St. Vinny’s DeJamz

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(Graphic by Max Kleiner / The DePaulia)

(Graphic by Max Kleiner / The DePaulia)

Whether it’s soothing blues, robust punk sound, or the rising vibrant hip-hop environment, Chicago has been home to an array of diverse music scenes that continue to reinforce the unique liveliness this city provides for concert goers.  While the summer has winded down, and the once brown tainted grass left by Lollapalooza and North Coast goers grows back for the fall, the city’s music life continues to beat strong as it cycles in and out of some of the most promising artists of the decade.

  So, in tribute to both the unforgettable summer festivals Chicago has provided, here are just a few of the many local artists that continue to dominate their respective genre.

1. Chance the Rapper — “Hey Ma”

  By no means an unknown artist anymore, Chance the Rapper (Chancelor Bennett) has easily made a name for himself in Chicago as one of its leading hip-hop artist and for good reason.  From surprise shows and mysterious special events, the independent rapper has not only been regularly interactive with his fans, but has also tackled some of Chicago’s deepest issues, hosting and fundraising programs from helping the homeless to youth development.  “Hey Ma” from Chance’s first official mixtape delves into the early life of the West Chatham rapper, and the early values that have made him into the prominent young artist he is today.

2. Whitney — “Golden Days”

  Much like Chance the Rapper, the indie rock group were one of the few bands to leave their mark on Pitchfork’s stages this summer. Their debut album of the summer, “Light Upon the Lake” has a slowed psychedelic sound, mixed with a soothing deep indie rhythm that makes for something quite original in a genre that continues to struggle with distinctness. Whitney’s name recognition is quickly on the rise in the city, and don’t be surprised if they make a welcoming return at next summer’s music festivals.

3. Sir the Baptist — “Raise Hell”

Though his discography exists with only a short number of songs, Sir the Baptist’s undeniably danceable few hits have struck a nerve in the city.  While not the first to do so, Sir the Baptist has successfully made a career out of the intermixing of activism and music, both things Chicago has no shortage of.  Mixing church choir, dance, and a rapid beat, “Raise Hell” is a fine introduction to the unique artistry behind Sir the Baptist.

4. Jamila Woods — “Blk Girl Soldier”

If the name looks familiar it may be due to the soul singer being featured on Macklemore’s “White Privilege II,” as well as being a frequent collaborator of Chance the Rapper, see “Sunday Candy” and “Blessings.”  As Woods continues to collaborate with some of hip-hops’ biggest artists, her independent work as an artist grows too.  Serving as the associate artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, the non-profit behind “Louder Than a Bomb”—Woods’ poetry, songs and soul is rooted deeply with the black community of this city, and “Blk Girl Soldier” is a key example of just that.