Arts Issue 2018 | Interviews | Music

State of Nature

Mother Nature is raising “the collective conscience of damn-near the world through hip-hop”

Kiran Misra

As the old cliché goes, artists must “find their voices.” The rap duo Mother Nature, on the other hand, already know what they want to say. The two will waste no time telling you what they stand for: they’re a “badass group of MCs, coming to conquer the world through Black girl genius.”

Interviews | Music | Radio

Who’s Here and Who’s Not

Sol Patches unpacks their new album “Garden City”

Ellie Mejía

Sol Patches is a gender abolitionist artist from the South and North Sides who makes music influenced by poetry, theater, and black and brown queer and femme. Their new album Garden City includes a host of local collaborators including Hora English, Plus Sign, and Mykele Deville. The Weekly spoke with Sol Patches and Chaski, one of their collaborators, about the album.

Music

Expanding Chicago’s Electronic Music Legacy

Chicago DJ Hieroglyphic Being cofounds an electronic music school to return House to its roots

Hieroglyphic Being (Jasmin Liang)

On a blustery autumn day in West Town, Chicago Phonic, a new educational center for electronic musicians, held its first public open house. Mixers, turntables, and computers were all neatly arranged in a room wrapped with lush, seafoam green wallpaper. Prospective students asked questions and milled around the narrow facility. Daryl Cura, one of Chicago Phonic’s founders, patiently answered questions on modern electronic productions while cracking open cold bottles of Peroni.

Interviews | Music | Radio

A Mural of Memories

Open Mike Eagle on commemoration, the Robert Taylor Homes, and how to keep going

Lizzie Smith

Open Mike Eagle, born and raised in Chicago, moved to Los Angeles after college, and for the most part, he didn’t look back. He joined the hip hop collective Project Blowed, formed the trio Thirsty Fish with Dumbfoundead and Psychosiz, released his first solo album Unapologetic Art Rap in 2010, and has a forthcoming stand-up and music show, The New Negroes, on Comedy Central that he will co-host with comedian Baron Vaughn. But on his most recent album, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream—a hazy, dark, powerful, and sometimes sweet recollection of the Robert Taylor Homes and their demolition, he comes home. The album reimagines the story of the Robert Taylor Homes, imbuing it with equal parts childhood fantasies, fuzzy memories, and the real-world darkness of a city that isolated, ignored, and then forcibly displaced thousands of its most vulnerable residents. This mix is perfectly encapsulated by the video for “Brick Body Complex”: Eagle plays Iron Hood, a superhero trying to warn residents that their building is coming down, fight back against gentrification, and stop the city’s demolition; in the end, at the moment when it seems Iron Hood has stopped the demolition, the cops show up to haul him off to jail.