It’s no secret that as far as Hip Hop music and the culture as a whole is concerned, the South goes off. Always has; always will. That said, every region in turn seems to get their time at the top and evolution within hip hop is not only constant, its quick. The last few years have seen a huge rise in the relevance of Midwest rap – particularly in Chicago – largely thanks to a gentleman named Sosa and his associates (or ex-associates? I can’t keep up with the beef) Fredo Santana, Young Chop, Katie Got Bandz, and the various “Lils” – Durk, Bibby, Herb, Reese and so on.
On the same side of town but with a sound so different they could be from another planet, you’ve got Chance the Rapper and his buddy Vic Mensa doing big things and proving that there are multiple stories to be told within the confines of one city. This year’s XXL Freshman Cover reflected this massive Midwest moment with 4 of the 12 artists hailing from South Chicago.