Up To Tempo

Slider Area

Advertise Space

New Music

New Hip Hop

Advertise Space

In The Loop

Monday, August 31, 2015

WIN TICKETS: Otto Knows #Next2Me Tour
by Julia Merryman - 0

After touring Europe and performing at insane festivals including Tomorrowland, Electrobeach, Creamfields, and Ushuaia Ibiza w/ Avicii Otto Knows is headed to North America! His #Next2Me tour is set to hit eight different hot spots and hopefully you are lucky enough to see this Swedish producer. Otto Knows impressively has 100 million streams globally and 32 million on his single, “Next To Me,” the newly 2x RIAA certified Platinum smash in Sweden. You won't want to miss him!

For our lucky Chicago readers, we are giving away TWO FREE TICKETS to Otto Knows' show on September 3 at Studio Paris. All you have to do is like, share, or retweet the article post on Facebook and/or Twitter. 

Take a listen to "Next To Me," the song that inspired this tour. 

Otto Knows Tour Dates
9/03 - Chicago, IL - Studio Paris
9/04 - Mexico City, Mexico - Ragga
9/05 - Los Angeles, CA - 1OAK
9/06 - Houston, TX - Aura
9/11 - Atlantic City, NJ - Haven
9/12 - New York, NY - Highline Ballroom
9/18 - Toronto, ON - Uniun
9/19 - San Francisco, CA - Temple

Read More

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Four Hip Hop Acts that Killed It at Summerset
by Kelly Pyzik - 0

Summerset Music Festival took place a few weekends ago, August 14th-16th, in Somerset, WI and was three days of over 70 different artists from across the country. Summerset is best known as an EDM festival, but it actually books a pretty diverse range of genres and featured a number of fantastic hip hop acts.

Toki Wright

Toki Wright kicking off Summerset weekend. Photo by Susanne Bushman.
Toki Wright had a daunting task as the very first act of the entire festival, but he came onto the stage with a ton of energy and enthusiasm from the very start and drew a really hyped crowd of an impressive size. When his set started most people were sitting on the grassy outskirts just listening and taking in the scene, but Toki has serious bars and some really unique beats, and they couldn't resist coming down to the dance floor. Wright was one of the only rappers I saw that weekend who addressed real, heavy stuff in his music. He did a great performance of “Film the Police,” originally a B. Dolan song, which is a sort of modern day re-imagining of NWA's “Fuck tha Police” highlighting the protective power of united community efforts and educating about citizens' rights to take cell phone videos of police officers as records of unlawful uses of force.

Wright was one of Summerset's local artists, coming from Minneapolis, and in addition to his career as a musician he is also a community organizer and an educator. He's been making music since '98 and is part of Soul Tools Entertainment.

Webster X

Webster X, getting sweaty and into it. Photo by Susanne Bushman.
There was a lot of body paint involved. Webster X classifies his music as experimental hip hop/rap, and the other musicians onstage, sporting much body paint, played keyboard and percussion while also manning a MIDI pad. Having a combination of analog and electronic instruments onstage added a really engaging performative element, especially the brief, shining moments of soulful saxophone. The whole set was extremely high energy – Webster X ran out into the crowd a number of times and led an adoring mob of fans in a romp around the stage area, absolutely raining with sweat when he got back onstage after the end of the song.
A mysterious singer, name unknown, also came out for a number of songs, and she, too, was sweating off a lot of body paint. She had an amazing voice and was super performative and fun, passionately throwing herself all over the stage. Having not been at all familiar with Webster X before the set began, what I can most confidently say is that it was very weird and I was very into it.


Saba did some serious work with a bad slot. On the last day of the festival, at 3 pm, he managed to draw a crowd of about 30 people, but 30 people who were totally hyped, totally invested in the music. Saba did a great job balancing music and talk, contextualizing his music in his background as a rapper from the West side of Chicago and really developing a relationship with the intimate audience. With some thanks to the strong efforts from his hypeman, the whole crowd was jumping around and yelling along to every hook, and perfectly executed the call and response in “Whip (AreYouDown?)”. Saba has a very distinctly Chicago sound, but it is also an impressively polished sound. The production is tight and he has a strong, established voice, especially considering his age. Saba is up and coming and everyone should be watching out, no doubt.

Lil Dicky

Having gotten his start on YouTube with a few funny music videos, Lil Dicky has sort of come out of nowhere, but is now (maybe?) being taken seriously as a 'professional rapper'. Honestly, the boy has bars. He really does appeal to a new demographic of potential rap fans, as he originally set out to do, and even out onstage he was very open and genuine, connecting with the audience. His whole set was incredibly fun and highly anticipated by many, including the crew of bros in the front of the crowd who were shouting such encouragements as “WE WANT DICK” while waiting for him to come on. His clucking chicken-esque dance moves add something invaluable to the whole white boy rappper performance, and I was so happy for the girl he brought onstage for “Lemme Freak” who seemed to  potentially be the world's #1 Lil Dicky fangirl. Lil Dicky: I laughed, I cringed, I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Lil Dicky, legal name Dave Burd, recently relased his first full-length album, “Professional Rapper,” that features a ton of big names in the rap game, including Fetty Wap, Snoop Dogg and T-Pain, as well as a hilarious interlude from comedian Hannibal Buress. His music dances a strange line between comedy and hip hop and the end result is something funnier than the Lonely Island, and more listen-able, something you would actually bump to your car, over and over. He's trying to “do the whole thing different” and I think he may very well be nailing it.
Read More

Friday, August 28, 2015

Discover: "All Alone" by BARE ft. Sabrina Kennedy
by Julia Merryman - 0

Suited for clubs and playlists alike, "All Alone" provides a chilling mix of beautiful vocals and body-shaking bass. Sabrina Kennedy added a new element to Los Angeles based BARE's track by blending her poppy sound using vocal techniques that also put her in the Progressive House genre. 

A new member of the Panda Funk Records crew, an independent label, BARE is taking the next steps to become the largest and most well-loved producer in the business. Already proving he is successful with his past top tracks "Bangla" and "Trooper," he is stepping up his game and it shows.

Consistently played by artists such as David Guetta, Tiesto, Dada Life, Hardwell, Zeds Dead, Adventure Club, and Krewella, this accomplished producer is heard across the world through his own sets as well as his colleagues'. Last year BARE was even asked to perform a special guest set at EDC Las Vegas which helped bring his name higher recognition, gain a larger following, and prove he's one of the greatest up-and-coming DJs of our time.

Take a listen to BARE and Sabrina's new track "All Alone" below and be prepared to have it on repeat. 

Read More

Discover: "Seventeen" By Wolvereen
by Julia Merryman - 0

Olivia Eigel, the leading lady of Wolvereen, is currently based in Brooklyn but has an incredibly interesting background. Starting at the surprisingly young age of 11 writing music, by age 13 she was recording, releasing, and performing her music with her best friends. Originally called Purple Apple, the girls not only played Lollapalooza but they are also the youngest act to play ever play at Chicago's venue Metro.

Similar to Haim and Blondie, Wolvereen has a fun vibe. Especially while listening to their new song "Seventeen," their sound is the very embodiment of being young again and gives you a bit of a flashback with their sweet lyrics. Olivia Eigel announced recently on Wolvereen's Facebook that although she had a great run with the members that were originally in Purple Apple, due to her move from Chicago to Brooklyn, Wolvereen is now her and three other "rockin guys from the NYC area." 

Announcing that they are going to try and hit the ground running, Wolvereen should definitely be on your radar as their self-released first single, "Seventeen" and with an LP and string of East Coast dates to follow in the fall. 

Read More