Tobi Lou: Chicago’s Rising Superhero

Tobi Lou is a lot of things: he is a unbelievably talented artist, a trend setter, a Chicagoan, a unique individual and a self proclaimed superhero. I don’t believe that’s far fetched either: the way that Tobi has built his career to this point, the positive + contagious energy he puts out, his extraordinary charisma, it’s something like a superhero. About a month or so ago I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to interview Tobi Lou after his sensational set at Governors Ball in New York, and after being a huge fan & rooting for Tobi over the past couple of years, I had a bunch of questions I wanted to ask him! I have spoke to hundreds of artists in the past but this conversation that I had with Tobi Lou is one of my favorites for sure, he has a great energy & aura around him, he is undeniably himself and it’s only a matter of time before he is one of the biggest artists in the world. Take some time out of your day to learn about Tobi Lou below, and don’t forget to follow him on Twitter & Instagram! Visit Tobi Lou’s website here!   EM: …

Could Be a Curse – [KAINA] ft. [Sen Morimoto]

Kaina Castillo’s debut album ‘Next To The Sun’ is set to drop on July 12, and with that milestone just around the corner, the Chicago native has shared a mystical visual accompaniment for one of the album’s singles, “Could Be a Curse”. While ‘Next To The Sun’ will be KAINA’s first full-length LP, the singer-songwriter has been working toward this moment for years, with an already extensive music career rooted deeply in the city’s independent music scene. From her early involvement in after-school programs like YCA to working behind-the-scenes for Noname and Jamila Woods, she’s accumulated a résumé and repertoire of experiences whose influence echoes through the music she puts out today. The integration of Chicago’s soul into KAINA’s sound shines through in her latest music video, which showcases her alongside frequent collaborator Sen Morimoto. The haunting tone of the song gets reflected in the progression of the video’s scenes, following the two artists as they try to make the most of a bad day. Director Ashley Thompson tells this story through beautifully composed shots, concluding with KAINA and Sen chilling on a rooftop with the city’s sunset-kissed skyline in the distance. Turning a curse into a blessing, KAINA and …

Watch Common’s brand new interview with BigBoyTV

Common is a Chicago legend and one of my favorite emcees of my lifetime, so whenever he sits down for an interview I always give it my upmost attention and soak up the knowledge. Common recently chopped it up with Big Boy and his great crew about plenty of topics such as his brand new book, what he has learned from books growing up, his new song titled “Her Love” produced by J. Dilla, art, working with Kendrick Lamar, anxiety, going to therapy, what he learned from his father, letting love have the last word, being roommates with J. Dilla, Chance, being a fan of Noname & SZA, visiting prisoners in California, prison reform, the NBA Finals, Steph & the Warriors, his relationship with Drake, Chicago violence stemming from mass incarceration, The Chi and so much more. Watch this awesome new interview below.

Taylor Bennett Speaks on The American Reject, the Cover Art, TBE + more!

Taylor Bennett has been one of the biggest pieces in the puzzle that makes up Chicago’s music community. He has been rapping and creating music for damn near a decade and has become not only one of Chicago’s best rappers, but more importantly one of the brightest business minds that the city has to offer. The growth of his company Taylor Bennett Entertainment has been amazing to watch to say the least: he has built up a still small yet unbelievably talented roster with Bianca Shaw who has blossomed into one of the best talents that the city has to offer, as well as Zxxk who is one of the most talented producers & creatives in the game. When we look back ten years from now, these two will be far along in their careers under the guidance of Taylor & TBE. Next week Taylor is releasing his forthcoming album The American Reject, and when I saw him tease the cover I knew I had to bring him by the Lyrical Lemonade office to pick his brain about the project, the cover and so much more. As we gear up for the project that appears to be Taylor’s biggest and most …

BBS – [Phoelix]

