For any artist coming out of Chicago in the post-Chance world, you better be arriving in front of the cameras and mics with something that is unique, thoughtful and tightly-wound. The stakes have risen locally, and the artists that make up the scene have responded in full, further upping the ante that has been growing over the course of the last five years or so. With the advent of ‘democratized technology’ both the sound and the expressiveness of the new music coming out of the ‘Go has improved greatly. Perhaps nowhere else was this demonstrated in the last week than in the handful of projects we have for you here today in our catch-up of the latest new albums around the way including Rich Jones, ProbCause, and Chief Keef.
Rich Jones • Lightworks EP
We’ve written it here several times before: Rich Jones has left his mark on this year. While 2017 may have held disappointments for many across the country, Jones has used the quickly-evaporating calendar to manifest his dreams and intentions with a slew of well-received new music, plenty of shows both in and out of town, including a North Coast Music Festival date and a newfound peace and disposition that reflects in his work. Just ahead of his Lightworks release show December 7 at Empty Bottle, fans got a quick holdover the the man himself in this four-track release that also features Kosha Dillz, ShowYouSuck and Sports Boyfriend and sees him trending in ever-more interesting territory. For its part, “Dean Ween” was a favorite all summer and at first listen this one got around a few times without issue. A nice, light release, Lightworks serves to prime the folks for whats to come in the new year.
ProbCause • Distractions
More than most, ProbCause has built a sort of cult following over the course of the last six years or so. The motor-mouthed MC has utilized an ability to move seamlessly over a variety of beats to ingratiate himself with a loyal dance-centric crowd that is a holdover from his performances at EDM festivals across the country. In the lead-up to his most recent, somewhat surprising reveal, Distractions, we got a perfect example of Prob as an artist in the single and video for “White Lies“. The single encapsulates Prob as a forward-thinking cusp-millennial with plenty to say and the ability to do so. Paired with production from GRiZ and animation from himself and Elijah Alvarado, the teaser is a amalgam of influences, passions and building blocks of ProbCause. The latest project seems like a perfect late-year release, a sort of breath of fresh air where Prob feels like he’s getting plenty off his chest. One of the finest wordsmiths in the city to date, I’ve yet to meet a project of his I haven’t enjoyed. Check it out below.
Chief Keep • Dedication
It seems as though Keef is very much back in the swing of things. This year has seen the iconic Chicago rapper begin to shed some of the controversy that followed him early in his career and get back to the music more whole-heartedly. The collection of features and short-releases that preluded the album’s drop have arrived with increasingly impressive bars and rhyme schemes that make it seem as though he’s been experimenting with some new sounds and finding some clarity in the process. He’s been busy as can been 2017, this serving as his fourth release, and with the year almost in the rearview, he can definitely hang his hat on the fact that he’s continuing to hold his spot in the game, having been around for some time now. If anything, it’s obvious he’s dedicated, and offers up an appropriate nod to Lil Wayne on the title. Check it all out below and, of course, find all the new music from around the city streaming 24/7 on Mild Sauce Radio.