Chicago Public Media

A magazine-style music show featuring local, new and independent music. Plus segments on new releases, music news, and in-depth interviews dealing with the culture and politics of music and the artists who make it. Hosted by Jesse Menendez.

A magazine-style music show featuring local, new and independent music. Plus segments on new releases, music news, and in-depth interviews dealing with the culture and politics of music and the artists who make it. Hosted by Jesse Menendez.
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Chicago, IL


A magazine-style music show featuring local, new and independent music. Plus segments on new releases, music news, and in-depth interviews dealing with the culture and politics of music and the artists who make it. Hosted by Jesse Menendez.






848 East Grand Ave Navy Pier Chicago, Illinois 60611 (888) 635-1112


Phillip-Michael Scales embraces Dive Bar Soul sound on new EP "Sinner Songwriter"

Phillip-Michael Scales (Formerly Briar Rabbit) is a songwriter who happens to be the nephew of BB King. His sound fits somewhere between folk and soul, demonstrating his knack for thoughtful, catchy melodies. His new album "Sinner Songwriter" (out in June, 2018) sees Scales take his sound into the direction of what he calls "Dive Bar Soul." Jesse Menendez spoke with Scales about his new album and the themes of morality, relationships, and love that exist on it.


JC Brooks Band speaks out on being Black in modern day America with new EP

On their new EP "Red, Black, and Blue," JC Brooks Band leans heavily on its funk sensibilities as the they explore political and social themes surrounding being Black in modern day America. Jesse Menendez spoke with JC Brooks about the racial tension that informed the album and the witty, soulful, stirring expression of the ever-present ability of Black America to spin its pain and frustration into gold.


"Trap Nerd," DXTR Spits talks science, hip hop and launching ONLi Packs

DXTR Spits (@dxtrspits) is a Chicago-based Hip Hop artist as well as an engineer and scientist, which informs his scientific approach to music, spoken word, and entrepreneurship. DXTR is an acronym standing for Designed Experimentation Transcending Reality. Jill Hopkins spoke with DXTR about his "trap nerd" music, finding mentorship under poet Nikki Giovanni and launching ONLi backpack brand for "dream chasers."


Drama talks new album "Lies After Love" and their Happy-Sad Music

Drama is a dark and passionate musical collaboration between Na’el Shehade and Via Rosa. The Chicago-based duo are each established artists in their own right. Jesse Menendez spoke with the duo about their new album Lies After Love, their creative process, and the experiences love, as well as heartbreak, that inspired the album.


From refugee camps to American Idol, StoryTeller recounts his musical journey

StoryTeller (@bass-sensei-e)is a musician and refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo who left his country of birth at age 3. After living in multiple refugee camps, he and his family settled in Johannesburg South Africa for a decade. In 2012, Storyteller relocated to the United States, first Alabama and now Chicago. Last Fall, he auditioned for American Idol and will compete this season. Jesse Menendez spoke with StoryTeller about his time in refugee camps and the American...


Dessa on how neuroscience helped her get over a breakup, her views on Free Will and new album Chime

On her new album Chime, Minneapolis-based Hip Hop artist @dessaofficial navigates neuroscience to help her understand how love has played such a compelling role in her life and music. Jesse Menendez spoke with the rapper and songstress about how neuroscience helped her get over a breakup, her views on Free Will and how it all ties into her new release.


Ajani Jones on growth, evolving and new EP "Cocoons"

Chicago-based Hip Hop artist Ajani Jones has recently joined the Closed Session label roster with the release of his new EP "Cocoons." The young artist addresses themes of evolving and blossoming, and paints a picture of his experiences growing up and living in Chicago. He spoke with Jesse Menendez about the new project.


Malcolm London talks "Right Away Series," an EP of love poems, political commentary & self-discovery

Malcolm London is a Chicago based poet, activist, organizer, and youth mentor regularly speaking out against social injustice and police brutality in the city. Malcolm has recently released his sophomore project called the "Right Away Series," a compilation of love poems, political commentary, and self-discovery. Jesse Menendez spoke with Malcolm about the project, his life, poetry and social activism.


The Gold Web talks about New Album "Acidchrist Superspice & the Candyboys" and Glam Rock

The Gold Web is Chicago’s art-glam monstrosity. Known for their highly theatrical stage shows, the group doses audiences with blissful grooves, dramatic songwriting, and an outrageous visual performance. Jill Hopkins spoke with the band about their new album "Acidchrist Superspice & the Candyboys."


