Looking Ahead • Malcolm London's OPIA Release Show

Young, black and gifted, been fighting for so long / Framed and acquitted, goddamn I’m too strong /
Nothin’ on me, goddamn I’m King Kong / Been to the UN, y’all just make songs
-Malcolm London, “Take Your Time”

Malcolm London is an activist, organizer and artist, a musician trying to remake the world as it could be. He's put in the hours, though the work never ends. Growing up in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood and attending school in Lincoln Park, his worldview was shaped by life as a citizen of what felt like two different cities. He began in spoken word, eventually competing in and winning events like the Louder Than A Bomb 2011, before working as a Poetry teacher for Young Chicago Authors (teaching literacy through hip-hop and spoken word), and at the Know Your Rights Project, and the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100). Voice carrying over, he has relentlessly planned and prepared in creating waves of justice for the systematically marginalized. And after 3-4 years focusing exclusively on these issues, also London is taking on the music world.

His debut project is OPIA, the release party is tomorrow (Friday), November 11th at Chop Shop, and there's no better time than now to see Malcolm London spread his message. No stranger to strength in the face of oppression, rest assured that London will have plenty to say. OPIA is an album offering his honesty and understanding of the world as it is (as well as a look at Malcolm London, the regular guy). Start with the project's philosophy, based on the album's title. Describing the intangible feeling you get from looking a person in the eyes, it's a look at painful , necessary understanding, peering past the noise and inside the self. We are all vulnerable, and in that there is empathy. 

The concert will be a must-see. Malcolm London cut his teeth as both a writer and a performer, and he connects the audience with his words in a way that few else can. And given this is a release party for OPIA's debut, you can count on London at the top of his craft. The openers will spin your head too, consisting of Joseph Chilliams, UG Vavy, Noah Chris and more. You've got to hear what Malcolm London has to say if you haven't yet, and if you have, you already know. 

Tickets are $7, $10 at the door, Chop Shop in Wicker Park, music at 7, ends at 11.