The word around Chicago whispers about those young cats in LA, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, and it supposes that OFWGKTA probably bumped some Chicago tracks on their iPods. Crowd hoppers of the last decade, from Wicker Park to Lakeview, can immediately see the similarities between OFWGKTA and the “Windy City’s” own Tomorrow Kings. Unfortunately, I don’t have the proper info to confirm influence by older Tomorrow Kings on Odd Future, but I do have enough to attribute Chi-pride to this collective of emcees that pioneered a new culture of Hip Hop. After the “video hoe” and “ice” age of Hip Hop, emcees started emerging out of a love for literature; even Jay Electronica drops lyrics like, “Spit that Kurt Vonnegut/That blow yo brain/Kurt Cobain, that Nirvana sh#t.” Sure, cats have been experimenting with rhyme scheme and making allusions to high school classics since the days of Tupac, however the 90’s did not facilitate the complete revolution that we have seen with Tomorrow Kings and OFWGKTA.
Somewhere in Chicago the most promising band has its members contorting their bodies a few more times before it pries open the mouths of audiences across the world. Whether the gesture be frantic fingertips of an emcee, a rattling head of a saxophone player, or a subtle hand-to-thigh clap of a singer, the soul of their music contains a contagious rapture that even the creators cannot even subdue. They call themselves Kids These Days, a befitting name since most of their members are still high school. Everything’s included: Greg Landfair Jr. (Drums), Lane Beckstrom (Bass) JP Floyd (Trombone), Nico Segal (Trumpet), Rajiv Halim (Saxophones), Liam Cunningham (Guitar/Vocals), Vic Mensa (Emcee), Macie Stewart (Vocals). Whipping all their ingredients for delivery, KTD stuffs HipHopSoulJazz down the throats of a progressively irrelevant youth culture.