Behind the Music: Highlighting the Producers of Today’s Sound

By: Lee Mcintosh When it comes to creating great music, the artists are the ones who receive most of the recognition for the creation of the song. Their name is what’s attached to the song, their flows, their likeness, and even the features that the artist may have. However, the song making process all begins with one entity… the producer/s. No matter how creative the lyrics may be, how great the artist’s cadence sounds, the beat behind it all is a huge factor behind the overall appeal of the song, and that is what moves people and captures their attention as soon as they hit play. We are in a different era of music now. Technology has advanced to a point where producers and artists don’t have to be in the studio together anymore. This can be a gift and a curse at the same time. Often so, producers may send over a beat pack to an artist and then they select the songs they want and don’t want. From there, the studio session may be recorded or put on Instagram live, and the producer may be nowhere in sight. This may create confusion as to who actually made the …


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 • …

Very Slight – [KAMI] x [Smoko Ono]

Following up on the SaveMoney reunion they threw for their single “Reboot”, KAMI and Smoko Ono have come through with their new collaborative project. On ‘Very Slight’, the Chicago tag team wield their powers together for 7 tracks that showcase their chemistry in the studio. The ice-cold “Afraid So” sets the tone for this project, with KAMI’s auto-tuned bars and Smoko’s explosive production making for a hard opener that wastes no time warming up. On “A Bit”, Valee pops in with his iconic choppy flow that sits perfectly over the steady drums, and he name-drops a plethora of luxury brands in the process. The project hits a peak on the arena-ready “Superstar Moves”, driven by a venomous bassline that’s distorted to oblivion as KAMI flexes his self-proclaimed superstar status. After the storm, ‘Very Slight’ ends on an unexpectedly soulful note with “No Choice”, which ended up being one of my personal favorite tracks despite it being such a contrast from the rest of the dark, aggressive sound of the tape. In an era with so many rapper-producer collabs, KAMI and Smoko Ono make their’s standout just off chemistry alone, packaging the volatile energy that happens whenever they link up.

Reboot – [Smoko Ono] x [KAMI] x [Chance The Rapper] x [Joey Purp]

A few days back the Savemoney army connected to release a new hit record titled “Reboot” that includes the likes of Joey Purp, Chance The Rapper and KAMI, and this morning we decided to drop the brand new visual to the track! We here at Lyrical Lemonade connected with the fellow Chicagoans to create this one, and it doesn’t take much more than one watch through to see just how good it came out. Take a few minutes of your time to peep this new video below and be sure to let me know what you think about it in the comments section! Produced by Smoko Ono

Reboot – [KAMI] [Smoko Ono] ft. [Chance the Rapper] & [Joey Purp]

KAMI’s been a consistent favorite in Chicago since the Savemoney affiliate emerged onto the scene as part of Leather Corduroys, and the release of his “Just Like The Movies” and “Superstar” projects has KAMI picking up the larger acclaim his talent demands. Now, he’s teamed up with go-to producer Smoko Ono for a new single that proves they’re going for the kill. On “Reboot”, the rapper-producer tag team recruits a lineup of their closest collaborators and some of Chicago’s heaviest hitters. They call in Chance to do what he does best, and Channo delivers with a flow completely out of left field delivered in a way only he could pull off. Right after that, Joey Purp makes his appearance, recalling the same explosive energy that he channeled with KAMI when they honed their craft as Leather Corduroys. Soundtracking the Savemoney reunion is a barrage of punchy drums and breezy synths courtesy of Smoko, laying the blueprint for a hit to be made. Smoko and KAMI no doubt have a formula for success that they’ve concocted through countless collaborations in the past. With “Reboot”, they cook up a club banger while keeping it all in the family, leaving us anticipating their forthcoming …

SideFX – [Sterling Hayes]

