Chicago Radio Notes, Summer 2015

I’ve been in Chicago for the past few weeks, so I figured I would do a quick post on the hip-hop scene here as experienced through radio. As you may have heard, Chicago radio has an ambivalent relationship to its local scene; if you listened to 107.5 WGCI, you’d think local artists had a pretty weak following in the city, give or take your occasional DJ MoonDawg set. But Hammond, Indiana’s Power 92 has been incredibly responsive to the considerable demand for local artists. In between calls to stop the violence, you’ll hear music from numerous Chicago rappers, particularly when DJs like Nehpets and Pharris are spinning. In many ways, I think this more accurately reflects the Chicago hip-hop aesthetic—at least, in its radio-ready form—than you’re liable to get trying to filter the scene through the internet.

Here are a few of my notes and short playlist from DJ Nehpets a couple nights ago.

  1. “We In Da City” might be the biggest Atlanta record here, no joke. Or it’s emerging in a big way now. Except maybe for “Flex”. (Future suffers from vote splitting)
  2. The Martorialist’s dream is coming true, and “RGF Island” by Fetty Wap is finally turning into a hit.
  3. The song “My Ex” by MBK Twins is fire.
  4. Keef, Louie, Durk, and Herb get tons of play. For Keef, it’s “Earned It,” “Faneto,” “Sosa Chamberlin,” and of course the “Faneto” remix. I’ve also heard “Kobe” a few times, so that’s still getting spins. For Louie, I’ve mostly heard “B.O.N.” although I heard “Like Louie” from the new tape last night and I heard “Cliqued Up” has some momentum behind it (haven’t heard it on the radio yet). For Lil Durk, it’s all over the place—heard “I Go” from Signed to the Streets last night, and “Decline” by him and Keef seems big too. For Herb, it’s pretty much just “I’m Rollin,” but that’s easily one of the biggest records right now.
  5. Still hear the occasional Gucci record. Rarely, you might hear Lil Wayne or 2 Chainz. But it’s pretty rare. They don’t fit in with the local sound, really.
  6. Future is king, obv.
  7. A few old records with Problematic Content are still pretty huge. “Wife Er” by Spenzo, which I can’t stand—it should have been released as a single when it was “Rollin” by Keef—and “Drugs R Us” by Boss Baka, which is basically a Speaker Knockerz record.
  8. I forgot to mention this earlier so I’m editing it in: Yung Stakks “Stakk Money” gets played near-constantly. It’s so dope to hear the “Chief Rocka” horns on the radio.
  9. Here is a tracklist culled from a couple nights ago:

Chief Keef – Earned It
Future – Karate Chop
Unknown song not on shazam with hook that goes… “like I’m diddy”–searching this on soundcloud brought up tons of records and none of them were right
Gucci Mane – Gucci Two Times
Cash Out – She Twerkin
Zona Man, Future, and Lil Durk – Mean To Me
Boss Baka – Drugs R Us
Lil Breeze and Puff – Make Me A Believer
Lil Herb – I’m Rollin
J Writes and King Louie – Unforgettable
MBK Twins – My Ex
Nicki/sremmurd – Throw Some Mo
Fetty Wap – RGF Island
Kevin Gates and Jo Rodeo – Monster
Young Dro – We In Da City

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