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Top 50 Chicago Projects of 2020

It’s obvious that 2020 didn’t turn out nearly how anyone expected at the top of the year. With a global pandemic shaking things up, a pivotal presidential election coming to a head, numerous generational talents passing away, and racial injustice protests taking place across the country, it’s safe to say that this year was beyond unpredictable from even the most seasoned psychics. Nonetheless, Chicago persevered like only we know-how, bringing attention to these issues while also divulging into a plethora of other, more personal narratives in the form of music. Throughout the year, some mainstays in the city continued to impress us here at Lyrical Lemonade while other up-and-comers made some very valid, attention-grabbing claims as to why they’re the next rising star that deserves a place at the table. Also worthy of note, Chicago had some truly excruciating losses this year in terms of music legends whose work still shined through as some of the most impressive of the year, primed to carry on their legacy for years to come. All of that said, we’re more than excited to round this farfetched year out with Lyrical Lemonade’s Top 50 Chicago Projects of 2020. This is our 5th year bringing …

Exotic – [TyFontaine] ft. [Lil Gotit] & [Lil PJ]

TyFontaine is a star. I could end this article there, link the new song he dropped with Lil Gotit and Lil PJ, and everyone reading would understand why I feel this way, but that just wouldn’t do the brand-new record justice. There really isn’t a single song I’ve heard from Ty that isn’t a hit in every sense of the word, and he seems to be able to do it all. From upbeat heaters to slower, more melodic ballads, Ty has this uncanny ability to change his style and voice in the blink of an eye, drawing you back in and captivating you if you ever somehow got tired or bored, which just doesn’t even happen in the first place. When I saw that he was in the studio with Gotit, I knew they’d have a banger on their hands because Gotit seems to have the formula to make hit after hit as well. Although I only recently heard about Lil PJ, it seems like he fits into this algorithm as well, so the trio was preparing us for an undeniable hit. Now that “Exotic” is in our hands, these preconceived notions are absolutely confirmed, and I literally couldn’t be …

Pontiac Made DDG: From YouTuber to Rap Star in the Making

“People still talk shit now about me being a ‘YouTube rapper’ but I feel like its undeniable at this point. I’m on the radio, I got songs that are gold and getting tons of streams—like what else can I show them?” -DDG Gaining success on YouTube has become more and more of a common thing in the current generation of creatives. There are tons of people who make a living from their YouTube career. Even while gaining tons of views, subscribers and followers, there seems to be a stigma about when YouTube influencers begin to branch off into other business ventures. Lots of people think it’s not a genuine fanbase, they only succeed because their subscribers will support anything that they do, and they don’t think its fair to those who may be starting from the bottom. For DDG, he has seen it and heard it all before, and he isn’t letting that stop him at all. DDG (also known as Pontiac Made DDG) earned tons on success on his multiple YouTube channels which all currently have over 9 million subscribers combined. Being no stranger to what the fame may feel like, DDG decided to venture off into the rap …

XIX: Chaos Before Our Very Eyes

A sure-fire way to emphatically jumpstart one’s artistic status in the public landscape is to simply saturate oneself in all things shocking, outlandish, and/or erratic in regards to their creative ventures. Especially in the highly approachable, and equally just as in-demand Internet age, effectively making a statement in an extravagant and momentous manner is without question a tried and true methodology that numerous acts have at their disposal to this day. But just because anyone can make a resounding statement in the public eye and have it stick in people’s heads does not mean that the given statement is anything significant or worthwhile in the long run. To take that next step and advance forward in the process, a creative has to infuse that very statement with just as much talent as sheer market appeal. If that daunting accomplishment is achieved, not only is the bar further set for more creatives to try and reach that same level, but the act in question will undoubtedly reap all of the benefits as they progress towards their respective endeavors.  And that is exactly what Karm and Yung Skayda have come to represent with their remarkable rise to prominence together as XIX; the …

Diamond Choker – [Lil Gnar] ft. [Lil Uzi Vert]

I’ve already gone into detail about my admiration for Lil Gnar many times in the past, but I’m always down to talk about him some more. He’s the definition of a hustler, running a successful clothing brand that stemmed from his love for skateboarding before getting into the Rap game. This transition was seamless because of his early connection to the music industry, and it seems like everything he touches turns to gold as he can’t do any wrong, it seems. While his connections to various rappers and talents runs deep, I have to admit I was as surprised as I was excited when I first saw him teasing a Lil Uzi collaboration on his record “Diamond Choker”. As the beat begins, echoing, bouncy instruments begin to putter along before tapping percussion, and speaker-busting 808s enter into the picture and take this production to new levels. Gnar starts off with the chorus, showing off some unapologetically insistent bars that use a similar cadence to that of which he’s used in the past, but it’s as catchy as it is entertaining, so I’m always here for it. As he goes in for the first verse, his flow changes up slightly while …

