Sacrifices – [EARTHGANG] [J. Cole] [Smino] [Saba]

Last month, J. Cole’s Dreamville label unleashed their star-studded compilation album, ‘Revenge of the Dreamers III’. The project came with no shortage of impressive bars and top-notch talent, and the closing track “Sacrifices” quickly became a fan-favorite with verses from Smino, Saba, EARTHGANG’s Johnny Venus, and Cole himself. Today, the track gets a new video to accompany it. As the crew takes turns spitting over an introspective beat, the camera follows them through an abandoned building. Every member shines in their own moment: Johnny Venus brings his animated energy to life, Smino does his iconically melodic style justice, Saba comes through with his superhuman lung capacity, and Cole comes in to close the track out effortlessly. Emotions no doubt run heavy on this track, and the video concludes with a dedication to Venus’ father who passed a year before this video was shot (Venus’ mother also makes an appearance). Watch EARTHGANG, J. Cole, Smino, and Saba wear their hearts on their sleeves and honor those who they have lost in the “Sacrifices” video below:

4 Tha Wait – [Jay2]

After an over yearlong hiatus, Chicago rapper Jay2 is ready to come back in full effect with the release of his debut album. While the final LP nears completion, though, Jay2 has decided to tease his comeback with an EP titled ‘4 Tha Wait’ to catch listeners up with what he’s been working on. The 7-song project introduces (or reintroduces) listeners to Jay2’s strongest assets as an artist, meshing a trained ear for melodic rap with fast, aggressive flows. On ‘4 Tha Wait’, he keeps his circle tight working with frequent collaborator Monte Booker for the majority of the EP and prodxvzn for the song “Cheese”. Jay2 also recruits longtime friend Smino to add some star power on the bouncy summertime banger “Dork”. The two artists’ styles complement each other with Jay2’s energetic delivery being tempered by Smino’s signature laidback demeanor. Jay2’s comeback has been prosperous so far, with this promising EP and an upcoming headlining show at Schubas on August 31. Listen to ‘4 Tha Wait’ below and stay tuned for our Q&A with Jay2 himself coming soon.

The Big Day – [Chance The Rapper]

Just over two years and a couple months after his last project Coloring Book first debuted, Chicago superstar Chance The Rapper just blessed the world with his highly anticipated new album titled The Big Day. If you are a true Lyrical Lemonade fan who has been supporting since the beginning, then you know that we are all huge fans of Chance The Rapper, he inspired all of us here as well as millions of others around the globe, so you can only picture just how excited I was when I first pressed play on this new album. I was very pleased when I saw the track list had twenty two songs (with a few skits) on it, I took about two and a half hours out of my morning to listen to this a couple of times before I wrote this article, and where should I begin? My initial thoughts were that Chance made it a point to do something different with this project, which I would say he has done with every project, but this project was a little more left field than I expected it would be. That’s a positive thing though, Chance mixed it up and really …


Jay2 is back with yet another new single, less than two weeks after dropping the Monte Booker-produced “Dedication.” This week, he and PRODXVSN link up on a record called “King Louis”, and this one sounds like it’s coming straight out of the Zero Fatigue playbook: skittering hi hats and a warm melody lay a bouncy foundation for Jay2 to flow so naturally that it sounds like the syllables are falling naturally off his tongue. There’s a moment during the song when he flows eerily similar to label mate Smino, with what sounds like a St. Louis drawl (though Jay2 is from Chicago), and the switch up serves as a nice difference in tone before his typical warm vocal tone returns for the refrain: “She want me” is an ear worm that won’t be easily escapable this summer. This isn’t the end for Jay2 this summer either: he’s dropping an EP called “4 Tha Wait” on 7/24, and he describes the EP as a “prelude before the album.” Needless to say, he’s not slowing down. Words by Barry R Tweets by Jay2AintShit

Mine – [K.Cero]

West Covina, California crooner K.Cero’s makes his Lyrical Lemonade debut with a new single entitled “Mine.” The Noden-produced single is a fun, bouncy song that is perfect for this summer season. The track is about seeing the girl of your dreams and having an internal battle with yourself on how to approach and how to make a good impression on her. The things a guy would do just to be able to call this girl, “Mine”. Initially, when I played this song, the instrumental brought me back to when I first heard Goldlink on SoundCloud back in 2015. K.Cero has a different cadence and the overall mood of the song isn’t the same. However, like Goldlink, I can see K.Cero fall into a future bounce R&B wave that has been made popular by other acts like Soulection, Smino, and more. Stream K.Cero’s vibrant new single “Mine” below.

