A Conversation with DJ Premier: One Of The Best Yet

DJ Premier is a pioneer of hip-hop and an absolute living legend, he has accomplished an astonishing amount in his career and just about a month ago he released his latest masterpiece, a brand new Gang Starr album titled One Of The Best Yet. I grew up a huge fan of Gang Starr in my adolescent years as I am sure many of the people reading this did as well, so when I first head about this new album I was in complete shock, partially because their last album prior to this came out way back in 2003 and also because it has been nearly a decade since the passing of the legendary emcee Guru who made up of one half of the group. This was the first time in his career that DJ Premier had to piece together an album without Guru by his side helping him compose it, he had previously recorded verses that we anywhere from 10-20 years old and he somehow managed to craft it into a tremendous + memorable body of work. Needless to say, when I got the opportunity to interview one of my idols and someone who I have studied like DJ Premier, …

KNOWHERE – [DillanPonders]

An artist who has been releasing some of the strongest singles of his career to close out 2019 is DillanPonders. The Toronto staple has begun to turn heads in his city, all by remaining true to his vision and pushing high-quality rap music to his devout fanbase. On his latest EP KNOWHERE Dillan emphasizes his passion behind moving to the beat of his own drum and not fit into the expectations of society. This project leans towards the dark side of Dillan’s creative mind, understandably so after over a half-decade as an independent artist who has experienced a wild variety of highs and low traversing through the music industry. DillanPonders has been on an impressive run of dropping singles, with the most recent being “JURASSIC” alongside the red hot IDK. That feature may bring in new fans for Dillan but some of his strongest songs on the project are Dillan on his own laying down relentless bars. The intro song “KNOW I’M GOD” is one of my personal favorites, as Ponders puts his city on notice for his place as his own enigma, outside of the competitive nature amongst artists in Toronto. Playing off this, “LIMITLESS” sets his sights for the …

JURASSIC – [DillanPonders] ft. [IDK]

An artist who has been making some serious waves this year is DillanPonders, the psychedelic forefather of Toronto’s underground. Lyrical Lemonade has been loving the music he’s put out this summer, but he recently changed the game releasing a song alongside DMV Heavyweight IDK. The two lyrical wordsmiths trade verse back and forth over the intense beat produced by Alex Parham. The way both artists dissect their verses, it feels like a scene from Jurassic Park with two ferocious dinosaurs digging into their prey. Dillan and IDK are emcees of a high caliber, both intricate with their delivery on each bar. This is the final single of DillanPonder’s upcoming EP KNOWHERE. Each track released thus far has continued to impress me, with the build-up he’s had this project is sure to turn some heads. Listen to “JURASSIC” on all platforms here!

The Talents To Come Out Of Homewood Flossmoor High School

Over the past five years of covering the Chicago music scene, interviewing artists, and making relationships with these creatives, I have noticed something that I believe is super intriguing: there have been so many talented individuals who went to Homewood Flossmoor High School at (or around) the same time. It’s not too often that you see this many extraordinary creatives come out of the same place at once — at least I have never heard of something like this before — but even more so, I think it’s a rarity for to have this type of talent come out of the same school especially in the same field. I believe that a big part of this should be credited to the opportunities that Homewood Flossmoor provides to their students, in all avenues, but especially in the music field. The school has engaged students in music industry classes, Jazz orchestra courses, holding rap contests (and giving out prizes to the winners), shooting music videos for their senior students at times, giving them their own radio show to practice freestyling + DJ’ing, and they even take their bands on extraordinary trips to places like Japan. It’s crazy to think about what can …

Danger Incorporated: Endurance and the Age of Accessibility

There’s a lot to say about Danger Incorporated. On one hand, the duo — comprised of Atlanta natives Boothlord and Louie Duffelbags — is best identified by genre-agnostic sounds, blending devious sonic atmospheres with a brand of towering deliveries that balance both vulnerability and outward-facing ambition without seam. On the other hand, the group has developed masterful cohesivity in all facets of their creative output, whether sonically, visually, or aesthetically — all of which orbit around the odd, devious world of what it means to be a “Danger Boy.” And yet, even when assigned such lofty creative merit, Danger Incorporated is nothing more than two friends making music out of their bedroom. Two friends who long wished to make music for a living, and now that they’re doing it, don’t plan on leaving anytime soon. This DIY mindset — even as they navigate a career as signed artists, thanks to Awful Records — is the driving force behind the duo’s work. As their music reflects, the internet has created a world in which a robust career can be born from a SoundCloud account, held together by a clever username and the impenetrable security line of a password (not comprised of …

