News Round Up • Nick Cannon Signs Chicago Rapper, Chicago Film Industry Breaks Record, Gentrification of Logan Square Continues

Photo by Michael Salisbury

Photo by Michael Salisbury

Another week and another packed schedule of happenings in and around the city. With that last blast of heat the past week or so, it seems we may finally be on the other side of summer. With that, brings the impending artistic hibernation period in Chicago, but first, plenty of news in and around the city. Among those, local rapper Ty Money signed with Nick Cannon,  the budding Chicago film industry reached a milestone and the gentrification of Logan Square continues with the onslaught of 'Micro Apartments' on this latest edition of the News Round Up. 

Nick Cannon Signs Ty Money

Yeah, apparently this one is true. In the latest act of the country's biggest and brightest looking to Chicago for what's next, the city's own Ty Money is reportedly now signed to none other than Nick Cannon. The pair re-released a track together to celebrate the signing, which is only the latest in a recent long-line of big co-signs to rain down on the city's talent the last couple of years.

The pair has history, having allegedly met on the set for Chiraq last year and subsequently releasing their collaborative "Jessica (Remix)" single earlier this summer, a single Cannon posted to his Soundcloud on Thursday alongside the signing announcement to his Ncredible imprint. Now, it appears as though Cannon is looking to take Ty to the big time, with a cosign that should prove to raise some eyebrows around the industry.

Chicago Film Industry Breaks Record

Late one night a couple weeks ago while in Havana, Cuba, far beyond the reach of America behind the still-active embargo, I flipped on my TV before falling asleep. Expecting to see Spanish-language programming or some adjusted big-box show from the United States, I was instead surprised to see familiar streets and insignia, the only thing on was none other than 'Chicago Fire'.

Such is par for the course these days as the Chicago film industry continues to take huge strides on both the national and international scenes, proving so this week by announcing a record-breaking $1.3 billion in revenue from 2011-2016.

Growing up in Chicagoland, there was 'ER' and 'Family Matters', as well as Oprah filming at now torn-down Harpo Studios, but the city was exactly a hotbed for TV audiences. According to DNAInfo, the revenue for the past five years is nearly double the previous period, 2006-2010, which generated just $600 million. That increase comes as no less than eight TV shows have set up shop in the city, including 'Empire', 'Chicago Fire', 'Chicago PD', 'Chicago Med', 'Chicago Justice', 'The Exorcist' as well as Showtime's 'Shameless' and Netflix's 'Sense8'. 

It's a furtherance of this thing we call the Chicago Renaissance, and proves the movement's reach goes far beyond just music and visual art. 

"We are proud that Chicago continues to serve as a destination for filming and commercial activity, due to our talented residents, state-of-the-art facilities, and affordable services — not to mention our iconic skyline and the rich character and diversity of Chicago’s neighborhoods," Emanuel said at a speech Wednesday at Cinespace Studios on the city's southwest side.

Logan Square Residents Evicted for Ultra-Gentrification 'Micro-Apartments'

Logan Square is changing quite a bit these days. With the influx of baby strollers and former Lincoln Park-ers who first ventured across the highway when Wicker Park became 'hip' are now settling into the neighborhood just a mile northwest on Milwaukee Ave, and of course pushing out residents who currently live there. The latest monument to poor aesthetics and uniformity comes with the announcement of yet another 'Micro Apartment' building planned for 2328 N. California Ave. 

The site is planned to hold 138 'micro apartments', the second of it's kind in the neighborhood after another three-story eye-sore moved in next to the Chase Bank on Milwaukee just around the corner from this site. The idea is to create living spaces that are small and compact, often topping out around 500 Sq. Ft and playing on the tropes of Yuppies who watch 'Tiny Houses' on HGTV. While it might seem kitschy and fun for some 35-year-old white couple with a job at some nameless marketing firm, the pricing of the units ($1200 for studio, $1400 for 1 bedroom, $2100 for 2 bedroom) is a thinly-veiled way of raising rent prices here in Chicago a la New York City. By pricing an, on average, 450 Sq. Ft 'Micro-Apartment' at $1200 it will invariably drive up the neighboring cost of rent across the neighborhood and beyond. Call these what they really are: bullshit manifestation of gentrification in real time; a Yuppie Bomb if you will.