This Week in Hip Hop (5/12)

Hip Hop as a culture has made several leaps in the past week.  Chicago, being a hub for the culture, is showing early signs that it may be the best place to be for hip hop.  Kanye West has received his honorary doctorate degree from SAIC. Kanye fully participated in the graduation proceedings and gave a speech in accepting his award. You can check out the video below. This is a huge jump for a multi-Grammy winning artist that built his music legacy upon speaking about dropping out of school to chase dreams that hadn’t yet fabricated.  Kanye West was raised by a single mother that was a professor at Chicago State University.  For many artists that are attempting to get a degree while also remaining prominent in the street culture, this is a dream come true.

The California State Senate honored Compton native, Kendrick Lamar with the Generation Icon Award for works done in his hometown. He has donated several hundred thousand dollars to the Compton school district. He has also worked with his own non profit organization, in partnership with other organizations to help rebuild parks around his neighborhood.  Kendrick humbly accepted the award with a quick speech, thanking the committee.

Kendrick is fresh off the release of critically acclaimed album, To Pimp a Butterfly.  The album featured the likes of George Clinton, Bilal, Rapsody, Thundercat and James Fauntleroy.  We also saw Terrance Martin, world renowned musician, get some shine throughout the project. Check out the ceremony and Kendrick’s new single, King Kunta.

Upcoming events in Chicago include an art gallery, Off Racine, that’s looking to highlight some hometown artists. The event is this Saturday from 6-11pm.  This Friday, Chicago front man Saba is playing a free, live set at Manifest Urban Arts Festival hosted by Columbia downtown.  Saba is fresh off tour with Mick Jenkins and Kirk Knight. He also recently played a show for the Toronto Music Festival, which also featured Lucki Eck$. Hurt Everybody & SD are also headlining the Lyrical Lemonade 4.0 show next Saturday at the legendary venue, Reggies Rock Club.  Tickets are on sale now for all of these events.  There is also word that Donnie Trumpet‘s debut project, Surf, could release any day. Kanye West is said to have featured on the project.  Kanye West also recently performed at the Social Experiment hosted Open Mike, after receiving his doctorate earlier the same day.  Something seems to be brewing here in Chicago. We hope you catch the many events this city has to offer.