J. Davis


J. Davis

Julio Davis heads The J. Davis Trio. Following their musical heart, The J. Davis Trio continues to thrive. They thrive not only because of their connection to real hip hop and jazz music, but also because of their ability to grow and change. Starting as trio, they now have as many as 8-10 people on stage, utilizing many types of instrumentation and styles. Their independence has allowed them to explore and incorporate from unexpected sources, resulting in a sound uniquely their own. Began as an actual trio, the band is now Julio Davis, Dave Smith, Dave Winer, Sam Sharp, Ryan Murphy and Chris Greene.  The J.Davis Trio arrived on the Chicago scene with their debut eponymous album, The J.Davis Trio, in 1999 where they created national buzz with a North American tour that included famous Chicago venues like The Metro, The House of Blues, the historic Green Mill Jazz club, and many colleges in the midwest. Tours to the east coast, the CMJ Music Fest in New York, down to the SXSW Music Fest in Austin, TX., to L.A. soon followed.
Their next album “The New No. 2” released in 2002 reflected a leap in their development and saw them working with many great Chicago artists. Rappers like Cap D from All Natural and Juice made an appearance, as well as musicians like Jeff Parker from Tortoise and Paul Mertens of The Brian Wilson Group.
The band released their next album, “These Things Happen” in 2007. This project saw them reunite with Julio Davis’ original rap crew, Chicago legends Stony Island, as well as vocal and musical cameos by Poi Dog Pondering front man Frank Orrall. In 2011, they returned with their most ambitious recording to date, “Vintage”.
They’re upcoming new full length album “Fire & Math”, will be released in 2016.

Rhymes: Boogie Down Productions “The Bridge is Over,” Young-Holt Unlimited “Soulful Strut,” and A Tribe Called Quest “Luck of Lucien”


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Hailed as a “music guru” by Rolling Stone and cited among the “world’s Top DJ’s” by The New York Times, J.PERIOD is a master of his craft: a musical storyteller whose work bridges cultures, generations and styles.

J.PERIOD’S resume boasts collaborations with Grammy winners Common, John Legend, Joss Stone & Mary J. Blige. He has been called, “The most creative mixtape producer of all-time” by music icon Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots.

For years, J.PERIOD’s “musical documentary” projects have redefined the hip hop landscape, merging music with narrative to tell stories in a powerful and unprecedented way. His work with hip hop and R&B titans including Nas, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, and Q-Tip has received countless awards and earned millions of listeners. This legacy of groundbreaking work was recently celebrated in the exclusive J.PERIOD X 10 Collection.

In the past year, J.PERIOD has produced the original score for the EMMY® award-winning The Doctor, the original theme song for the relaunch of NBA TV’s flagship Inside Stuff, plus critically-acclaimed remix tributes to James Brown, 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G.. For his efforts, J.PERIOD was nominated for DJ/Remixer of The Year at the Global Spin Awards and featured on Okayplayer’s annual Best List.

As Music Supervisor for the Brooklyn Nets’ at Barclays Center, J.PERIOD’s custom-curated soundtrack won rave reviews and was praised as the new standard for music in the NBA arena (ESPN). J.PERIOD is also credited with producing the Brooklyn Nets’ opening theme song in both of its first two seasons at Barclays Center.

Outside the studio, J.PERIOD is equally adept onstage, whether providing the soundtrack for Norman Lear or performing as Tour DJ for artists including Black Thought, The Roots, Lauryn Hill, Q-Tip & Kanye West at venues ranging from Summer Jam 2014 to Johannesburg’s Coca-Cola Dome.

Rhymes: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five “The Message,” Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five, “Beat Street Breakdown,” Nas “N.Y. State of Mind,” A Tribe Called Quest “Midnight Marauders,” De La Soul “De La Soul is Dead” and Ice Cube “Death Certificate”


