Prime – [Lexx Nova]

Staying stagnant is not an option for up and coming Atlanta-based rapper, Lexx Nova. The young emcee has been making big moves in the game over the last several years, collaborating with artists such as Mick Jenkins, OG Marco, Nessly, and more. But this isn’t about what Lexx has done; rather, what’s currently got going on and what’s to come in the future. On his latest offering, “Prime,” the rapper talks about a pivotal moment in his life: quitting his day job. Frustrated with where he was at in his life, the rapper decided to take action and fully pursue his dreams, which has evidently paid off. The wavy and dramatic strings are a perfect match of the message and sentiment Lexx is conveying in “Prime.”  The production, crafted by NINETY8, also possesses everything you want to hear on a banger: roaring kicks and crisp drums. All in all, Lexx Nova is a star in the making, and is definitely an artist to keep an eye on. Listen to, “Prime,” here: Words by Barry R

You Can’t Sit With Us – [Pivot Gang]

beloved Chicago group Pivot Gang have been teasing at the release of their album for some time now, and late last night they finally blessed their growing fanbase with the final project titled “You Can’t Sit With Us”. After streaming through the thirteen track offering a couple of times through I was happy with what I was hearing, the guys displayed unreal amounts of chemistry and created a cohesive tape, but that’s what should be expected by these brilliant & accomplished emcees. All of the songs provided feature some sort of variation of the Pivot Gang squad along with some sprinkled in features here and there from the likes of Smino, Femdot, Kari Faux, Mick Jenkins, Jean Deaux, Sylvan LaCue and last but not least, Benjamin Earl Turner. Stream this brand new project via Spotify below and if you like it be sure to support Pivot Gang by copping a ticket to catch Saba + the crew on tour here.

Operation Hennessy – [Qari]

For the past month or so Chicago legends Qari & GreenSLLIME have been teasing their collab project called “Operation Hennessy”, and late last night they blessed their fans wit the final product! I was lucky enough to get an early listen of this masterpiece a few weeks ago and I have been highly anticipating the official release, this is easily one of the best projects to come out so far in 2019. The entire project was produced by GreenSLLIME and I must say that he did a fantastic job with providing Qari with some of the best instrumentals he has ever graced. The only guest feature that was included on this mixtape was from fellow Chicagoan Mick Jenkins on the fourth record “Pony”, which if I had to pick my favorite song off of this tape it’s probably that joint or “Billy Banks”. Stream this sensational new tape below and if you like what you hear be sure to share this with a friend! Photo by Cole Schwartz mixing and mastering by Matt Audio Dope

Brk Frm Nrml – [Planet Giza] ft. [Mick Jenkins]

“Let’s take a break from being normal,” Montreal trio, Planet Giza urges on the hook of their latest release, “Brk Frm Nrml”. Looking at the crazy feel of the appropriately-titled track, this one might as well start off from there, as the minutes to follow take fans through a unique environment of electric production and galvanizing flows. Considering that Planet Giza are former Kaytranada collaborators (see 2017’s “Domina”), I think the genius producer may have rubbed off on their sound because this release has the bounce reminiscent of a Kaytra track. Of course, this doesn’t mean that “Brk From Nrml” can be discounted as a carbon copy, though, as Planet Giza put their own flavor on it, using some eclectic sounds and layers that, when combined with their feathery vocals, result in a rich, textured listen. Capping things off, Mick Jenkins (a Kaytranada collaborator as well) gives the fluttering track some grit with his resonant voice, and quite honestly, I’ll never understand how, even with that voice, he still skates over light, bouncing production while always connecting. Needless to say, “Brk Frm Nrml” is a well-rounded effort, so be sure to check it out below! In the meantime, start building up anticipation for the group’s forthcoming record, Added Sugar, for which …


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 • …

Beautiful Smile – [Saba] ft. [IDK]

Following the release of “Stay Right Here” last week, Saba keeps the new music coming with yet another single. Titled “Beautiful Smile”, the Westside wordsmith takes us to the more dismal side of his discography, offering a bleak confrontation of certain aspects of his current place in life. Saba touches on how his life has changed in recent years, the shifting of relationships with people around him and the friends and family he’s lost with a level of vulnerability he’s proven masterful at time and again. His verses unfold like a screenplay, turning stories from his past and present into raps that spawn into vivid images in a listener’s mind. IDK, who dropped his exhilarating ‘IDK & Friends :)’ project just last week, absolutely demolishes his verse as well, making for a natural compliment to Saba. It’s no doubt been a big year for Saba, with the release of ‘Care For Me’ earlier this year bolstering the Chicago native’s status as one of the game’s current strongest lyricists. On “Beautiful Smile”, he keeps things unflinchingly real, making it clear he has no intentions of switching up anytime soon. Stream the new song below and catch Saba at the 2nd annual …

Reginald – [Mick Jenkins] Ft. [Ben Hixon]

One of my favorite projects this year has by far been Mick Jenkins Pieces Of A Man, and today we were blessed with a brand new visual from the tape for the song “Reginald”. This music video was truly hilarious, it kind of felt like that old television show Reno 911 due to Mick and his crew dressed up as police as they chased each other around the city, it looks like it would have been a fun visual to be on set during. Check out this awesome new music video below! Producer: Xenon Zeigler Director: Jude Appleby

Stay Right Here – [Saba] ft. [Xavier Omär] & [Mick Jenkins]

It’s the first snowfall of winter in Chicago today: a much-needed reminder to stop and take account of where you’re at in life, the places and people you’re surrounded by. Saba does exactly that on “Stay Right Here”, his latest track which dropped at midnight. If you thought the Chicago native was finished with new material for the year after dropping his critically-acclaimed ‘Care For Me’ back in March, you thought wrong. The same goes for Mick Jenkins, who just dropped his ‘Pieces of a Man’ album in October and also makes an appearance on this single. “Stay Right Here” is Saba and Mick at their most introspective—a mindset they both have proven to thrive off of in the past. Saba’s long-winded flows ride the beat effortlessly as he shows gratitude in his lyrics for the love he feels. Mick takes a similar moment of reflection, delivering lines in flurrying cadences that hit with a sense of nostalgia. As a result, this track feels like a victory lap in celebration of a milestone year for two of the city’s hometown favorites and yet another reminder of the mastery of their craft.

Watch the new episode of The Joe Budden Podcast

We posted about a couple episodes of The Joe Budden Podcast a few weeks back when they had Pusha T & Chance The Rapper as guests, so i thought why not write up their latest episode they titled “Mathematics”. You will find Joe, Mal, Rory, and Parks speaking about a ton of interesting subjects such as Nas, Justin Bieber in the hood, politics and voting, new music that has dropped recently such as Mick Jenkins, Action Bronson & Jay Critch, wellness centers, the hilarious story of the making of Ol’ Dirty Bastard & Mariah Carey collab, Ja Rule’s fantasy football squad, 6ix9ine, bad experiences with Uber drivers, Nike and much more. Take a few minutes of your day to check out this brand new podcast below!

Watch Mick Jenkins on Open Space

Mick Jenkins is fresh off of the release of his excellent new album titled “Pieces Of A Man” so it’s only right that he stopped by Mass Appeal to chop it up with the good people over there on a new segment of Open Space! You will find Mick speaking about plenty of things such as the previously mentioned album, where he was getting inspiration from at the time, his past projects, rhyming about situations he lives through or sees, bridging the gap, Kanye West, unity amongst Chicago artists and more. Check out this awesome new interview below!