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Weekend Playlist: Quit Dreaming, Get Outside

By Sophie Day in Arts & Entertainment on May 31, 2014 3:00PM

This winter was a brutal one in just about every part of the country, but Chicago enjoyed (or suffered through) a particularly cruel few months. Local records were broken both by heavy snowfalls and bitterly cold days.

The sky stayed dark and cloudy for far too much of the winter months, and few Chicagoans dared venture outside for more time than absolutely necessary. But don’t fret, spring has finally beaten back the winter, and with it go our memories of hours spent cooped up, dreaming of summer—not anymore! The wind off Lake Michigan now serves as a refreshing breeze rather than a chilling gale, so get out there.

This week’s playlist is inspired by the rising temperatures, as well as the official opening of Chicago beaches last weekend. It’s that time of year again, to get back to all the songs about sun, sand, and vacation. The songs run the gamut from quirky remixes of familiar tunes to and funky rock jams, and come to us from artists both local and international.

For example: Just about anyone who follows hip hop in Chicago (or anywhere) will probably recognize Chance The Rapper's name and his signature, “Nah, nah, nah”! As an independent artist, Chance has made quite the splash in the last year. He’ll be quite busy this summer playing several festivals, including Firefly Festival in Dover, DE, and Lollapalooza at home later this year.

Meanwhile, DJ Rashad has appeared on Chicagoist playlists before and it’s no wonder why - this electronic musician could create unique and haunting beats and turn recognizable tunes on their heads. DJ Rashad unfortunately passed away earlier this year, but the Chicago music scene will not soon forget him.

There's also Vic Mensa, a young up-and-comer in the city—emphasis on the young. At 20, Mensa has already released two solo projects and frequently collaborates with Chance the Rapper. Keep your eyes and ears on him!

With vocalist Rebecca Scott at the helm, Panda Riot has a really light and fun sound . Their new album, Northern Automatic Music, is a great listen from start to end.

Chi City got his start at the age of 16 when he started performing wherever he could. He hails from Chicago’s South Side, and you can feel the influence of those roots in the sound and subject matter of his music.

Whether you’re on the water or walking the streets, this playlist should prepare you to get up, get down, and get outside!