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ProbCause, Psalm One Prove Excellent At Tomorrow Never Knows

By Katie Karpowicz in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 20, 2015 10:30PM

ProbCause, photo via his Facebook page

It's been another successful Tomorrow Never Knows Festival. The annual multi-venue winter music fest never fails to bring an impressive and diverse offering of indie rock bands to the city from around the country (and, sometimes, the globe). However, it was a local rap showcase in the middle of Lincoln Park that surprisingly ended up being this writer's favorite night of the weekend.

Evanston/Rogers Park native ProbCause headlined Lincoln Hall with the support of his frequent collaborators and friends Psalm One, Saba, Kat V, Cofresi and other artists on Sunday night.

ProbCause has been a steady presence in Chicago's rap scene over the past few years. He first caught our attention at North Coast Festival two summers ago. While there's little left to be desired with his flow and rhymes, we predict the one element that has and will continue to gain the MC a loyal following is his stage presence. Whether he's playing to a crowd of 15 or a couple hundred, Prob's confidence and enthusiasm are almost palpable and visibly draw new or casual listeners to the stage.

Even the make up and production of ProbCause's live show is enough to win viewers over. The accompaniment of a live drummer (the aforementioned Cofresi&mdash:also a respectable solo artist in his spare time) is a dynamic substitution for the traditional DJ. When he's joined by a live band that includes violinist Kat V, the songs are elevated to an even more dramatic level. And Prob and Cofresi's incorporation of crowd-pleasing hits ("Latch," "Touch The Sky") into their jams and freestyles is an easy way to spark a warm response from the audience.

Chicago is very lucky to have an artist like @psalmone #TNKfest

A photo posted by katie_karp (@katie_karp) on

The whole set had us smiling but without a doubt the show's highlight was the live premiere of Prob's new side project—titled ZRO FOX (get it?)—with fellow local rapper Psalm One. The pair dropped a new track on us last week ("Might Not") which came to life onstage last night however it was the two tracks that followed that really had us craving more. Luckily, that wait won't be long. Before they left the stage ZRO FOX made sure to let us know that they had a release coming this Wednesday.

We'll be waiting.