While Chicago has been known as a reputable city in hip-hop for numerous years now, this revered position has not arrived without the constant innovation and hard work of the artists that so faithfully represent the prowess of their home city. It is these artists that we have to credit for this respected reputation, and we here at Lyrical Lemonade try to honor this in every way possible by constantly bringing new Chicago acts into our headlines here on our website. That said, 2018 has been yet another fantastic year for Chicago music, so we went ahead and compiled a list of our “Top 50 Chicago Projects” of the year. This now marks the third year that we have been putting out this list, and we believe that it’s safe to say this year’s list might just be the most solid one from top to bottom that we’ve seen yet. Thank you to our terrific writing staff for all of the hard work they have put in this year, I will be linking their socials below so be sure to contact them about getting featured on the website in the future. Seamus Fay • Mike Del Ro • Sam Morrison • …

Sisko and Kasidy – [Kweku Collins] Ft. [Ajani Jones]

Closed Sessions affiliate Kweku Collins is finding himself back on our website this afternoon with his brand new music video for “Sisko and Kasidy” featuring Ajani Jones. Kweku has always been a unique artist and this new visual did a fantastic job at bringing his one of a kind energy to life, it’s not often you see a music video that more like a short film but it’s only makes sense considering it was directed by the always great Jon LeVert. Check out this brand new music video below and be on the look out for Kweku Collins upcoming tour with Joseph Chilliams, you can peep the dates for that here! Tour ONE with Joseph Chilliams  10/25 – Detroit, The Shelter 10/26 – Chicago, Lincoln Hall 10/27 – Toronto, Adelaide Hall 11/01 – Boston, Middle East Upstairs 11/02 – Philadelphia, The Foundry 11/03 – New York, SOB’s 11/04 – Washington DC, Union Stage 11/07 – Carrboro, Cat’s Cradle 11/08 – Atlanta, Aisle 5 11/09 – Nashville, The High Watt 11/15 – Austin, Barbacuda 11/16 – Houston, House of Blues 11/17 – Dallas, Three Links 11/24 – Denver, Marquis Theater 11/28 – Portland, Holocene 11/29 – Seattle, Neumos 11/30 – Vancouver, …

Pyramids – [Ajani Jones] x [Kweku Collins]

Chicago native and Closed Sessions signee Ajani Jones is certainly no stranger to our pages, but today he is making his first appearance on our brand new website with his new visual for “Pyramids” featuring Kweku Collins. This record was off of Ajani’s “Cocoons EP” that dropped back in March, which was one of my favorite Chicago projects to drop this year and my favorite track off of it was “Pyramids” so I was more than excited when I saw that they created a video for it. Ajani Jones and Kweku Collins connected with Flow Motion Media who were the masterminds behind the camera, and after the first watch through I believe it’s safe to say that they pocked the right people for the job. Produced by Sebastian Kamae

Sinner – [Ric Wilson]

One of my favorite songs of the summer by far was Ric Wilson’s record “Sinner” off of his “BANBA EP“, and just minutes ago the rising Chicago star blessed his rapidly growing fan base with his brand new music video for the track! He connected with guys Strip Mall, who are without a doubt some of the best video directors in the city, and as you probably expected the final outcome was amazing. At the start of the year Ric was an artist that I expected to have a huge year, and surely enough nine months in he is thriving, I am excite to see what he does from here. Do yourself a big favor and check out this brand new visual below! Featuring Rane Raps, Nick Kosma and Kweku Collins

ET – [Kweku Collins]

It has been well over a month since we last heard from Kweku Collins in the form of an Ajani Jones-collab titled Sisko and Kasidy, so it will be no surprise when this one in ET is given a warm reception. Backed by melodious acoustics and synths, the Evanston, Illinois native dazzled as usual with floaty autotune lyricism that literally sounds like it could have been recorded on a space trip. Ever since his project Grey from last year, the Closed Sessions affiliate continues to build the momentum and if you are lucky enough to catch him & Joseph Chilliams on their ‘Tour One’ kicking off in October, you’d best capitalize on that opportunity. Before doing that though, be sure to let loose ET streaming now and let us know if you’re feeling the latest from Kweku!

