Chicago has always bred hip-hop and been central to its spirit and success, but this weekend was something special. Us Chicagoans are a proud folk, always the first to tell you where we come from and who we are, and when we see one of our own making waves in the world, we stand behind them fiercely.
Kanye West has been a game changer. From albums like College Dropout, which has become a rap bible for so many, to The Life of Pablo, which has seen a following of nearly the whole world and unheard of releases at Madison Square Garden and movie theaters around the country, Chicago has taken over.
The family mentality is not lost in any of our artists, Kanye included. Lately, it has been our SAVEMONEY army that has been moving mountains. From Chance the Rapper being the first ever independent artist to grace the Saturday Night Live stage to Vic Mensa's signing to Roc Nation, we are everywhere, and that is just a fraction of the artists coming up.
I was lucky enough to be back home in Chi city for last night's episode of SNL with musical guest Kanye. He brought his own special guests, one of whom was Chance the Rapper once again to perform their new song "Ultralight Beam" and I felt the city rise to listen. Endless texts from my hometown friends, hearing my neighbors blaring the same thing from their televisions, and every social media feed blown up completely told me we all knew we were watching magic, and the feeling has continued to reverberate all through today.
If there is anything I have learned about Chicagoans, it is that this city runs in our veins and lives in who we are. In the name of every artist who has been raised by this city and is changing the face of the music game, as well as every person who feels the pride of a born and raised native, I ask Chicago to please stand up.
By: Rachel Blackman