Phoelix is no stranger to our page. The multi-faceted artist has played a helping hand in some of our most revered projects; from Noname’s Telefone to Saba’s Bucket List Project. Today the Chicago-based musician returns with an animated music video for his latest single, “BBS.” The video, which was written and directed by the multi-instrumentalist, comes to life through the growing crescendo of the production. Phoelix wastes no time, plunging into the chorus of the song that reiterates its title, “BBS” a call-back to the black rims on his yellow Maserati. The animated version of Phoelix proceeds to pick up his two friends on the way to “club 92” where the trio meet a bevy of women whom they begin to exchange looks with. Locked in on one woman, in particular, Phoelix has a premonition, looking into the future of what a night with the women would entail. Needless to say, things do not go as harmoniously as he imagines. The flex-filled two-minute track is a compact punch detailing Phoelix’s steadfast attitude towards the women he meets, championing himself above all else. This is Phoelix’s second single of the new year following in the footsteps of his previously released single, …

Song 32 – [Noname]

    Quite honestly, no is doing it quite like Noname right now. She’s captivating, she’s strong, she’s vulnerable, she’s talented, she’s funny, she’s a star, and real talk, she’s one of the best lyricists alive right now. Ever since the release of her acclaimed 2018 mixtape, Room 25, Noname has been releasing some one-off singles, and today, she’s keeping up the streak with a brand new offering, “Song 32.” Backed by a silky smooth, sun-soaked instrumental, this offering is decadent in sound and deeply enchanting in subject matter. Per usual, Noname’s flows gently and gracefully skate across the surface of the production, and balancing out the density of the verses is an unforgettable, lullaby-esque chorus that brings us back to a lovable chant, “yipikaye.” That said, Noname’s latest is yet another fantastic offering to add to her catalog, so don’t sleep on this one. Check out “Song 32” below and let us know what you think in the comments!

Watch Noname, Smino + Saba on The Tonight Show

Last year Noname recently one of my favorite albums of the year with Room 25, and a couple of days back she performed live on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon along side her frequent collaborators Smino and Saba! Noname is certainly no stranger to the limelight as she has performed on television a couple times prior to this, and sure enough Noname, her band and her team did a magnificent job at giving us a memorable + special moment for Chicago. Take a few minutes of your day to check out this awesome live performances below!

Watch Noname perform “Ace” on Jimmy Fallon with Saba & Smino

Noname’s Room 25 may have dropped last summer, but the Chicago poet and rapper is certainly not done basking in the light that her sophomore album has brought into the world. Following up her special homecoming New Year’s shows, Noname brought Room 25 to the Tonight Show stage last night to perform “Ace”. Flanked by Smino and Saba, the whole squad showed out and delivered a breathtaking live rendition of the track, striking me as one of those performances that gives you a renewed appreciation for the song. Smino’s melodies sound even more buttery while Noname attacks the mic possessed with a mix of bliss and gall, and once Saba comes in with his verse, the crowd immediately meets him with applause. This one is a gem, so be sure to watch the three artists perform “Ace” below:

Song 31 – [Noname]

Noname is not only one of the best rappers in Chicago, she is easily one of the best rappers in the game and her brand new offering titled “Song 31” proves that. The soulful instrumental on this song caught my attention from the jump, and once I found out Phoelix was the mastermind behind it it made perfect sense, he is one of the best overall creatives from the city and he really excels on the production aspect. It amazes me that Noname can tear apart beats time and time again with such a soft tone of voice, pay close attention to what she’s actually saying on this track, trust me when I say it will take a few rewinds back. Take a few minutes of your night to check out this brand new tune below!


While Chicago has been known as a reputable city in hip-hop for numerous years now, this revered position has not arrived without the constant innovation and hard work of the artists that so faithfully represent the prowess of their home city. It is these artists that we have to credit for this respected reputation, and we here at Lyrical Lemonade try to honor this in every way possible by constantly bringing new Chicago acts into our headlines here on our website. That said, 2018 has been yet another fantastic year for Chicago music, so we went ahead and compiled a list of our “Top 50 Chicago Projects” of the year. This now marks the third year that we have been putting out this list, and we believe that it’s safe to say this year’s list might just be the most solid one from top to bottom that we’ve seen yet. Thank you to our terrific writing staff for all of the hard work they have put in this year, I will be linking their socials below so be sure to contact them about getting featured on the website in the future. Seamus Fay • Mike Del Ro • Sam Morrison • …