New Music Tuesday: Checking out Chicago

Celia Skaggs, Blogger
November 12, 2012 •

Now that midterms are over (at least for me) and the quarter is winding down, I’ve found it’s the perfect time of year to scout out some new music. Whether it’s for a holiday road trip playlist or a pre-finals jam session, adding some new tunes to your library always puts some warmth back in your life after dealing with the freezing weather we’re starting to see on campus. I love trying to find the coolest remixes and singles as soon as they drop, and lately I’ve been excited to find the Chicago area is producing some great new talent. Though they may not have Kanye status just yet, here are five up-and-coming artists from the Chicago area:

5. GLC: Since partnering up with pal Kanye West in 2004, GLC (Gangsta L. Crisis) has emerged as an influential player in the Chicago hip-hop scene. The release of his own debut album in 2010 marked his rise to the top, and he continues to regularly put out mixtapes that highlight his signature style.

4. Krewella: Since the release of their EP “Play Hard” earlier this year, the Chicago-based trio Krewella has taken the music industry by storm. A cool mix of dubstep and vocal performance makes its songs stand out in a way that is both catchy and unforgettable. And considering they recently went on tour with Skrillex, I have a feeling the best is yet to come.

3. Maps & Atlases: Chicago has a long history of producing awesome indie bands, and Maps & Atlases is certainly no exception. Active since 2004, the band released its second full-length album “Beware and Be Grateful” earlier this year. Incorporating fun instrumentals and upbeat rhythms, Maps & Atlases provides a great addition to any local soundtrack.

2. The White Panda: I admit I may be biased, but I have to include The White Panda on this list due to their awesome Wildcat connection. Comprised of NU alumni Tom Evans and Dan Griffith, The White Panda has become an important part of popular mash-up culture. The duo has become incredibly prolific over the years, and their recent album “Bambooyah!” proves these hit-makers are in it for the long haul.

1. Chief Keef : If anyone were to replace Kanye West as Chicago’s rap representative in the future, I’d put my money on this teenage rapper from the South Side. His hard-hitting lyrics and popularity with Chicago natives have skyrocketed him to fame in the past few years. After many labels fought to produce his album, he finally signed with Interscope and is set to release a new record at the end of 2012. And with an extremely loyal fan base behind him, I can’t see Chief Keef’s star fading anytime soon.

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