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This Week In Chicago Music: Kanye's Album Is Number One And More

By Justin Freeman in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 15, 2016 8:53PM

This week, several major summer festivals announced their initial lineups. Mamby on the Beach looks fantastic, with Santigold and Black Madonna both scheduled to perform at Oakwood Beach this Fourth of July weekend; North Coast maintains EDM powerhouse status with Zedd and Bassnectar as headliners.

We reviewed a documentary about Madison's Smart Studios, and it’s connection to bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage and Nirvana. We also took a look at the new single from Touched by Ghouls as well as some of our favorite record stores. Let's talk about some other interesting things happened this week.

Kanye at the album release party for "The Life of Pablo" on Feb. 11 at Madison Square Garden (Getty Images)

Kanye’s 'The Life of Pablo' Is The First Post-Physical Number One Album

Late last week, Fake Shore Drive picked up that Kanye’s Pablo is currently the number one album in the world. What’s remarkable about this is that 70% of the album’s units have come streaming—a first for the industry. Kanye has not made the album available for purchase on vinyl or as a CD, and as far as we can tell, he doesn’t plan to. The closest we’ve come to a traditional release is that you can buy the album digitally on his website.

For your daily dose of Kanye, check out this video released earlier this week by Masters of None co-stars Aziz Ansari and Eric Wareheim. In it, they get into weird misadventures and eat luxuriously in Italy, all the sound of Kanye’s “Famous.” We appreciate that Aziz pretty much made his very own episode of Munchie’s Fuck, That’s Delicious. Check out the video below.

Kanye West - Famous from Eric Wareheim on Vimeo.


lupe fiasco photo via his website

Details of Lupe Fiasco’s Final Albums Emerge

Word is that Lupe Fiasco is retiring and this year is a farewell of sorts. Is Lupe actually going to retire? Who knows. Rappers' retirements are like comic book superhero deaths and all the times your friends have calimed they're quitting Facebook—they’ll probably be back.

Putting aside skepticism for a moment, Lupe has laid a plan out for his final albums. It will be a triology, scheduled to come out at some point this year. An exact release date has not been shared yet. The albums will be called DROGAS, DROGAS light and SKULLS. Lupe also shared the cover art for DROGAS and DROGAS light.

Beyond that, it's anyone’s guess as to what Lupe has planned. Maybe he’ll leave rap behind to start a new career as a professional video game player. After all, Lupe defeated the world’s best professional Street Fighter player in an exhibition match not too long ago. We’ll hopefully know more when he performs at Mamby on the Beach this July.

Check out a stream of “Superstar” below.


Cheap Trick photo via Legacy Recordings

Cheap Trick and Chicago Inducted Into Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

This week, the Chicago area had a sizable impact on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as Cheap Trick and the band Chicago were both finally inducted. Chicago played “25 or 6 to 4” while Cheap Trick played “Surrender,” “I Want You To Want Me” and “Dream Police.”

Though their sets were pretty traditional, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony this year was contentious behind the scenes. NWA were inducted, but didn’t perform; as Ice Cube told the New York Times, they didn't feel "supported enough.” Steve Miller was also inducted and ripped the Hall of Fame to shreds in his acceptance speech, demanding that the organization “be more inclusive of women” amongst other things.

The ceremony airs on HBO on April 30th. Check out a video of Cheap Trick performing “I Want You To Want Me” below.


kweku collins photo via facebook

Local Rapper Kweku Collins' New Mixtape Is A Love Letter to Poetry and Jazz

Kweku Collins is a local rapper heavily inspired by minimalist jazz drums and poetry. Signed to the tastemaker label Closed Sessions, Collins has been steadily releasing material for several years, and last last week, he released his strongest project to date: a mixtape called Nat Love.

Nat Love is a retreat from loud rap personas, a smooth and weird cosmic bohemian affair sharing qualities of neo-soul artists such as Maxwell and Solange. Songs like “Ego Killed Romance” are challenging and rewarding, while lead single “Stupid Rose” finds the young artist experimenting.

To celebrate the new mixtape, Kweku Collins is performing tonight at Reggie's. It’s an all ages show and gets started at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 online and $12 at the door. Check out a stream of Nat Love below.


The Hood Internet/Katie Karpowicz for Chicagoist

Hood Internet Are Playing A Show At The MCA

The Museum of Contemporary Art’s new Prime Time series has been a success. The first show with Dan Deacon sold out, as did the second show with Holly Herndon. The MCA will likely continue this street, as this week they announced the May edition of Prime Time will be feature local mashup masters Hood Internet, and be curated by Smart Bar. In addition to Hood Internet, the event will feature Queen!, Smart Bar’s weekly queer dance residency, as well as DJs Michael Serafini and Garrett David.

Prime Time happens on May 6th. Tickets are $10 for MCA members, $15 for non-members online and $20 at the door.

Hood Internet mashed up The Weeknd with Daft Punk to make something they call “Can’t Feel the World.” Check out a stream of that here.