Hip-Hop Artists That Changed Chicago

Linda J | TTR Data Recovery
By Linda J

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Chicago has always had a really diverse music scene. It wasn’t a city that had one specific type of music, unlike other cities such as Seattle or New York.  Chicago had it all: Jazz, Blues, Rock and of course, Hip-hop. The hip-hop style of Chicago was special, it wasn’t your typical “gangster rap”. It had four different types, Chopper, Chipmunk Soul, Drill Scene and Gospel Rap.

In the early 90’s, it was rare for an artist from Chicago to make it big, no matter the genre.  That changed in 1993 when an alternative rock band called The Smashing Pumpkins had big success with their sophomore album,  Siamese Dream.  But their third album, Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness, was the one that made them the biggest band in the world in 1996.  

Most millenials of Chicago today doesn’t know the History of Navy Pier. It is  is undoubtedly one of the most iconic tourist spots in Chicago

Hip Hop Music

Unfortunately, their success overshadowed all artists from Chicago because everyone only paid attention to them. After the failure of their fourth album, The Smashing Pumpkins’ fame slowly faded and that gave a chance for hip-hop to become the next big thing.

Some artists only had local success while others became big names in the music industry.  But famous or not, these artists helped hip-hop change Chicago for good.

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Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper’s style of rap is different from most rap music, he often uses quick, jazz-inspired beats. He is known to be a positive influence, as the message of his lyrics are typically uplifting. Chance finally gained mainstream recognition after releasing his second album, Acid Rap, which gained critical praise.

In 2017, Chance was nominated for seven Grammy’s and won three awards:  Best Album, Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance. Chance labels himself as a Christian rapper and refers to Jesus Christ in many of his songs.  His music can be found on numerous platforms.

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Kanye West

Kanye West

Kanye may be famous for interrupting Taylor Swift during the 2009 VMAs but he’s also famous for his music.  When Kanye West hit the scene, he hit everyone with his groundbreaking music.

Three of his albums were in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Kanye was also a producer in his early days, producing hit singles for artists such as Ludacris, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, etc.  Kanye is still very much active in the music industry and you can stream his music almost everywhere.

Common

Common

Common’s success as an underground rapper was the first time that significant attention was paid to Chicago hip-hop as an entity. Common is no stranger to topping the charts, in fact he has a few chart-toppers under his name on the Billboard Top 100.

Common has won Grammy awards for his albums: Finding Forever and Be. This has brought Common’s name to the mainstream world and was appreciated by the world, this has also stamped his name as one of the most iconic figures in Midwest Hip-Hop.

Do you know that Jennifer Hudson is a fellow Chicagoan? Yes she is, she first started performing as a performer for Disney Cruise Ships. And it was Kelly Clarkson’s win that has pushed her to join American Idol.

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