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Recap: Joseph Chilliams @ Lincoln Hall

posted by Rosario Edwards January 13, 2018

Lincoln Hall was full of good vibes last night as Joseph Chilliams and company took the stage.


First of the female rap duo Mother Nature took the stage and brought the crowds energy way up. Their style is unique in that they are both socially conscious as well as in your face and the vibe was downright fun. Not that those things are mutually exclusive but to see two MC’s on stage talking about society’s problems while making the crowd bounce and groove is a rare site. Continue Reading


The 13 Best Rap Songs For The Holiday SZN

posted by Alejandro Hernandez December 24, 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which means three things: it’s the time for giving, the time for overeating, and the time for overplayed holiday-themed music. Regardless of whether you love Christmas songs or you love to hate them, escaping them completely during the time between the moment Halloween ends and Christmas is impossible. Radio stations devote their entire music selection to holiday music, Christmas jingles play at every store, and- depending on your neighborhood- random strangers show up to your doorstep singing carols (I’ve never lived in a neighborhood that does but the concept that some do is just weird and square as hell, but that’s a conversation for another day).

Personally speaking, Christmas music is cool and all but it soooo overplayed. There are some songs that will never not be lit,  Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas” for example, or anything by Michael Bublé. Others though, just keeping it 100 here, should be left in past where they belong. Continue Reading

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Start a “RIOT!” with Angry Blackmen’s new single

posted by Alejandro Hernandez December 8, 2017

2017 has been a wild year, and Chicago rap duo Angry Blackmen dropped their latest single releasing some of their frustrations about it, claiming it to be “The Blackest song of all-time.”

The duo’s previous tracks have a more upbeat and positive sound that contradicts their name, but “RIOT!” is their first single that strays away from that sound in favor of something more, well, angry. With an aggressive bass and sinister synths on the production, the hook asks the listener if they’re “Down to start a riot? Are you down to start a war?/ We some Angry Blackmen and we kicking down the door.”

They deliver their lyrics in a flurry of punches with such ferocity, the listener is sure to feel pumped enough to incite a full staged riot (or at the very least finish their last set of reps at the gym). Either way, Angry Blackmen finished the year on a strong note, and are set to be an act to look out for in the Chicago scene come 2018. Make sure to listen to the track below and include it in your daily motivational/hype playlist.

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Ridgio Showcases His Growth as an Artist and Person With His New Single, “I’m Better”

posted by Alejandro Hernandez November 28, 2017

Local rapper Ridgio wants to let people know that’s he gotten better, and it certainly shows in his latest track.

The a cappella track showcases Ridgio rapping bars non-stop for two and a half minutes backed by nothing but his own humming and finger snaps that makes for a pleasantly joyful track that’s will be sure to get your toe tapping and head nodding in sync with the rhythm.

Ridgio’s expertly threads is flow at a super accelerated speed with superb lyricism and oozes with positivity. With lines like “Looking at the world from a bird’s eye/Hit my target in the middle, it’s a bullseye” and “You blocking me, but I can knock you down and get you off of me,” he’s showcasing that he has his vision dead set on his goals of being the best that he can be. It’s an attitude that is sure to rub off of you after the first listen.

Stream the track below and instantly feel better.


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Pinqy Ring – “Phoenix”

posted by Alex June 6, 2017

The first time I heard a verse from Pinqy Ring was on Visual’s The Ambassador project about a year ago. I remember I had to rewind her verse on “The Take” and realized that Pinqy was going to be a problem really soon. Today, I’m happy to be posting her latest track called “Phoenix” which describes Pinqy Ring’s coming out of the ashes in life. Pinqy Ring buries the opposition, not just in English, but also in Spanish. Check out “Phoenix” below and be on the lookout for more from Pinqy Ring, who will be performing at this year’s Taste of Chicago.

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10 Essential Vince Staples Tracks

posted by Alejandro Hernandez June 5, 2017

We’re barely a week into June, meaning that there is still a ton of brand new music to look forward to! One of the the most anticipated projects this month is Vince Staples’s sophomore album Big Fish Theory, which drops on the 23rd. It’s been almost two whole years since the Long Beach rapper dropped his stellar debut double album Summertime ’06, but he has had a slew of standout features on various other artists’ songs and also released an EP late last year with an accompanying short film to boot since that time.

So whether you’ve been a fan since the Shyne Coldchain era or you’re a brand new listener, you wouldn’t want to miss this album. In preparation of Big Fish Theory, here are ten of the best songs in a discography that has very few blemishes.


The first of two singles Staples has released for BFT, BagBak was the first taste of what we might possibly expect from Staples’s upcoming album. Although Staples has been featured on many EDM-style tracks, this is truly the first one that he can call his own. It’s an energetic, high-tempo track, but don’t get lost in the production lest you miss the social commentary throughout the song, with gems such as “We need Tamikas and Shaniquas in that Oval office,” to the more blatant “Tell the president to suck a d–k because we on now.”

