Chicagoist Mix #13: Moneyworth

By Jake Guidry in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 8, 2012 9:20PM

2012_moneyworth.jpg Chicagoist Mix Series is an ongoing feature that profiles local DJs/producers and features a mix compiled exclusively for Chicagoist. This is mix No. 13, brought to you by Moneyworth.

The thirteenth Chicagoist mix is coming a bit out of left field—at least compared to what we've featured in the past. We've entered territory on everything from house to juke to dubstep to disco, but haven't explored much in the way of bass, trap, and R&B, three genres that have been coming together over the better part of a year and inspiring some really great DJs and producers. In steps Moneyworth, a.k.a. Meaghan Garvey, a dual threat at both DJ and artist.

Garvey grew up in Oak Park, but eventually moved to Chicago about three years ago. She currently resides in Logan Square and attends the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she'll graduate this semester with a focus in printmaking. In fact, it's Garvey's artistic endeavors that have probably gotten her the most attention. Her rap prayer candles were featured in the Reader's 2011 Holiday Gift Guide, which is just a portion of the rap-related art she sells at her Etsy store. "I started making work about rap music because I feel like hip-hop as a culture deserves much more attention in 'capital-A Art,'" says Garvey. "I also feel like the aesthetics people typically associate with hip-hop are very dated—graffiti and b-boy type shit, which does not really reflect on all the cool stuff going on in contemporary rap—so it's important to me to make work that considers the culture as it stands in 2012."

Garvey takes this approach with her DJing as well. With a focus on rap and R&B, Garvey manages to mix long sessions rife with sexual swagger and trap-style beats, a natural extension to the themes and feel of her artwork. But make no mistake, Garvey wasn't always this way: "Not gonna sit up here and lie—I became interested in DJing in the 'banger era,'" she says. "My friends and I were living in South Bend at the time and [we] would have very Justice-y dance parties in their basement, for lack of anything else to do, so I would mess around with Ableton thinking I was hot shit. I've been focusing on it a lot more in the past couple years, and luckily for the world my music taste isn't as shit as it was in 2008."

Indeed, her tastes have changed, as evidenced by today's mix. "I tried to bring together all my passions and obsessions—swag rap, sex jams, bad bitches, lots of bass, and forward-thinking contemporary dance music—into one magical universe," Garvey explains. "I think it's awesome how electronic music in the past couple years has been influenced by rap and R&B, particularly in terms of percussion and sampling. Even though the R&B-sampling trend has been sort of exhausted by now, I think it's exciting that the music I grew up loving is no longer seen as a guilty pleasure or ironic throwback and is getting the respect it deserves as an art form." But after a winded explanation, Garvey gets straight to the point: "Mostly, though, this mix is a lot about sex. Actually, pretty much all my mixes are about sex."

If you're interested in more Moneyworth, she writes for Cream Team, one of the city's top music blogs. She will also be showing a series of drawings about the Rap Illuminati in the SAIC Spring BFA Exhibition, which runs March 17 - April 4 in the Sullivan Galleries. For now, have a listen to Mix No. 13.

MP3: Chicagoist Mix #13: Moneyworth