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High Profiles and High Finance

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 16, 2005 3:56PM

A wire story on Chicago-bred hip hop in this morning’s Red Streak runs with the idea that a high tide raises all boats. In this case, the motion of the ocean is courtesy of “recent” success of Kanye West and Twista. Members of Chicago’s hip-hop community interviewed for the article praise the underground scene, but note that Chicago’s also-ran status is due to a lack of management that can push local artists and, in turn, raise the profile of a city that’s had a thriving scene for years. In the early 1990s, Chicago became a flashpoint for the alternative rock scene thanks to bands like the Smashing Pumpkins and Screeching Weasel. Perhaps the “aughts” will be the time for Chicago’s hip-hop community to finally break wide.

Meanwhile, Twista isn’t sitting idly by and waiting for his own 2005_02_16_twista.jpgpersonal gravy train to roll into the station. As more rappers and basketball players get into the business of personality-branded cars, Rolling Stone is quasi-reporting that Twista will soon release a line of luxury rims (3rd item) that aren’t just stylish—they’re functional! Why? Because Esacalades and Chargers featuring Twista’s rims will display the correct time to any passing pimps, playas or private eyes. Perfect for those trying to make it to the club for “free before 10.” This got us thinking about what other Chicago musicians might be jumping into the lucrative field of vehicle accessories and branding. Just imagine:

* R. Kelly Seat Covers (repels all liquids!)
* Dennis DeYoung Tinted Windows (for those with sensitivity to light!)
* The Baby Teeth Discomobile
* The Blues Brothers Combination Radar Detector and Regenerating Cigarette Lighter
* The M's Big Baby Bottoms Car Seats
* The Blue Meanies F.O.R.D. F-150

We need to get to the auto show pronto and start making some deals.