Señorita (feat. Snoh Alegra)

What happens when you take a chilling piano instrumental with a Future Hendrix vocal sample on the hook, and get a 2 Naughty 2 Nasty Gangster Grip to rap over it? A masterpiece, that’s what. “I’m tryin’ to paint you a picture,” Staples says in the first verse, and  with an aggressive display of lyricism, he does exactly just that. He gives you a vivid image of the environment he grew up in in Long Beach, California. Throw in Snoh Alegra’s killer uncredited feature, a memorable visual with a chilling twist at the end, and you have a truly a fascinating work of art worth analyzing multiple times.


Perhaps the one song on this list that veers the furthest away stylistically from the other songs on this list, ‘Smile’ is the perfect reason why no one should put Vince Staples in a box the same way they may do to other rappers, something that he has been very vocal about. The third track off Prima Donna is backed by sweet guitar riffs, and with the album version featuring a single verse sandwiched between a chorus and bridge with introspective lyrics focusing on depression and mental health, it honestly would not sound out of place from your local alternative rock station’s rotation.

   Nate (feat. James Fauntelroy)

This is a special Vince song for me. It was the first Vince Staples track I ever listened to, and I’ve fallen in love with his music ever since. Backed by a more traditional boom-bap beat with horns, ‘Nate’ tells the story of a young Staples looking up to his problematic, drug dealing father. With opening lines like “As a kid all I wanted was to kill a man/Be like daddy’s friends, hopping out the minivan,” you are instantly transported to the impressionable mind of a young child. It’s storytelling at it’s finest, and with the exceptional James Fauntelroy’s heavenly vocals toward the end of the track, ‘Nate’ stands on it’s own as one of the best overall tracks in Vince Staples’s career.

 Blue Suede

This track punches you in the face to moment you press play. Nothing can prepare you for the sheer nastiness of the sharp synth and heavy bass production, plus Vince just goes waaaay too hard. Staples doesn’t beat around the bush on this track: if you aren’t with him in this dog-eat-dog world, then you’re a against him. With absolute BARS like “Ask where he from then leave his dome roofless/Sweet Chin Music kick back, gruesome/Watch out for Judas, Vice and G Unit,” or “Live or die for the whoopin’ or the Crippin’, pick a side/Death row, till they put you in the Pikachu to fry/That’s life, three strikes, that’s life,” Staples lets you know exactly where he’s coming from. His experience as a Crip has a major role in much of his music, but there is probably no one song that shows off more pride in that fact more than this one.

 Lift Me Up

‘Lift Me Up’ sets the tone for the entirety of S’06. It’s a dark and ominous track, with Vince rapping about the juxtapositions he observes as a someone trapped between two worlds: the more affluent (and white) social class that he has joined as a successful artist vs. the hood he grew up in Long Beach, California. The hook is more introspective, with Staples stating that he prays to God to help him somehow escape the pressures from both worlds weighing him down, possibly even through death, thus his soul would be being ‘lift up’ to Heaven. It’s a great opener for a tremendous double album, and it will be interesting to see how the first song on BFT will compare with this one.


The titular track to the first half of Vince’s debut double album, ‘Summertime’ is a slow and moody track that offers a deeper exploration into what was on the young rapper’s mind during his adolescence. In this case, it was love, something that Staples publicly stated as to being the driving force that tore apart the relationships he had with his friends at the time that this the album is dedicated to. For much of the song, Vince is talking to a girl that he has hurt, trying to get her to open up herself to him by opening up his about own deepest insecurities.  It’s a cathartic track with Staples at his most vulnerable, something that is a real taboo topic within many marginalized communities. Depending on how emotional you can get, you might have to prep with a box of tissues for the gangster tears that are bound to fall from your eyes.

War Ready

Man, James Blake and Vince Staples seriously need to consider forming a duo because every time these guys get together, only magic seems to come out of it. Blake’s production goes absolutely crazy and the Andre 3000 interpolation is god-level sampling. Staples definitely does his thing too, hitting you with a rapid flow of blunt bars ranging from race relations to name dropping Edgar Allen Poe. Staples reminds you with the song’s hook to not mess with him unless you expect a battle because he was indeed “Born ready, War Ready.”

         Hive (Earl Sweatshirt feat. Vince Staples & Cassie Veggies)

The sole feature on this list because it really served as Vince’s introduction to a wider rap audience, putting him on the map as one of the best young up-and-coming rappers, justifiably so. Vince’s verse at the end is LEGENDARY. I mean, the whole damn track is absurdly great, but when Earl Sweatshirt, who snaps on every single thing he does, says you have the verse of the year on HIS OWN SONG. AND YOU WROTE IT IN 15 MINUTES. You must be doing something right.

