Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Genealogical Look at the New School of Chicago Hip Hop | Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Kids These Days and Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment's New Album - Surf

The first question you will probably ask yourself is: "Isn't this a Chance the Rapper album" and, if not familiar with the Chicago hip hop movement, the second question will be: "Who the fuck is Donnie Trumpet?" 

Well the answer to the first question is .... yes .... it is a Chance album. As described by Pitchfork, this Chance x Donnie Trumpet album that 

"contains multitudes, contradictions: ambitious, but playfully so; lighthearted in spirit but fiercely moral; wide-ranging in its influences, mapped onto a coherent whole" 


"a new sound built on lots of older ones—indie, hip-hop, funk, rock, gospel, various strains of R&B, The Lion King soundtrack" was made possible by the success of Chance's Acid Rap and operates as the next Chance the Rapper album backed up by Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment band. And further:

"Chance the Rapper's success allowed the group the space to take such a purposefully meandering approach. In the wake of his hugely successful sophomore tape Acid Rap, Chance ignored the industry's baits and lures. Freed from its constraints and pressures, with a devoted flock waiting eagerly behind him, he's directed his time and energy to his friends. So as you may have heard, this album does not belong to Chance the Rapper, but to Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment (that's Nico Segal and Peter "Cottontale" Wilkins, Nate Fox, Greg "Stix" Landfair Jr., and Chancelor Bennett himself). The group has extraordinary range, and thanks to time on the road as Chance's touring band, the chops to execute. But whatever the name on the packaging, this project does belong to Chance the Rapper: He is still the album's main draw, and despite the number of guests and the cover art billing, its guiding spirit feels reflective of his own ideas and values—albeit in a less intensive, less personal form than on Acid Rap."

So Who is Donnie Trumpet?

In 2012, at the Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati, the WhatUpWally? Crew arrived early on the first day of the festival to check out the a group of kids from Chicago perform their distinctive brand of hip hop fusion. The name of the band was Kids These Days. We had been turned on to KTD by the good folks at and had already been promoting their first EP Hard Times.

The WUW? watched in invigorated awe as this group of teenagers played a dynamic live hip hop set. Thoroughly impressed by the early lyrically prowess displayed by Vic Mensa, the Adele-esque vocals of Macie Stewart, and the southern rock guitar style of Liam Cunningham - it was a crazy haired dancing trumpet player (Nico Segal aka Donnie Trumpet) that defined the sound and stage presence of KTD.

Well, needless to say, we were disappointed when the band broke up in 2013 after the release of their second EP, Traphouse Rock.

However, later in 2013, Both Nico's and Vic's first post-KTD mixtapes, Donnie Trumpet EP and Innanetape were released to critical acclaim. Following the explosion of Chance's viral mixtape sensation Acid Rap, the hip hop world turned it's ears towards Chicago to see just what these Chicago kids were really up to these days. 

And If You Don't Know Now You Know,

No comments: