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Local Music Notebook: Radio Host Rhymefest

1. Rhymefest On The Air.

"Social activist, rapper and former aldermanic candidate Che 'Rhymefest' Smith will be the host of a new show Speak Up on Mondays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on WVON 1690AM," the station has announced.

"The show will discuss current events, serve as a platform for investigative reporting, take on the issues of the day and get Chicago talking."

Rhymefest's first show was this week.

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See also:

"After receiving the fifteenth 'Chiraq' article in my inbox and seeing a British director come to Chicago and create a documentary with the same title, I realized how dangerous, provocative and exciting the word 'Chiraq' was to verbalize," Rhymefest writes.

"This is exactly why I'm naming my new album Violence Is Sexy."

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This is what a poor kid does for a scholarship.

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From the Beachwood vault:
* Rhymefest's Run.
* Rhymefest's Rap.
* Rhymefest vs. Chief Keef.

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2. Common's Not Smiling.

Prepping his 10th album.

"We came up with this concept Nobody Smiling [and it] was really a thought that came about because of all the violence that was going on in Chicago, or that is going on in Chicago," he told Revolt.

"I like to say was because we're going to bring it into fruition that it's going to stop and all the violence that was going on and it happens in Chicago but it's happening around the world in many ways.

"It may not be to the numbers that's happening in Chicago but, it's happening in inner cities all over America. So we were talking about the conditions of what's happening when I say Nobody Smiling, but it's really a call to action."

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3. Sasha Go Hard's "Own Lane."

They used to try to fuck me to get on the song.

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4. Chance the Rapper Gets Away.

On the heels of a monster year.

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5. Buddy Guy Still The Man.

"If the adage that you're only as old as you feel is true, then Buddy Guy is decades younger than his 77-year-old age suggests," Bob Gendron writes for the Tribune.

"Playing the opening night of a 16-date residency at his namesake Legends, the Chicago icon showed no signs of slowing down during a sprawling 130-minute set. While a majority of the packed crowd sat for the duration, Guy couldn't even stand still for more than a few seconds.

The guitarist's contagious energy and youthful flair have long been part of his annual January home stands, a tradition that continues to attract local and international fans. (Tickets to several upcoming performances are available.) While Guy rarely strays from a successful formula that's been in place for years, the venue's intimacy and 21-and-over policy normally guarantee concertgoers they will see a grittier, feistier version of the musician than the one that appears at all-ages events.

True to form, Guy repeated signature moves - many of which, like the perpetually grinning front man, never seem to grow old. Dressed in an eye-popping magenta suit, he waded into the crowd to get up-close with patrons, slashing ferocious solos as he worked the room like a confident politician. He strolled out the front door and disappeared for an instant, leaving a trail of distortion in his wake. He collaborated with guests (his son Greg and daughter Shawnna). He embraced the role of historian, demonstrating techniques of influential guitarists that left their mark on the genre he fiercely champions in the face of waning mainstream interest.

Go read the rest. And then enjoy this show excerpt:

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on January 8, 2014


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BOOKS - Chicago For Dummies.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Sears Motor Buggy.


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