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FSD Feature: Frank Leone – Into The Wild

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Photos courtesy of Transmental

Words by Tara Mahadevan (@mhdvn)

It isn’t often that cleaning leads to rapping, but that was the case for 19-year-old Frank Leone, who, one day while tidying up his bedroom, thought, “I would rather be rapping than cleaning my room right now.” So at 15, he took a pen to paper and began writing.

His hometown of Monticello, Illinois — roughly two hours south of Chicago, with a population size of 5,000 — isn’t exactly a hotbed for hip-hop. Leone didn’t even listen to rap until he was 15, when a friend gave him a copy of Kanye’s The College Dropout. A week later, Kanye released My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which sealed the deal for Leone. “That was the first rap album I got fully lost in. That [album] kind of just started everything,” he says.

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FSD Feature: Geniuses Need Love Too: An Appreciation of Kidz in the Hall

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Words by Alec Siegel (@bigasiegs)

When the subject of the most influential Chicago hip-hop artists of the ‘90s and ‘00s is brought up, I can guarantee mention of the usual suspects: Kanye West, Common, Twista, Lupe Fiasco, Crucial Conflict, Do or Die, etc. But when is the last time you heard someone mention Kidz in the Hall?

When I first heard Kidz in the Hall, I thought they were another hip-hop act that was stuck in the genre’s Golden Era, recreating a sound they were hardly old enough to appreciate. To be fair, my first taste of them was “Wheelz Fall Off (‘06 Til),” a track with an instrumental based around the ubiquitous horn sample from Souls of Mischief’s seminal classic “‘93 ‘til Infinity.” How could you blame me?

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FSD Feature: Artist Spotlight – The Boy Illinois

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Words by Clynt Johnson (@BornRaisedChi)

FSD recently caught up with one of our favorite artists, The Boy Illinois, who has been making some of the best music that you may or may not have been sleeping on over the last couple years. His sound, style and unique outlook on life, politics and the game make him easily one of Chicago’s next big draft picks and one to constantly watch.

Illi has been working closely with director/producer DGainz on his upcoming album, DuSable,  which will feature an impressive roster of friends and artists including: Twista, Trae The Truth, Prolyfic and Stalley. DuSable is expected to drop this summer and will be executive produced by DGainz and presented by FSD. So it’s only right that we chopped it up with Illi in this dope Artist Spotlight you can now read below.

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FSD Feature: Ian Eastwood – Keep It Movin’

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An interview by Aaron Navarro (@aaronlarnavarro)

Chicago native, Ian Eastwood, has made his mark as a choreographer through, among other things, creating some truly groundbreaking and innovative dance videos. Ian’s put his moves to tracks like Childish Gambino’s “Sober” and the all­-star production and one-shit video of Donnie Trumpet’s “Sunday Candy.” Now he aims to make a bigger mark as a director and dancer by creating the world’s first-ever dance mixtape. We called up Ian to chat more about his never-before-done project, his relationship with Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa, and what life was like growing up in Chicago.

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