’s an emcee’s emcee and has demonstrated his lyrical prowess in Chinza//FLY projects as well as on Ask Coach K, a single he was on with Howie Stackz. Jofred is one of Chicago’s elite artists because of his potential to be great, he can stand with the greatest emcees and he commands respect within his lyricism.
Legion of Dudez member Nick Astro raps, producers and even directs. The man can do it all and has brought others with him as he created a Black Canvas Freestyle & Cypher series following his Super 16 project. The next step for Nick is definitely his Light Skin With That Afro EP that he’s been working up to with singles like the Odd Couple-produced “Lies”. Besides the interesting music and cool films Nick has made, what has made him a great music in Chicago’s music scene has been innovation and meticulous thinking as he’s exceeded his accomplishments and has moved on to the next project that he feels will have a lasting impact in his community and amongst his peers.
Song: Girls, Nachos
The RAD God is one of the most intriguing figures in Chicago Hip-Hop is LOD and Treated Crew member ShowYouSuck. He makes fun, positive, easy going music that anyone can enjoy and the subject matter behind his music itself is also interesting since he can go from rapping about anime, to food, to wrestling, and can crush any instrumental that comes his way with ease. His DUDE Bro EP project, Radflood Series, and OMPP [One Man Pizza Part] projects and Gucci Mane music video series have been phenomenal! He is honestly one of the few artists around that can jump on even the most unordinary ‘prototypical’ Hip-Hop beats and make catchy, phenomenal music out of it. What has made Show one of the best artists in Chicago has been his flawless ability to make music for everyone from trap styled beats to making music with metal bands and making you enjoy the art of music. He is a musician, an artist, an innovator. Putting him in a category or box would discredit his showmanship and dedication as one of the many good guys in Chicago’s respected music scene.
Chicago emcee Kel Francisco will be a name that you will become familiar with once he unleashes his Good Raps EP. Kel has been working venues to establish his stage presence as well as his name and in this video we get him performing in Austin, Texas as a show where he shared the stage with the prolific Dead Prez.
Chicago emcee Kel Francisco isn’t slowing down as he continues to release more singles leading up to his Good Raps Ep. The West Side representative released “Tonights The Night”, an easy going boom bap track that was made while having fun in studio and that features Dope Kyyd.
Making a case for himself as a part of the next generation of buzzing upstarts in Chicago’s music scene is Kel Francisco. Kel has been releasing material on a weekly basis as he builds more momentum for his upcoming project, Good Raps EP. His latest release comes through the visual to “Third Eye Freestyle“, and is produced by Toronto’s Astro Mega. Kel Francisco’s Good Raps EP drops this April.
For a depth analysis of the lyrics click here (Via Rap Genius).