Lollapalooza is fast approaching this weekend with main-stage legends coming by way of Eminem, OutKast and Kings of Leon. The annual Chicago music festival held against the city’s skyline is hip-hop top heavy this year, and it make sense when you think about the town’s emerging rap scene. It’s hard to say who’s the bigger or more exciting bill between Em and OutKast, but I may have to give the nod to Slim Shady since Big Boi and Andre 3000 are hitting virtually every U.S. city this summer. So, who else do you have to catch that won’t be playing at the Bud Light or Samsung Galaxy stages?
If you find yourself in the Windy City this weekend, make sure to check out these other great non-headlining sets.
7. Iggy Azalea
Iggy’s breakout summer jam “Fancy” has dominated charts all season. Though she’s a rising name in hip-hop, you already know this crowd is going to be filled with chicks getting white girl wasted. Bring it on.
Haunting, bouncy, and beautiful all at the same time, Phantogram blends sample-based electronic music with lead singer Sarah Barthel’s tragically smooth vocals. Expect a super cool light show too.
5. Foster The People
You probably remember Foster The People destroying radio waves a few summers ago with “Pumped Up Kicks.” Well, their new song “Best Friends” is pretty addicting too. This will be sure to be an awesomely bouncy set.
This Queensbridge-native is a certified living legend, and he’s been performing his classic Illmatic in full all summer to celebrate its 20th anniversary. You don’t want to miss this kind of momentous show.
Flume breeds a kind of electronic music that is quite unlike anybody else. Both brooding and infectious, the Australian-born producer will be sure to deliver a rave for the ages.
Chromeo sets are guaranteed to be funky, fresh, and fun. Expect lots of high-flying guitar and super-soaked synths that sound like they’re blaring straight from the 80s.
1. Chance The Rapper
Hometown hero Chance The Rapper was grossly under-staged last year at Lolla, but this year he’ll be closing down Perry’s stage. With a flurry of syllabic rhymes and an addictive turn-down-for-what energy, don’t be surprised if this MC’s crowd rivals Skrillex or Kings of Leon playing nearby.
Allan Kingdom and Kevin Abstract, two Sunset Selections and leaders of the future regime of hip-hop, join forces on “Already.” The title of the song is fitting because both of these guys just dropped their own projects super recently, and they’re already in the studio making moves. The most impressive part of this collaboration is how both artists maintain their own sound, while working towards a greater, collaborative sound. The biggest challenge for young artists is finding your own sound, and these guys have done it at such a young age, which is part of the reason we are so excited to watch them flourish in their careers.
Remember in like 2010 when Big Sean remixed “Too Fake” by Hockey and like Chiddy Bang was thriving with Xaphoon Jones on the boards? With his past two releases, Skizzy Mars is kind of bringing back that moment in time. The real difference is that producer Michael Keenan and him are doing it better. “Lucy,” which remixes future/current indie sweetheart Olivver, sounds less like a sample and more like a feature, which is kind of a miracle if you understand how sampling works. Somehow, these guys have a sound so original that their spin on another song sounds uniquely theirs. And lyrically, Skizzy is just getting better and better at expressing the realest shit, picking up on the subtle intricacies of the most minute moments.
Damaged from the last, so I’m focused on the first, probably settle with the next, ’cause it just couldn’t be worse
Check out the original if you haven’t yet.
According to Escapists‘s lead singer Simon Glancy, “Bones” is basically about this girl who had the same name as his mom, which kind of made him think he was like in love with this girl when he definitely was not (I’m extrapolating a little here). It all sounds like a weird and Oedipal and hilarious premise for a rock song. But “Bones” is not a funny song. It is one of those tracks that will make your heart muscles shift in uncomfortable directions while it carries you to the tip of your seat and grabs your ball sack and smashes your manhood while also being frighteningly beautiful and poignant. You know… one of those tracks.
You can preview the band’s debut album Only Bodies, out July 28, with the sampler below.
CP went in. Pause. On the self-produced “Quarter Life Crisis,” the NY native reflects on his 25 years or so of existence. It feels glorious to listen to, and isn’t that how music should feel? I think that’s enough said; listen to the damn track.
Tom Krell aka How To Dress Well just dropped a chilling track on his SoundCloud page that will have you feeling feels you’ve never felt. This incredible piano ballad is a cover from a friend of Krell’s, as written the excerpt posted below the track, – “(“Let U Know” is a partial cover of a song by Krell’s friend oFF Love)“. This track has incredible emotion and passion behind it, and resonates well within me, and I hope it does for you too. Enjoy the feels people.
SoundCloud Excerpt: “How to Dress Well today presents a new song called “Let U Know,” a bonus cut from his new album “What Is This Heart?”. Krell insisted that this song come out before his next single from “WITH?” because, as he put it, “in singing ‘Let U Know,’ I discovered the title of my album and a lot of its meaning — I needed this song to be heard by people, even though I couldn’t find a place for it on the album proper. When I made this song, singing over a song originally by one of my best friends (“Let U Know” is a partial cover of a song by Krell’s friend oFF Love), a lot of what I’d developed on “WITH?” just came clear to me — these questions, these relationships with the past and the future, all this love…”