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Features News

Catching up with Melo Makes Music as he readies his forthcoming ‘Nomads’ EP

Words by Nandi Howard. Photos by Dennis Elliot.

To not give credit to the successful year Chicago had in music would be a disservice to yourself. 2016 was a great year for some familiar faces in the Chicago scene to go beyond the Midwest. For the most part, Chicago entertainers, despite being from different parts of the city, all know each other. Whether from open mic events back in the day or attending the same grammar schools, one of the largest cities in America surprisingly has a close knit artist community.

“I kind of was on my own thing back then. I got into because it would become a hobby to write songs in my old dorm room, and I started missing class because of it…Really my journey is something I take in alone in a lot of regards as far as creativity,” said Melo.

After dropping out of Columbia College with the backing of his mom, Melo recorded for the first time in a studio in 2015. The result of his new endeavor landed him a debut EP that consisted of three songs, which clocked in at over 73k plays.

“My mom actually inspired me to make the decision to pursue my dreams based on the fact that she felt as though my time was better spent doing that. She could tell I cared about it a lot more. Ever since I made that decision I’ve been working really hard,” said Melo

Now fresh into 2017, Melo is set to release a new EP, Nomads, on February 28th and we got to talk to him about his creative direction, influences in the industry and more.

Check it out below.

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Features Midwest News

FSD Feature: Baby I’m Gone: a deep look into IshDARR’s ‘Broken Hearts & Bankrolls’


Words by Mitesh B. (@msbhatt92)

One of my favorite moments of an artist’s progression is the initial buildup of a local buzz. An artist makes a debut mixtape, may have had their song on a hip-hop blog or two, and if they’re lucky enough, had the chance to open for a successful artist. After that point, while they may feel the same, possibly a little more confident with some spending cash, they begin to realize that the dream of a music career is truly possible. On top of that, they begin to be a bit more perceptive of the people around them and how they impact their lives. Enter 20 year old, IshDARR from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After impressing listeners with his 2015 hit “Too Bad”, Ishmael has returned with his sophomore mixtape, Broken Hearts and Bankrolls.

Thematically, IshDarr’s newest release is fairly straight forward. He’s enjoying the ride of adolescence, mobbing with his friends in Bandits and Locals, the first visual for the tape. However he chooses to reference him and his friends, both tracks are fun and catchy. Locals is a stoner jam and is a smooth listen for fans. “With the punches / So when she don’t function / I just call my other / Yeah that leaf emoji.” IshDarr’s rapping can be difficult to keep up at times. While each bar is usually direct individually, he doesn’t necessarily paint a vivid picture. To his benefit, he typically doesn’t stray away conceptually so it doesn’t appear random, but it will be interesting to see him mature in his ability to connect lines through his verses.

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Chicago Features News

G Herbo & Andrew Barber attend Game 4 of the World Series

World Series with my dog @nolimitherbo. Best seats in the house! #$@& Curses! 🚫Go Cubbies. 🐻 #teamadidas

A photo posted by Andrew Barber (@fakeshoredrive) on

Last night, the Chicago Cubs returned to Wrigley Field for game four of the World Series. Sadly, they suffered their third loss to the Cleveland Indians, leaving the series at 3-1.

But it wasn’t all losses last night, because if you watched the game you surely saw a familiar face sitting behind home plate: XXL Freshman G Herbo. Donning an Adidas #$@& Curses hoodie alongside Fake Shore Drive’s Andrew Barber, the two popped up on televisions screens all night. The best part? This was Herbo’s first-ever MLB game. Not bad, right? I must say attending a Cubs World Series bout is about as good as it gets for your first major league baseball experience. Herb tried to buck the “F*** Curses” trend, and hopefully the Cubs can break that curse tonight. Herb met the goat out front, and told the crowd he was the good luck charm, so hopefully that luck will turn tonight. Bill Murray sat behind Herb and they exchanged hugs and pounds throughout the game.

Check out some pictures below. As you can see, Herb had his fans going crazy on social media last night when they saw him getting screen time on Fox. Let’s hope the Cubs can pull off a win tonight, because we firmly stand behind F*** CURSES!

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Features News

FSD Feature: Hottest Chicago Videos of Summer 2016


Words by Andrew Jennings. 

Summer’s almost over, and soon it’ll go back to being like 17 degrees outside. Too bad, so sad. However, to commemorate a good summer in music, I listed my ten favorite Chicago music videos of Summer 16. The only criteria was that they had to have been released on or after June 1st. They also had to be unique, because I really couldn’t separate the five million videos of dudes getting hype in somebody’s room/a parking lot. No shade, though (“I Don’t Like” is a GOAT-level video.)

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Features News

FSD Feature: Productivity & Social Activism behind Chance The Rapper’s ‘Coloring Book’

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 2.17.00 PM

Words by Mark Zoleta

Seasons hold more value than having leaves change color or giving presents to loved ones. The seasons can turn cities and its residents into different beasts. Violence sparks up just as much as the heat does during the summers of Chicago and Chance the Rapper is one of the many that notice this. There’s a reason why Chance’s gloomy Acid Rap displays contrast between his latest release, the upbeat and gospel-like Coloring Book. It’s a way to connect to the people of Chicago and is an accessible form of nonviolent, social activism to constantly vibe to amidst the violence that we see.

While the introduction of Acid Rap illustrates traces of the radiant Chance we see today, most of the poetic devices within the mixtape were dark and somber. They followed elements of what we would typically see in rap: Women. Drugs. Violence. It’s all there. It was a different perspective than most, though, and that’s what made him so alluring.

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