Norf Norf

This one was a given from the start. Easily his most well known song, even before the whole incident with that white lady ranting about how this song was corrupting America’s youth (side note: you know a track is pretty fire when it offends white America), and it’s also one of his best. This was one of the first Vince Staples songs I listened to, and my personal favorite. I still bump it now as hard as I did the first time I heard it. I don’t even know where to begin on how great this song is. I mean hell, it probably has the greatest opening line to a song ever with “B—h you thirsty, please grab a sprite,” which also doubles as the greatest product placement line of all time. Great rappers can transport you into a different place, and Vince is one of the best in the game at doing just that. The song tells a gritty story of what it’s like to live “Where the skinny carry strong heat/Norfside, Long Beach,” but it does so in a way that’s so unapologetic and catchy as hell. Clams Casino goes crazy on the beat, and Vince does his usual thing of spitting nothing bars from beginning to end, proudly repping his hometown while also claiming his spot as one of the rap game’s finest.

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Listen to Kendrick Lamar’s New Song: The Heart Part 4

posted by Rosario Edwards March 23, 2017

After teasing social media with a cryptic image emblazoned with a “IV” (and getting dragged by Beyonce fans for it) , Kendrick Lamar has dropped a new single, presumably from his upcoming 4th album. Kendrick recently commented on his next album saying:

“My focus is ultimately going back to my community and the other communities around the world where they’re doing the groundwork. To Pimp a Butterfly was addressing the problem. I’m in a space now where I’m not addressing the problem anymore.”

Kendrick hints at release coming on April 7th in the new song. Let’s hope it’s the follow up for “To Pimp A Butterfly”

“Y’all got ’til April 7 to get y’all shit together…” Listen on iTunes / Apple Music here and below: Continue Reading

Chi LifeConcerts/Tours/Music FestivalsEventsFestivalsLive PerformancesMusicPOD ExclusivePOD PhotographyRecaps

Recap: Winter Block Party features Jamila Woods, Chance The Rapper

posted by Rosario Edwards January 31, 2017

Saturday night at The Metro was a Joyous expression of the strength, resilience, and power of the women of Chicago Hip Hop. The WBEZ/Vocalo/Young Chicago Authors Winter Block Party showcased female artists and musicians in Chicago for the 9th year of this ongoing festival.

The Metro stage was graced by Bebe O’hare, Ang 13, Lin-Z, Medicine Woman, Kaina, Jamila Woods and even Chance the Rapper for an affordable ticket that allowed anyone to view this talented showcase. During these times the overall theme of Unity felt incredibly fitting, and completely shone through in every act. It may be difficult to watch the turmoil going on in the news, but this felt like a beautiful reminder that Chicago can come together as one. Continue Reading


Rising Sacramento Rapper Tavis Landry releases Album “Over The Hill.”

posted by JuicyJackie November 23, 2016


We’ve talked a lot about Tavis here at POD and if you listen to his new album “Over The Hill” you’ll hear why. The rapper is out of the City of Trees, Sacramento and putting on for his hometown in a very big way. Tavis’s album.. voice.. and words are a reflection of what hip hop truly is. Passion.. hard work.. storytelling and meaningful words. We get a chance to really get a peek of Tavis’s life and how it was to grow up in Sacramento.”Over The Hill” is an ode to the ups & the downs. This is a very important album that deserves many listens.

Listen to “Over The Hill.”


Nick Grant “A Seat At The Table (Plus One)” Mixtape.

posted by JuicyJackie October 30, 2016



If you haven’t heard about Nick Grant and you opened this to check him out.. consider yourself officially put on. I saw the rapper live at SXSW and I’ve kept up with him since. Some would say that Nick Grant is up next in Hip Hop.. and I would agree. In his “A Seat At The Table (Plus One)” Nick covers some of Solange’s song off of “A Seat At The Table” album. As if it couldn’t get any better. Nick’s flows over Solange’s music make up for a beautiful collab.


Listen to Nick’s Mixtape here:




Pursuit of Dopeness Presents: 93 ‘Til

posted by Luis Hernandez October 13, 2016


Pursuit of Dopeness presents 93 ‘Til, a weekly podcast by Luis Hernandez and Josiah Horras. Together they give a fresh take on everything related to hip-hop from new music to current news. This week we touch on topics from the Saint Pablo Tour, Danny Brown, and our thoughts on Kid Cudi. Be on the lookout on for more episodes and follow us @93_Til.


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Stream Danny Brown’s New Album Atrocity Exhibition 3 Days Early

posted by Luis Hernandez September 27, 2016


Christmas came early today as Danny Brown decided to release his new album, Atrocity Exhibition, 3 days early. Danny has been pushing the rap genre forward for many years and it continues at even greater lengths with this album. With features from Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt, and Kelela, this might be one of the best projects of 2016. Don’t wait any longer, Stream below! Continue Reading

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