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Neo-Soul and Hip-Hop Explodes In Chicago

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 4, 2005 4:20PM

If last week’s Sugar Water Festival at Northerly Island had you yearning for more neo-soul stylings, then you’ll want to spend your Friday nights in August at the DuSable Museum of African-American History for the2005_08_04_explosion.gif 4th Annual Neo-Soul Explosion.

Organizers of The Neo-Soul Explosion brag that it’s the place in Chicago to see rising stars in soul, jazz, and funk. That’s usually a risky statement to make but the NSE has delivered the goods in past events with appearances by Kanye West, John Legend, Javier and Bilal.

Though few predicted the event would survive the brief flirtation that MTV and VH1 enjoyed with the genre, the Neo-Soul Explosion proved that events that are from the community and for the community can prosper. Matt McGill, co-host of the Matt and Perri Show on WVON 1450, emcees the series of four concerts this month that begins tomorrow night at the DuSable Museum with Julie Dexter and Geno Young. Dexter’s jazz-influenced grooves graced The HotHouse last May. Young’s reputation preceeds him thanks to his time as arranger and producer for Erykah Badu.

Showtimes are 7:30 PM and 10:00 PM and tickets are a somewhat pricey $30. Tickets can be purchased at, the DuSable Museum, Coop's Records at 47th and Lake Park or the Dr. Wax Records location in Hyde Park. A full listing of artists for future shows is posted at the Neo Soul Explosion website.

If you’re in the mood for hip-hop but your wallet’s a little slim, check out the Felon’s Furlough Hip Hop Party at Bar Vertigo (853 N. Western) Friday night at 9 PM for only $5. Lunchbox headlines a bill that includes J-Hip, Ill Legit, Influence and Spydrr.