Air Credits reveal new details about the dystopian future on new EP Wasteland Radio

Air Credits is music from the not too distant future, when the planet’s water supply has all but ceased, air has become a commodity and the landscape has turned into a wasteland. Jesse Menendez spoke with Show You Suck and producer STV SLV about their new EP "Wasteland Radio New Archives [Green/376]" where they reveal new details about the dystopian world they've envisioned.


Towkio talks new album WWW. (World Wide Wave) and recording with Rick Rubin

Chicago Hip Hop artist is the first rapper to drop an album from space. SAVEMONEY collective member is set to release his much anticipated major label debut World Wide Wave. The album was recorded at Rick Rubin’s iconic Shangri-La studio in Malibu. Jesse Menendez spoke to Towkio about the album and signing with Rick Rubin.


Evidence talks new album Weather or Not, and the recurring theme of water in his music

West Coast MC Evidence recently released his third solo studio album, Whether or Not. The album is a deeply personal look into the rappers life and his wife’s battle with cancer. Jesse Menendez spoke with Evidence about the album, his place in Hip Hop and how he mined personal trauma to create art.


Roy Kinsey tells a story of migration and identity on new album "Blackie"

On his new album, "Blackie," Chicago rapper Roy Kinsey explores his Southern roots and how his family's migration from Mississippi to Chicago informed his own sense of identity and Blackness. Jesse Menendez spoke with Roy about the exceptional album.


Brandon Markell Holmes talks new album "The Museum of R&B" and singing with Gorillaz

Chicago singer Brandon Markell Holmes wields a expressive voice and an ability to write mature and emotive songs that navigate subjects like identity, love and being Black in America. Jesse Menendez spoke with Brandon about his upcoming album "The Museum of R&B," as well as his contribution to Gorillaz' new album "Humanz."


The Microphone Misfitz talk comics, politics and "Escape from Babylon Vol. 3"

"Babylon is a wicked mindstate, a wicked place, both physical, metaphysical, mental and spiritual. And you're trying to get to a Zion state of being, a tranquility mindstate, and get as far as possible from the Western poisonous sensibilities." - D-Nick. Chicago-based Hip Hop crew The Microphone Misfitz are back with a new album "Escape From Babylon III" and a comic book to accompany it. Jesse Menendez spoke with The Fitz about the new project and the themes permeating this politically...


Sam Trump celebrates Black joy and unity on soulful brass-rich debut Purple Skies

Originally from Houston TX, and now Chicago-based composer, singer, and trumpet player Sam Trump infuses his debut album "Purple Skies" with sophisticated soul and R&B. The album features songs like the uplifting, "Brother," which promotes peace, love and coexistence within the Black community. Jesse Menendez spoke with Sam Trump about the new project.


Leilani Wolfgramm addresses imbalance and narcissism in society on new album "Live Wire"

Leilani Wolfgramm is an Orlando based Reggae artist inspired by Bob Marley’s profound ability to inject his music with social commentary. Wolfgramm’s new album "Live Wire" captures that narrative and navigates topics like what she believes is a narcissistic society, depression, loss and more. Jesse Menendez spoke with Leilani about her beginnings and her new album.


Phor talks tattoos, Black Ink Crew and debut album "Butterfly"

Chicago rapper and tattoo artist Phor can be seen on VH1’s popular reality TV show, "Black Ink Crew: Chicago." Now the rapper is gearing up for the release of his debut project "Butterfly." Jesse Menendez spoke with Phor about his album, balancing TV and music and his civic pride.


MFn Melo on finding himself and his debut "MeloDramatics"

Chicago Hip Hop artist and Pivot Gang collective member MFn Melo recently released his debut project "Melodramatics." The album sees Melo shattering misconceptions of life on the West Side of Chicago while providing a laid back and uplifting vibe that celebrates individuality. Jesse Menendez spoke with MFn Melo about his album.


ProbCause talks new EP "Distractions"

Chicago Hip Hop artist ProbCause has consistently produced music that combines his lyrical prowess, genre-blending production, and songwriting abilities. He spoke with Jesse Menendez about his new EP "Distractions" and his desire to inject his current music with more socio-political commentary.


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