Directed by Da Visionaryz & Rico
The year is 2008 and it's long before Chicago enjoyed such a vibrant music community that it does now. We're several years past Kanye, Common, and Lupe blowing up and Fake Shore Drive was a year or less old. The most common way to hear local hip-hop was to frequent record shops or cop from someone hustling their beats on the street. While the rest of the country may have turned a blind eye to Chicago music culture in the mid to late 2000s, there was still plenty of talent fighting to be heard.
Among those laying the groundwork for the boom we're experiencing today is emcee and now industry veteran Mikkey Halsted. Mikkey's career in the music business starts long before 2008's "Liquor Store". He came up with Kanye, but the two chose different paths in 2000 when Mikkey decided to sign with Cash Money, and Ye with Roc-A-Fella. We know how the Yeezy story ended, but Mikkey's future didn't quite turn out the same.
Following some bad blood with Cash Money early on and an indie career that didn't carry much further than local and regional recognition, Mikkey is now the man in charge at Machine Entertainment Group, the label behind G Herbo and most recently SKNY. Keeping an entrepreneurial mentality, Mikkey is also the proprietor of Mikkey's Retro Grill in Hyde Park. Whatever the hustle, Halsted is going to be all right.
At the beginning of the blog era, Mikkey began to take flight and the above "Liquor Store" was the catalyst. Donning the gold dookie rope and an over-sized Fly Boy t-shirt, Mikkey can't get more Chicago as he tackles the very real problems of growing up in a poor community. If the words didn't paint a clear enough picture on their own, Mikkey, Da Visionaryz, and Rico take viewers on a trip to the liquor store where they can experience the everyday culture of people who systemically have the cards stacked against them. A powerful song at the time, and it's still relevant today, eight years later. Give Mikkey Halsted's "Liquor Store" a spin if you haven't and another for old time's sake if you have.