Kaytranada & His Chicago Friends

Age: 23 • Hometown: Montreal, Quebec • Follow: Twitter // SoundCloud

You might as well call Kaytranada an ambassador to the Windy City. The Haitian-Canadian producer resides in Montreal (was born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti) but has been working with enough of the Chicago hip-hop scene that an article on him for TheseDays is long overdue. We started this kind of series earlier this year with “Two Fresh and Their Chicago Friends”, highlighting some of their connections with SaveMoney, and it’s only right to continue this series with Kaytranada, whose rundown is just as acclaimed as it is prolific. 

First, we caught the 23-year-old talent working with Vic Mensa back in late 2013, around the time of his legendary Boiler Room set. The song was “Wimme Nah”, which dropped in 2014, which I haven’t stopped playing. Later, he linked up with Mick Jenkins for the track “Rain”, a song that didn’t make The Water[s] due to copyright laws regarding the sample, but a song that was later released as a single and which currently has over two million plays on SoundCloud. 

From there, Kaytra entered into the Wind in mad style, tackling two tracks for Towkio’s Wav Theory, assisting with two tracks alongside Freddie Gibbs (Gary, IN but damn near close enough to consider him one of our own), then two more tracks on Mick Jenkins’ 2015 EP, Wave[s], both of which received visual treatment. More and more Midwestern assistance, Kaytranada even helped provide the backdrop for Jenkins' retort to the Vic Spencer beef on song “Headass”, which showed shots fired on Spencer's birthday. Other than Freddie Gibbs’ creating a diss track over a Madlib beat, this is one hell of a second place. 

Entering into 2016, Kaytranada continued to display his chemistry with Mick Jenkins, releasing the loose single “Artful Dodger” which samples BadBadNotGood (a group both artists have worked with), and followed that up by making an appearance on (in my opinion) the strongest track on Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book. Kaytranada provides the sounds for “All Night” with Chance and Knox Fortune, a song that begs to be in the club, in a car commercial, soundtracking your summertime bon fire.

“All Night” by Chance was released within a week of Kaytranada’s major debut release, 99.9%, a project featuring Vic Mensa (“Drive Me Crazy”) as well as plenty of outside Chicago artists like Craig David, Anderson .Paak, GoldLink, BadBadNotGood, Little Dragon, and more. Like I said, Kaytranada is an ambassador to Chicago, as well as other cities, with one hell of a collaborative portfolio to show. If you keep track of the talented producer’s résumé, you’ll see that his vision stretches beyond Montreal, beyond the Windy City, and throughout the far reaches of our global village. Don’t sleep on Kaytranada, and if you need an intro, enjoy the playlist which includes all of his collaborations with Chicago artists.