This year has proven to be another great year in Chicago music and it’s only June! Many big named Chicago artists, such as Chance the Rapper and Kanye West have been releasing top notch music. Chicago music has always been known to shake the industry up, and this era is no different. In this list, we didn’t name the obvious juggernauts from Chicago. This list consists of rappers from Chicago that are releasing great music, gaining tangible and social fan base, and representing the city in their own way. This was voted on by our staff and trust me it was not taken lightly. And of course we attached a playlist with the artists recent sounds and hits. Make sure you check these artists out and stay tuned for live show details.
5. G – Herbo
G Herbo is one of Chicago’s most well known rappers outside of the city. He also has a loyal fan base here at home. I see longevity in his career because his subject matter isn’t strictly drill with violence. He proves that he has a conscious side and that he is human. This allows his fans to connect to him on a level of vulnerability. He also is very smart for his age. When he first started out, his name was attached to Lil Bibby’s due to their frequent collaborations. Yet, G Herbo successfully established his own fan base, which can be hard to do early on in a rapper’s career. G Herbo also recently signed to Creative Control, a label with great management tactics. Creative Control boasts the likes of Mick Jenkins, Joey Badass, and Big Krit. This is an excellent move for G Herbo’s career and we believe this year he will prove such with his debut album.
Lucki’s ability to maintain a high level of relevancy in Chicago rap has been underrated this year. Lucki releases music at will and his fan base is very vocal about their views of his music. Between his new Freewave releases and his “Son of Sam” project, he has a wide range of fans under his belt. He is also an example of having a team of people backing you can work to your advantage. Lucki also made an appearance in the Yamborghini High video alongside other current rap giants. Since Chicago icon Joe Freshgoods and Lucki have began working together, Lucki seems to have a new focus and it shows in his work ethic. As always, Lucki has the most potential of his genre due to his lyrical versatility as well as ear for music. He also boasts a very exclusive house of producers including Plu2o Nash, Mayhem Meech, Skywlkr, and K-swisha. We’re expecting another tape or two out of Lucki before the year is out so stay tuned.
Femdot made our list for artists to watch this year and he’s proven us right so far. With the release of his “Fo(u)r EP,” Femdot was named a Redbull Sound Select artist & has also been receiving tons of attention from outlets such as Fakeshoredrive. Femdot makes real music, you can hear the feeling and sincerity in his voice, while his songwriting skills are rarely matched. His beat selection is underrated as well, as he combines elements of Chicago soul with story telling and punchline rap. He’s recently been rocking a few live sets around Chicago, exemplifying charisma and showmanship at every show. Femdot is a rapper in every sense of the word and definitely having a great year so far, don’t sleep!
2. Joey Purp
Joey Purp’s latest project “iiiDrops” was groundbreaking for his career. Before now many knew him as another Save Money rapper dropping a verse here and there. Along with the tape, his latest single “Cornerstore” is already a hometown hit that features Chicago heavyweight Saba, as they came together to create magic with there first collab. Joey’s lyrical prowess is very particular. He spits with emotions but with a rasp that’ll draw you in more with each listen. He also has a particular beat selection. At times he can sound like a master of the loud horn and looped drums style of rap, but then he catches you off guard with the more upbeat dance rap. He also just had an amazing performance at his jam packed concert at The Metro this past Friday, he graced the stage with an eye catching confidence as he proved he could be “next” out of the city.
1. Warhol SS
Warhol is progressing tremendously fast at such a young age. The 18 year old has several Soundcloud hits and has been rocking shows throughout the Midwest all year. He had a nice run in Minnesota where they showed him a lot of love. He also has Mizzou under wraps with DJ Stain as his anchor. Here at home, Warhol and DJ Stain have mastered the art of not over saturating their market, but providing just enough to keep their fan base growing. Brentrambo also has produced a number of Warhol’s hits as well, including “Speedracer” & “Supaboof!.” Warhol meshes the Atlanta sound well with his own Chicago flavor. Generally, Warhol tops this list because he’s been consistently releasing great music, rocks live shows often, and he seems to be only focused on winning right now. He’s self made and on a mission & we here at Lyrical Lemonade respect that. Be on the look out for his live set calendar this summer, and get familiar with each of the mentioned artists below.