Sisko and Kasidy – [Kweku Collins] x [Ajani Jones]

Chicago’s Closed Sessions label has built up an immensely talented roster of artists over the years, and this latest offering from Kweku Collins and Ajani Jones is a testament to that. On “Sisko and Kasidy”, the two artists trade heavily distorted, auto-tuned bars that quickly transport a listener deep into outer space. Kweku’s versatility shines once again on this track, curating a sound that can’t be exactly compared to anyone’s but his own. His vocals feel less like the leading force and more like a part of the entire production as the song progresses, leaving us with nothing but harmonized mumbles by the time the song ends. Ajani Jones feels like a natural addition to this track, delivering the same cold, melodic flows that marked his standout “Cocoons” project which dropped back in March. This is no doubt a strong duo and hopefully, we get more collaborations from these two in the future.

Mamby On The Beach 2018 Recap

A couple weeks ago Mamby On The Beach 2018 in Chicago took place at Oakwood Beach & it will surely be a stand out moment for many when they look back on this summer. There was dozens upon dozens of fantastic acts over the two day festival, but I want to take a few minutes to talk about a few of my personal favorite highlights from the weekend below!   Ric Wilson If you have attended a Ric Wilson show in the past you know that he never puts on a half ass performance, and his set at Mamby was certainly no exception. Out of all of the sets I watched at this years fest I believe Ric had the strongest interaction with his crowd, making everyone feel comfortable & involved like he does at every show, & yes the soul train was in full effect. To put the cherry on top of this all around great set, Ric brought out Closed Sessions affiliate Kweku Collins to perform their hit “Sinner”!     Common Obviously being the headliner of the fest there was a ton of anticipation for Common’s set, being a rap legend from Chicago it just felt like …

Pitchfork Music Festival Lineup 2018

I have attended Pitchfork Music Festival for a few years in a row now, and although all of them have been great this latest lineup is easily my most anticipated. Some of the many acts that I am excited to see include Lauryn Hill, Noname, DRAM, Smino, Kweku Collins, Ravyn Lenae, Chaka Khan, Fleet Foxes, Earl Sweatshirt, Saba, Courtney Barnett, Blood Orange, and many more! Don’t miss out on this event that takes place in just a few weeks, you can purchase single day or three day tickets here!   WHERE: UNION PARK – 1501 W. RANDOLPH STREET WHEN: JULY 20th  – 22th

LL Presents: The Ric Wilson Q&A

Ric Wilson has been a frequently featured artist on our platform for quite some time now, so it was a matter of time before we brought him in for a Q&A! About a week ago Ric blessed his growing fan base with an impressive new EP titled “BANBA”, and it has been in rotation in my headphones nonstop since the drop & for good reason too. He has been putting out some good music for quite some time now but this new tape was on another level, and I picture Ric continuing to prosper & becoming one of the new faces of Chicago in the years to come. Learn a thing a two about Ric below & if you’re in the city be sure to come out to his show at Lincoln Hall this Saturday by copping a ticket here!     — EM: Before we dive into the questions, give our readers who may not be familiar with you a brief introduction of yourself.   RW: I’m Ric Wilson, I make rap music & I fake sing. — EM: What is your earliest memory of music? RW: One of my earliest memories is seeing Alicia Key’s Fallen video on MTV where …

Banba – [Ric Wilson]

Ric Wilson has been a force in Chicago music for a minute now, and today he is back with his brand new EP titled “Banba”! After being blessed with Ric’s last single “Sinner” last week I knew that we were in for something special, and after checking out this project a few times thorough it’s safe to say that we got just that. It’s clear that Ric has grown as an artist comparing this new tape to his prior material, and I believe I speak for all of his growing fan base when I say that his best music yet is included on this project. The features on this EP from Kweku Collins, Erica Rene, Rane Raps, Nick Kosma, Patrick Pryor & Sen Morimoto were excellent to say that least, and did a great job of complimenting Ric to help create an all around good offering. I really enjoyed this EP and I believe that you will too, stream it below & be sure to keep up with Ric by following him on Twitter here! Production by Hirsh, Bedows, Niko The Great & Patrick Pryor