Spicy – [Nas] ft. [Fivio Foreign] & [A$AP Ferg]

There are certain names in the Rap scene that have reached legendary status and they’re cited as influences for almost any artist you can name. Nas is one of these emcees, and although it’s not a shock to anyone that I’m saying this, he is one of the greats. Even after the new age of Rappers came through and changed the scenery, Nas remains one of the best to ever make music, and instead of hating on the new generation of music, he rather likes to include them in his career while also getting them out of their comfort zones and pushing their limits to the edge. His collaborative album with the legendary hitmaker Hit-Boy King’s Disease was a success, including some of the biggest names in music such as Charlie Wilson, Big Sean, Lil Durk, Don Toliver, Anderson .Paak, and more, and seeing him come together with artists like this shows off his dexterity just as much as them, if not more. Luckily, just a few days ago we received a visual for the project’s closing song “Spicy” featuring Fivio Foreign and A$AP Ferg, and the results are as good as the song itself. As for this track, Hit-Boy …

She Told Me to Kill Myself – [smrtdeath] & [Lil Aaron]

Although I’ve become a massive fan of Hip-Hop influenced Punk Rock music for quite a few years at this point, Lil Aaron was really the first artist I was introduced to in this realm of the music industry. He just has this incredible way of combining many different genres with one another without giving up any of his artistic integrity, making every single song even better than ever before. It’s because of him that I was put onto smrtdeath, an equally enthralling and talented artist who provides some similar aesthetics to that of Aaron, so when they come together and make music, it’s a guaranteed hit every time. Earlier this month, the duo teamed up yet again to release a fantastic track entitled “She Told Me to Kill Myself”. Although the title and lyrical content might be a bit shocking, these are themes that aren’t really anything new if you’ve followed along with either artist’s career thus far. Jakkyboi, Omega, and Jordan all teamed up to tackle the production on this hit, utilizing some lively electric guitar licks, booming 808s, and chattering Hip-Hop inspired production for a speedy, lively instrumental that creates a familiar yet incredible foundation for smrt and …

B4 The Storm – [Internet Money]

Internet Money is basically the music powerhouse that the average fan has no idea about. They’re cranking out hit after hit with not only big-name artists, but also with their in-house talents who are going to be superstars in their own right in no time at all. As they began to hype up their debut album B4 The Storm, I was getting so impatient because I knew that the rest of the world was in for something incredible, but I had to hear it with my own two ears to make sure my expectations could be justified. It obviously came out at midnight going into Friday so it’s been out for a few days, but I really wanted to take some time to run through it multiple times and truly take in all of the artistry and effort that went into this incredible album, and man, was I not let down in the slightest. On B4 The Storm, the masterminds behind Internet Money, including Taz Taylor and Nick Mira, were able to meld features from massive names like Future, Wiz Khalifa, Kevin Gates, Gunna, and more, with some incredibly talented and promising young artists like TyFontaine, TheHxliday, The Kid Laroi, …

Testimony – [Big Havi]

Considering there is such a plethora and variety of artists coming up in Atlanta, I’m not necessarily shocked when someone accidentally falls through my fingers and I’m unaware of their music. Big Havi is one of these artists, and although he is creating some of the most underrated music coming out of the city, I just somehow have never been introduced to his records until recently. I’m glad I have, though, because he’s undoubtedly telling some of the most truthful, as well as painful, stories in the entire music scene, and these stories capture your attention from the moment he begins to speak. Most recently, he put out an EP entitled No Pen No Pad Just Pain, and although I have to tune into it a few more times to fully take in all of the time and effort that went into it, one of the standout songs called “Testimony” just received a visual, so I had to spread the word and let everyone know to listen up. As far as the song is concerned, jazzy sounding guitar riffs are played before somewhat simple, undistracted hats enter the scene alongside calm yet powerful drums. Although the beat itself isn’t anything …

Germ – [David Shawty] ft. [BBY GOYARD]

There are a few elusive and legendary people in the underground music scene that just make some of the most incredible and inventive music ever created, but their recognition level is just not what it deserves to be. David Shawty is one of these artists considering he’s literally making music that is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before and every new offering seems to be wilder and more enthralling than ever before. If there’s one artist I think could work seamlessly with the underground icon, it’s undoubtedly BBY GOYARD who has been on a tear of his own for quite some time in the underground scene. He also makes some of the wildest, most uncharacteristically genre-bending tracks you’ve ever heard, and his dexterity is at an all-time high, like David, so the two were just destined to make a song together at some point or another. Luckily, the day has finally come, and the two trendsetters finally got together for an insane new record entitled “Germ”. There is so much going on on so many different levels, but even through all of the chaos that is unfolding, the two artists manage to steal the show in such an unbelievable way. …