As the world continues to look increasingly less clear than it ever has before, the music is certainly one constant we can continue to lean on. The news from the local music world of course didn't cease with the wild weather this week and included in the assortment of headlines is the new that Music Dealers will be returning publishing rights to former artists, XXL's Freshman List '10 Spot' voting includes some familiar names and a longtime Chicago rapper appears to be headed home from jail soon. All that and more in our latest Music News Round Up.
Music Dealers Returns Publishing Rights to Artists
In a press release last week, embattled music publishing company Music Dealers announced that it would be returning all of the rights to the work in their portfolio back to the artists formerly on their roster.
The announcement comes after the company suddenly announced it was closing it's doors in November of 2016, leaving some 26,000 artists in the dark regarding things like royalties and existing publishing agreements. Nearly four months later, BrandSpins, the company that eventually bought Music Dealers, is taking a step in the right direction by releasing the rights to artist's music. BrandSpins is a Las Vegas outlet that bills itself as "a digital music company that boasts a huge music catalog of over 57M songs, representing 99.8% of all music sold."
While the release of rights back to the artists is a positive move, it is still unclear whether the issue of existing contracts and unpaid royalties have been settled with the clients who were surprised by the news of last year's closing.
Bump J Gets Release Date
One of the ongoing sagas in the background of the Chicago hip-hop scene's rise seems to be nearing a long-awaited conclusion this week. Rapper Bump J, who has been in prison since November 2008 from charges related to his role in a bank robbery, got a release date of April 12, 2017. The news was delivered via social media by his brother Shake and comes just after projections last year that he would be a free man come March. We'll have to see what Bump has in store when he gets out. At the time of his imprisonment he was widely considered one of the city's brightest talents, having collaborated with an at-the-time still rising Kanye West, among many others.
Chicago Artists All Over XXL Freshman Class '10th Spot' Voting
It's that time of year again. While each passing calendar makes me wonder how much things like SXSW and the XXL Freshman List even matter in today's times, they're still happening nonetheless. While a spot on the latter may not be the kind of anointing it was almost a decade ago, the 10th Spot voting has been a somewhat-enjoyable addition to the yearly excersize that once again arrived with a healthy helping of Chicago hip-hop represented.
After being largely iced from the listings for much of the magazine's running of the feature, Chicago earned an also-mention with Chief Keef in 2013 who serve as the '11th Freshman'. A year later we got a couple more as the next year saw the city really break through with Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Lil Durk and Lil Bibby making the cut. Since then, they've forgotten about us quite a bit, tapping only G Herbo last year and no acts from the city in 2015. This year? We've got plenty of deserving talent from Mick Jenkins, NoName and Saba to Smino, Taylor Bennett and beyond. While the announcement is still forthcoming, you can vote for your favorites HERE, the local listings are available below.
Sir The Baptist
Downtown Street Musicians Look to Compromise With City
If you've ever walked down State St. downtown Chicago in the mid-afternoon hours, just as the sidewalks begin to swell with bodies embarking on their commutes home for the day you've probably noticed the lively music that regularly accompanies the hustle of bodies. Nearly inescapable, the sounds of street musicians who set up full drum kits, pianos and amps on the sidewalk to entertain those passing by are a staple of the city, but the yuppie rich folks downtown apparently don't care and have been pushing for them to take the show elsewhere.
In a showdown that has been dragging on for several months, tenants along State St. have requested the musicians be fined and not allowed to play, citing the noise caused. To be sure, most of the fledgling bands are packed up and moving out before eight at night, so to say that the noise is a major concern is almost laughable. For his part, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has appeared to side with the street artists, shying away from kicking them to the curb, literally. A petition to remove the musicians from downtown faltered after mounting opposition including the ACLU got involved. Apparently, Emanuel is a fan of the musicians and there is hope a deal will be struck to allow them to continue playing. One idea proposed was to allow more street musicians to perform in CTA stops.
Fredo Santana Hospitalized with Seizures
The hip-hop world has dealt with several medical scares as of late and this week southside rapper Fredo Santana found himself in the hospital after suffering seizures over the weekend. While there were rumors swirling of the involvement of lean after similar fates fell Lil Wayne and Rick Ross in recent years, but a posting to social media appears to point to a lack of sleep. From the looks of things, Fredo is making a speedy recovery, let's hope he continues to do so.