In recent years, hip-hop has been declared dead more times than Michael Myers. Now, after a cycle of gangsta nihilism and goofy dance hits, its fortunes are slowly changing. It took a senator from Chicago to breathe new life into American politics and it seems the Windy City has lungs enough to save hip-hop too. From Kanye West to Common and Lupe Fiasco, Chi-town’s rap alumni has all but colonised the top of the pop charts. Now a new class is in session and its star pupils, the freshest of freshmen, are called the Cool Kids.
Here we present the bands' A-Z of Chicago -
Barack Obama – Chicagoan presidential hopeful who chops it up with the Cool Kids.
Buddha Lounge – Oriental-themed club on W. Grand Avenue.
Debonair Social Club – Head for the basement of this Wicker Park nightclub.
DJ Chip – Juke DJ and local hero.
DJ Gant-Man – AKA General Juke, one of the scene’s most popular DJ/producers.
DJ Nehpets – Juke legend with a popular show on Chicago’s Power 92.
Empire Liquors – Cool Bucktown bar and lounge.
Giordano’s – Home of the world famous deep dish pizza.
Juke – 120bpm Chicago party music that combines rap, house and booty bass. Check YouTube for amazing the amazing dancers.
Lollapalooza – Chicago’s most famous music festival.
Metro – Northside concert hall with impeccable booking policy.
N2Deep – Early ’90s Chicano gangster rappers who scored a hit with ‘Back To The Hotel’.
Pitchfork Music Festival – Bryant Park festival curated by the indier-than-thou website.
Sonotheque – Elegant Chi-town club with some great nights.
St. Alfred – Chicago’s premier sneaker and apparel spot.
Subterranean – Popular Wicker Park club and home to Chicago’s most popular hip-hop night.
Wicker Park – Hip Chicago neighbourhood. Their Soho or Shoreditch.