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2014 is a wrap. Finito. And despite what the peanut gallery at large might tell you, we’ve received some incredible music from the Chicago scene. From newcomers, to vets — it appears just about everyone has put their best foot forward this year — and many artists have churned out the best work of their careers.
Despite what others might tell you, 2014 was a pretty great year for rap. At least in the Midwest. And as most of the influential bloggers and rap writers reside on the coasts, they tend to overlook the gems the Midwest has to offer. But that’s where we come in. That’s where we thrive. That’s our bread and butter.
It’s that time of the week again. Do remember, that if the song dropped anytime since last Friday (12/5) it’s eligible for the list. Now we aren’t saying these are the BEST songs of the week, but they are the staff’s faves and joints you can catch us bumping in the office.
Words by Holiday Kirk (@HolidayKirk)
As 2013 gave way to 2014, the excitement and enthusiasm that ran through Chicago’s bop scene began deflating. The energy and attention generated by Sicko Mobb’s high profile deal with Sony & RCA and the DLow Shuffle’s virality gave way to rumors of bad contracts and stagnation as no other artists were signed. Few new bop songs entered regular rotation on DJ playlists leaving artists desperate to escape the shadow of their big hits. None of this was the fault of the bop scene itself really. None got signed because nobody’s getting signed, anywhere, at all. This is the hardest rap economy ever to break into the major label system and after the Chicago gold rush of 2012 the major labels have all but abandoned the city.
Words by Scott Englert of AEMMP Records
Today Chicago’s only student run record label, AEMMP Records of Columbia College releases the debut project from Cae Jones, titled Too Uncool.
Each year students in the label find talent on campus and work directly with them to record, promote, and release music. Following a compilation produced by C-Sick released earlier this year, Too Uncool solely features New York native and sophomore Columbia student, Cae Jones. Utilizing a diverse lineup of producers, these tracks definitely give you a taste of the world that has influenced Cae.
“I wanted to take elements from all genres I like, such as Indie Rock and Dubstep, and blend them all together to make a truly unique and intriguing sound.” – Cae
Stay on the lookout for more to come from AEMMP and check out Too Uncool below.
Words by Taylor Made (@taylormade_hbm)
Quiet as kept, Detroit’s Doughboyz Cashout faction had an incredible 2014. Simply put: these guys were (and still are) WORKING. At the top of the year they dropped one of the most slept on projects of ’14, We Run The City Vol. 4, which was chock full of quality Detroit street music.
On top of the group outing, every member dropped a solo project (with the exception of Doughboy Dre) and each project had its shining moments. From Big Quis’ My Turn, to Kiddo’s Breaking All The Rules Vol. 1, to Payroll’s Get Money Stay Humble, to Doughboy Roc’s Beast Mode — these Motor City madmen kept us in great music.
It’s that time of the week again. Do remember, that if the song dropped anytime since last Friday (11/21 — we skipped last week) it’s eligible for the list. Now we aren’t saying these are the BEST songs of the week, but they are the staff’s faves and joints you can catch us bumping in the office.
Words by Ty Howard (@someguynamedty)
Chief Keef has been flooding the e-streets with new music since the beginning of 2014 and it doesn’t look like he’s going to stop anytime soon. Aside from the countless loosies that Keef has dropped, he also served up his Back From The Dead 2 mixtape and plans to drop at least three more projects by early 2015.
You could’ve easily blinked and missed two or three joints from Sosa this year, but there’s no need to worry — I got you covered.
Words by Ty Howard (@someguynamedty)
One thing I’ve learned is that rap shows can either be really fun or really suck. The artist isn’t always to blame either. I’ve been to more concerts and events that I can count over the last few years, but what I do recall from a majority of them is how annoying some of the people and the things they do at events can be.
It’s that time of the week again. Do remember, that if the song dropped anytime since last Friday (11/14) it’s eligible for the list. Now we aren’t saying these are the BEST songs of the week, but they are the staff’s faves and joints you can catch us bumping in the office.