Rich Jones (Chicago Emcee/ Vocalist) hosted his release party for ‘Vegas’ his new EP. The party was at Lincoln Hall on January 20th, 2017. He enlisted the help of Qari (former member of Hurt Everybody), L.A. VanGogh, Burns Twins and Kaina, Sports Boyfriend, and DJ Skoli.
DJ Skoli kicked off the night with some mid tempo hip hop. DJ Skoli is an amazing up and coming DJ who has worked with Project 23, AMFM Mag, and Blackenomics. His connection with artists around the city is what makes him special. He was followed by Sports Boyfriend. She came on stage with a guitar and her laptop in front of her. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Her music had a synth pop chill vibe to it. She was a great opener because she set a relaxed tone for the evening.
Burns Twins and Kaina (Production Duo) performed next and I was blown away by their performance. Their energy was infectious. The musicianship of the group and Kaina was dynamic. The music was so fat because of the instruments were so deep. The band consisted of guitar, bass, drum, keys, and trumpet. When you add Kainas voice over all these beautiful instruments it was sublime. The youth of the group was amazing. It’s very inspiring to see young people creating such beautiful music.
L.A. VanGogh (Private Stock artist) performed songs off of his new project Friends First. He is an interesting artist in regards to his talents. He plays piano, sings, and he’s an amazing emcee. I was really impressed with his performance because I saw the growth musically and on stage. I saw him perform two times in 2016 and I could tell he was in the lab perfecting his craft. He performed a crowd favorite “Bills Paid”. Who can’t relate to being happy because your bills are paid? Rich Jones made a great decision for having L.A. VanGogh at his show.
Qari (former member of Hurt Everybody) performed songs off of his new project “Space Jam”. Qari had relaxed body language while waiting for the sound guy to get the stage ready. This was the vibe for his performance. I really enjoyed this because he brought the energy down in the room in a way where it did not overshadow Rich Jones. Qaris performance was thoughtful. He spoke on the current political climate in the United States. He said “whatever you believe in just be kind to one another”. This was poignant for me because Hip Hop is seen as an aggressive art form. The roots of Hip Hop are social justice and peace. I feel a lot of the new artists are coming back to the fun of Hip Hop.
Finally Rich Jones hit the stage with some of the members of the Burns Twins band to a full house. His story is well known in the Chicago music community. He is the curator of the All Smiles showcase. All Smiles is a known show case to catch some of the best Chicago musicians. I wasn’t sure how his recordings were going to translate live. The band complimented his unique voice. Not only is he an accomplished emcee he’s a great vocalist as well. I really love the unique sound of “Vegas”. It’s not a traditional hip hop EP. It has a heavy synthpop album. I enjoy the revolution that is happening in music. Hip Hop because emcees are thinking out of the box and blurring genre lines. Rich Jones is a prime example of this progressive thinking. The way the line up for the evening was put together shows his appreciation for music of all genres. The show was amazing and the diversity of the performers really shined throughout the night.