Empathy – [Jean Deaux]

From singing smooth RnB vocals to rapping some of the coldest verses to directing cinematic music videos, it doesn’t seem like there’s anything Jean Deaux can’t do. And now the multi-faceted artist has returned with a new 7-track project. Empathy is the follow-up to Deaux’s 2018 release KRASH and features some of her most polished and cohesive work to date. The Chicago hometown favorite lets her voice drive this project, coming through with raspy, soulful vocals that soften the punch of the cutthroat raps that are scattered in between. Listeners might recognize Deaux’s name from her features with longtime collaborators like Smino and Saba, but she fully takes the spotlight for herself on Empathy. Deaux thrives off being an anomaly, singing out lullaby-like melodies one moment and delivering straight bars the next. The breadth of her talents is on full display on the song “Anytime”, one of the EP’s standout tracks; just when you’ve caught up with her flow, she calls in Kehlani to take the song to a new level. Deaux crafts memorable moments like these all throughout Empathy, keeping listeners hooked in all as she creates magic without breaking a sweat. Be sure to click play on this …

Klink – [Smino]

Smino’s NOIR felt like a full-circle moment in which the St. Louis native’s endless energy was truly brought forth, in all of its entirety and eccentricity, to the world. In my eyes, not one song off of the project has aged a day, and honestly, in today’s world where the shelf life of an album has become a maximum of a few weeks, NOIR is not just an outlier, but a project that we’ll be talking about for years to come. Today, Smino continues to push the excellence of the album with a brand new music video for “Klink.” Produced by none other than Monte Booker, the excitement behind “Klink” is unmatched, calling for a music video of equal or greater energy. Of course, Smino obliged with this one, painting an aesthetically-pleasing picture of the luxuries that he’s been able to enjoy thanks to his success in music. With this, at its core, “Klink” is a well-deserved moment of appreciation for success and yes, a chance to flex on everybody, making this video a fantastic follow-up to a fantastic song. Smino has done it again, so be sure to check out the new video below and let us know what you think …

Lyrical Lemonade Presents: The Johari Noelle Q&A

Johari Noelle is one of the newer Chicago creatives that I have got in tune with in 2019, and when I heard that she was gearing up to release her new project Things You Can’t Say Out Loud, I figured why not bring her by the Lyrical Lemonade office for a brand interview? You can expect her to speak about plenty of interesting subjects such as the previously mentioned project, all of the talent that has come out of her high school HF, her strong relationship with her family, how Chicago has influenced her and her headlining show that will be taking place this week in Chicago at The Promontory. Learn a thing or two about Johari by reading this brand new interview below, and you can purchase tickets to see Johari live June 5th here.     Elliot: Before we dive into the questions, give our readers who may not be familiar with you a brief introduction of yourself? Johari: My name is Johari Noelle I am a singer, song writer and actress from Chicago. I recently released two singles one of them is called “Show Me” and the other one is called “Too Much and I just released a new EP called …

Taylor Bennett Speaks on The American Reject, the Cover Art, TBE + more!

Taylor Bennett has been one of the biggest pieces in the puzzle that makes up Chicago’s music community. He has been rapping and creating music for damn near a decade and has become not only one of Chicago’s best rappers, but more importantly one of the brightest business minds that the city has to offer. The growth of his company Taylor Bennett Entertainment has been amazing to watch to say the least: he has built up a still small yet unbelievably talented roster with Bianca Shaw who has blossomed into one of the best talents that the city has to offer, as well as Zxxk who is one of the most talented producers & creatives in the game. When we look back ten years from now, these two will be far along in their careers under the guidance of Taylor & TBE. Next week Taylor is releasing his forthcoming album The American Reject, and when I saw him tease the cover I knew I had to bring him by the Lyrical Lemonade office to pick his brain about the project, the cover and so much more. As we gear up for the project that appears to be Taylor’s biggest and most …

Sydny August: One Of Chicago’s Gems is Continuing to Thrive

Sydny August is one artist out of Chicago that we have been covering since damn near the beginning, and if you are a hardcore & long time LL supporter you may remember way back when we first did a Q&A with Sydny in November of 2016, but today she is back as the feature of a brand new interview piece! Obviously Sydny has grown since the last time we sat down for a interview, at the time she was barely out of high school and was just getting started in her music career, and now she has become one of Chicago’s best young singers & is well on her way to a degree in English Creative Writing at University Of Kansas. About a month ago Sydny released her latest project titled Uni (You and I), and it is easily one of my favorite tapes to come out of the city this year, so I recently sat down with her to catch up with everything she has been doing and get a closer look at the idea that became this project. Stream her brand new project via Spotify  + watch her new visual below while you read through the interview, and …