SAVEMONEY’s Sterling Hayes is a familiar face here at LL and today, we are proud to premiere his new project titled SideFX. Coming in at 14 tracks, the full-length effort takes on a full voyage of emotions from the Donterio Hudson-assisted Nausea, Bipolar with Smoko Ono, Anxiety and of course, the pre-project single in Drowsiness with Chance The Rapper, Kami, Potash Twins, Via Rosa & Teddy Jackson. Besides the massive feature list that continues with Stan Sono, Malcolm London, Carter Lang, Brill, TheMIND, Papi Beatz and Studio Steve, the solo efforts such as Suicide & Insomnia were some of the most powerful tracks on the album in which Hayes was not hesitant to hold back on his factual bars that made the pair of tracks one of several standouts throughout. Having said that, this is arguably Sterling’s biggest project to date and I highly recommend you take the time to take in the 14 tracks in their entirety. So, be sure to dive into SideFX immediately and let us know which songs you’re rocking with in the comments section below!

LL Presents: The EvieTheCool Q&A

If you know anything about the Chicago music scene, then chances are that you are familiar with EvieTheCool. She has been doing plenty of dope stuff around the city for a minute, most notably rocking crowds all over the globe as a DJ. She has worked with tons of interesting people and is undoubtedly one of best at what she does, but instead of me telling you all about her accomplishments, I’ll let you hear it from her for yourself. Learn a thing or two about her below and afterwards be sure to follow her on Twitter here!   photo credit – gripz     — EM: Before we dive into the questions, give our readers who may not be familiar with you a brief introduction of yourself. EV: who is eviethecool: i am many things, i guess a creative is the best way to sum it all up. ive always had a love for music, in 2010 i began blogging and interviewing artists in chicago. over the years i built some really great relationships and continued growing as a creative individual. many years later i can say i am an event curator, the founder of a womens empowerment organization, an aspiring …

Superstar Moves – [Smoko Ono] x [Kami]

Chicago native Smoko Ono has had an amazing career so far to say the least, but it got a whole lot better as he just released arguably his best song to date with “Superstar Moves” featuring Kami. When you press play be prepared to be smacked in the face with this massive production by Smoko, before Kami jumps on the beat and just shines for three minutes straight, blessing us with two sensational verses and a memorable hook. This record has an unreal amount of potential and odds are you’ll be hearing it for months to come, so you might as well get in tune now by pressing play below!

Drift – [Towkio]

Savemoney’s Towkio is back with a next level visual for his latest song “Drift”, produced by Lido, Smoko Ono, and Knox Fortune. Michael Hoday takes some insane drone shots of the Mexican scenery which include a beautiful hillside town, ancient pyramids, and serene mountains. As the title suggests, you will also find plenty of motor stunts and drifting within but what was the most appealing to see was Towkio taking part in some fun synced choreography with two dancers alongside him (Laffeyette Bless and Sydni Celeste), as well as some solo dancing with a fleet of motorcyclists circling him while he grooves out on a sofa.  You can watch the stimulating new video directed by Todd Burr and Towkio for “Drift” below as we await the release of his upcoming project World Wide.Wav!

Top 50 Chicago Projects of 2016

As we are only a few hours from entering the new year, we here at Lyrical Lemonade decided to put together a list of the best Chicago projects IN OUR OPINION! Each and every of the artists included created something special this year for the world, but especially for the city, so it’s only right that we acknowledge their efforts. I want to shine some light on our writers Lane Cowherd & Jacob Lusted really quick, they really helped me a ton on this Top 50 project, thank you guys for being dedicated & for all the assistance, I truly appreciate it! Also, I want to thank all the supporters out there. Lyrical Lemonade has grown tremendously in 2016, we have gained a few thousand followers on our Twitter in the past few months alone! So to all of our supporters, whether you just came across Lyrical Lemonade or if you have been showing love since day 1, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I promise we have some exciting stuff in store for the fans in 2017. To Cole & the rest of our writing team, let’s keep improving & getting better every …