Paris Williams, Don’t Be Kendall, Devin

Gritty raps with the pretty tracks, Kansas City rapper Paris Williams is pioneering a bittersweet sound that is poised to live in headphones and speakers for years to come. Bursting onto the scene with his ambitious and forward thinking mixtape DROP DEAD GORGEOUS, Williams immediately established himself as an artist full of creative ideas, and earned comparisons to the sounds of early Odd Future and Kevin Abstract releases from online blogs and forums. From there he pulled back to focus and refine his sound across tight EPs with 2020’s Cocoa and 2023’s Rebel Heart.devin. , a rapper coming from Northport, Alabama, and currently based in Chicago, has been on a journey trying to figure out the complexities of his identity and the world around him through his music. With a curiosity for playing with language, devin’s lyrics serve as a vehicle for introspection and understanding. 

NOLAN THE NINJA, Judy, Paris Ye

Since 2019, NOLAN (also known as Nolan The Ninja) has been on a tear. He released his acclaimed full-length LP SPORTEE on Mello Music Group, including NOLAN’s breakthrough hit “Oranges”. NOLAN gained global recognition after performing Oranges on the popular music performance series COLORSxSTUDIOS. The Cali-born, Detroit-bred artist / producer has collaborated with some of rap’s most creative artists including Chuck Inglish of The Cool Kids, Quelle Chris, Homeboy Sandman, Chris Crack among others. His music has garnered critical praise from Pitchfork, Billboard, Vibe, HipHopDX, OkayPlayer, PassionWeiss & more.

A Tale of Two Cities: Windy City – Big Mouf Bo, Closed Casket, Linda Sol

BigMouf’Bo is a musical artist hailing from the Southside of Chicago   Closed Casket brings back the nostalgia of a deadly potent rap collective while offering a whole new idea of what that even means.   Meet Linda Sol – the poet turned rapper hailing from the west side of Chicago making waves with her innovative style and captivating lyrics. From the final stages of slam festivals such as Louder than a Bomb and CUPSI, to POETRY magazine, to Lollapalooza 2020, Linda Sol is an artist that commands attention and instigates change.

Blacc Kristoff, Viano and the Wave, CRASHprez, Gordon SKL

Blacc Kristoff (BK) is one of Chicago’s emerging music groups. Formed by rappers Shaun Peace, Super DaKario, and Sean 2g in 2017, BK is known for their genre bending fusion rap, tapping into influences from KAYTRANADA to Wu-Tang.

Call Me Sy!, 6ixteenth, Bando Brando, Cvkes

Born to Pakistani immigrants in the summer of 93, Syed spent his early years on the north side of Chicago before drifting through various suburbs. After a musical shift in 2018, the artist “Sy!” was born. Swapping his gritty trap sound for a smooth, melodic approach. Incorporating harmonies, catchy flows, and vocal chops to a range of instrumentals spanning numerous genres.

Joey Aich, partywatcher, TBD

Joey Aich, pronounced Joey H, is a full-time independent hip-hop artist based in Columbus, OH. The Woodmere Village, OH-born emcee is known for his electric stage performances and personal charm.Joey has released several bodies of work including albums, “AichFiles” (2015), “If Money Grew on Trees” (2018), and “Open Treehouse” (2020), along with a myriad of singles and EPs over the course of his career. Most recently, Joey released the deluxe version of Open Treehouse, paired with a “pay what you want, how you want” campaign in which $3,500 in pre-orders were made prior to the release. Aich is a creative wordsmith who plans to change the world and inspire the next generation through his lyrics, performances, and the way he carries himself outside of music.Aich, known as “The Headband Assassin,” has performed across the country as a headliner and opening act for festivals, self-funded tours, and other events. In 2022, Joey traveled to eight cities for his Aich Madness Spring Tour. He made appearances in NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago, Huntington (WV), Detroit, Denver, also with his hometown performances in Cleveland and Columbus.In Joey’s time outside of music he teaches middle school students in Columbus, OH through We Amplify Voices, an arts enrichment program that is focused on allowing students to express themselves through outlets such as singing, dancing, visual arts, music making, and creative writing.

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