Nardwuar vs Clairo

While the super talented artist Clairo was recently in Vancouver for a show she got the chance to connect with the GOAT Nardwuar, and a few minutes ago we just got blessed with the final product. Nardwuar always manages to pull unbelievable questions out of his bag; this time he asked her about things such as her high school radio station, the Suburban Lawns, the first time she ever performed, playing a farmers market for six hours, her crew (including the legend Jimmy Bui), J Dilla + Nas, growing up in Massachusetts, where she went to high school, good staples in her community, some records she has sampled, the Twitter account that shows Clario as a cat, The Railway Children, her mother & father, Yellowcard, Brenton Wood and more. Watch this awesome new interview below!

ENIGMA – [DillanPonders]

Toronto’s reigning King of the Underground has returned with a laidback new banger. DillanPonders is known for his grizzled voice and witty lyricism, this song features both of those elements but in a different fashion than we’ve seen previously. On his latest single “ENIGMA” Dillan is well aware of his unique position in the music industry, an artist who has a deep catalog of diverse records that all stand out in their own right. This single is reminiscent of a raging river, continuously flowing with an aggressive tone. Ponders is an artist that is established, but constantly evolving as he discovers sounds that can take his unique voice that much further. This is the third single off his upcoming EP KNOWHERE set to drop later this year. Each single thus far has shown a different side of DillanPonders, it will be exciting to hear what else he has planned for this project. Stream “ENIGMA” on all platforms here! Produced by BVB and Alex Parham  

Dilla Back – [Femdot]

Femdot is one of the hottest new rising rappers out of Chicago’s thriving music community, and this afternoon he is back with a brand new offering titled “Dilla Back”. This new joint has a silky smooth feel to it with a taste of an old school R&B as well, match that with femdot’s impeccable rhyming abilities & the gorgeous backing vocals & we have a hit on our hands. The replay value that this track has is unbelievable, I have ran through it again and again for at least twenty minutes straight, and I have a good feeling that you will find a liking to it too. Stream this brand new record below and if you are located in cities such as Denver, Los Angeles, Kansas City + more be sure to visit Tobi Lou’s website to get tickets to catch femdot opening for him on tour this fall! Photo by Grif

Watch Common’s brand new interview with Sway In The Morning

Common is a Chicago legend and even more-so a music icon, he recently released a new album so it’s only right that he stopped by Shade 45 to chop it up with Sway, Tracy G and Heather B! Every time these inviduals connect it’s a great conversatoin & here you will find them speaking on topics such as his new album Let Love, dealing with past traumas, meeting with people who have life without parole, his new book, working on himself, his relationship with his father and mother, working with Swizz Beats, appreciating Jay-Z, therapy, his close friend J Dilla, his tour schedule, his legendary album Be and he even took some questions from fans who called in. Check out this brand new interview below!

Watch Freddie Gibbs & Madlib speak on “Bandana” with Peter Rosenberg on Hot 97

Freddie Gibbs and Madlib are still fresh off the release of one of the best rap albums of the decade, Bandana, released late last month, which followed up the duo’s prior collaborative masterpiece, 2014’s Piñata. The interview begins with some back and forth between Freddie and Peter on the unfortunate situation Freddie dealt with overseas a few years back and how he overcame being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. He goes on to talk about how making Bandana was therapeutic for him, as he was overcoming his hardships throughout the process of making the album. After hearing the record a dozen or so times, it brought tears to my eyes knowing how emotional it was for Freddie to finally put out this body of work after everything he went through. Peter asks about how Freddie and Madlib met, and how Freddie has never spoken to Madlib on the phone, just electronically and in person. Then, out of nowhere, Madlib himself steps into the room, and solidifies this as a legendary interview, being that Madlib barely does this and is usually off the grid. Peter asks him how many radio interviews he has done over the past ten years, …