Event Title

The Chicago Renaissance: Activism in Chicago's Music Scene

Location

King Building 127

Start Date

4-27-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

4-27-2018 3:20 PM

Abstract

The purpose of my research is to examine the relationship between Chicago musicians and the communities they come from using those artists’ responses to controversial events as case studies. Within the last five years, Chicago has been a place of intense creative energy drawing artists to the forefront of Chicago’s music scene. Artists such as Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Noname, Ric Wilson, and others have affected hip hop through their music and activism. Teacher strikes, police brutality, and gun violence battered Chicago in the last decade, prompting artists to be a voice for their communities by responding through performance. Moreover, artists take political stances; in March 2017, Chance the Rapper donated one million dollars to Chicago Public Schools as a response to the state governor’s demand that low-income Chicago Public Schools file for bankruptcy. This vast community of artists that includes Chance the Rapper deploys its influence to promote the importance of art and education to Chicago’s youth and beyond. Though the impact these artist have to promote change is inspiring, the root of the issue is still extremely prominent. A lack of access to education and police violence has been negatively affecting inner city youth. Without these artists actively engaging with these communities, the issue goes unresolved.

Keywords:

Chicago, Chicago music, Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Ric Wilson, Jamilah Woods, art, artivism, activism

Notes

Session IV, Panel 13 - Marginalized | Education
Moderator: Gina Pérez, Professor of Comparative American Studies

Major

Musical Studies

Advisor(s)

Chris Jenkins, Associate Dean for Academic Support
Caroline Jackson Smith, Theater

Project Mentor(s)

Kathryn Metz, Ethnomusicology

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Apr 27th, 2:00 PM Apr 27th, 3:20 PM

The Chicago Renaissance: Activism in Chicago's Music Scene

King Building 127

The purpose of my research is to examine the relationship between Chicago musicians and the communities they come from using those artists’ responses to controversial events as case studies. Within the last five years, Chicago has been a place of intense creative energy drawing artists to the forefront of Chicago’s music scene. Artists such as Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Noname, Ric Wilson, and others have affected hip hop through their music and activism. Teacher strikes, police brutality, and gun violence battered Chicago in the last decade, prompting artists to be a voice for their communities by responding through performance. Moreover, artists take political stances; in March 2017, Chance the Rapper donated one million dollars to Chicago Public Schools as a response to the state governor’s demand that low-income Chicago Public Schools file for bankruptcy. This vast community of artists that includes Chance the Rapper deploys its influence to promote the importance of art and education to Chicago’s youth and beyond. Though the impact these artist have to promote change is inspiring, the root of the issue is still extremely prominent. A lack of access to education and police violence has been negatively affecting inner city youth. Without these artists actively engaging with these communities, the issue goes unresolved.