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Kevin Coval

Kevin Coval

Kevin Coval

Kevin Coval is the poet the Chicago Tribune called “the voice of the new Chicago” and who the Boston Globe says is “the city’s unofficial poet laureate”. Author of Schtick, L-vis Lives!: Racemusic Poems, Everyday People, Slingshots: A Hip-Hop Poetica, and More Shit Chief Keef Don’t Like, Coval is the founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival and Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors, LTAB’s non-profit home. Coval teaches hip-hop aesthetics at The University of Illinois-Chicago, is a 4x HBO Def Poet, and has written for a wide variety of publications including CNN.com, The Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, National Public Radio’s Chicago affiliate WBEZ, The Spoken Word Revolution Redux (Source), Handbook of Public Pedagogy (Routledge) 101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed U.S. History (Haymarket) & It Was Written: Reading Nas’s Illmatic, ed. by Michael Eric Dyson (Basic).  Coval won a New Voices/New Visions award from the Kennedy Center for a play co-authored with Idris Goodwin about graffiti writers called, This is Modern Art, that will premiere in the winter of 2015 at Steppenwolf Theater and is currently editing an anthology, The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket) due out February 2015.

Rhymes: Herbie Hancock “Rockit”, Boogie Down Productions “Why is That?”, and A Tribe Called Quest “Scenario”



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Kevin on Haymarket Books

Young Chicago Authors

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Jose Olivarez

Jose Olivarez

Jose Olivarez

José Olivarez is a poet from Calumet City, Illinois. He is a graduate of Harvard University and a founding member of the Teaching Artist Corps at Young Chicago Authors. He has performed and taught at high schools, universities, and book festivals across the country, and his work has been published or is forthcoming in The Acentos Review, Specter Magazine, Side B Magazine, Union Station Magazine, and Luna Luna among other places. His work has also been featured on Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie basketball blog, Chicago Public Radio, and on Mass Poetry’s PoeTry on the T program. His first book, Home Court, is now available.

Rhymes: Commonsense “Thisisme,” Kanye West “School Spirit,” and A Tribe Called Quest “Buggin’ Out”



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Home Court

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Show You Suck


Show You Suck

Born on the Westside of Chicago, raised by a single mother and crazed over alternative & metal music at a young age. Show’s first encounters with Smashing Pumpkins, Anthrax and Slayer had him hooked and turned him into a devoted rock fan. There was a well-known lack of interest for the genre where ShowYouSuck lived, but that wouldn’t stop him from creating the craft he knew he was built for. Not having accessibility to an instrument or people interested in participating in a band drove Show to rap. He was eager to create music he liked, music for people like him.  Although his writing and flow wasn’t your typical hip-hop style he chose to continue to pave his own lane—creating a unique style that fuses punk, Based, Trill, rap with a touch of wit.  After graduating from the Art Institute, ShowYouSuck found himself amongst like-minded people, working at an Art Gallery & tattoo shop, Show felt inspired and welcomed sharing his creations, not realizing fans were growing by the dozens. ShowYouSuck realized there was no turning back for him after he saw the attendance at his sold out “OMPP2” mix tape release party held at Reggie’s Rock Club in 2012. The crowd moshed and crowd surfed as he created the set he’s always dreamed of, he was introducing the crowd to a whole new genre and they didn’t object. ShowYouSuck thrives during his live set and never disappoints. He’s given live hip-hop an entertainment standard. “If you’re not here to party get out!” is ShowYouSuck’s motto.

Rhymes: A Tribe Called Quest “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo,” Minor Threat “Guilty of Being White,” and the Prodigy “Voodoo People”


Click here to download Show’s interview

[audio https://archive.org/download/RhymesReasons-Showyousuck/RhymesReasons-Showyousuck.mp3]

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Show on Facebook


Songs from this Interview:

A Tribe Called Quest “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”

Primus “My Name is Mud”

Minor Threat “Guilty of Being White”

2Pac “Changes”

Waka Flaka Flame “Bustin’ At ‘Em”

ShowYouSuck “Hunter Hearst Helmsley (HomiesHelpHomies)”

The Prodigy “Voodoo People”

Dru Hill “Tell Me”

DeBarge “Rhythm of the Night”

ShowYouSuck “Clam Chowder Soup”

Treated Crew “Formal Introduction”

eve ewing

eve ewing

eve ewing

Eve Ewing is a writer and educator from Chicago. Currently, Eve is a doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where her focus is on adolescent identity development, particularly around elements of race, gender, class, and community. She also studies the structure of American inequality, in the public education system and in broader society. Eve is also an organizer for the Massachusetts Literary Education and Performance Collective (MassLEAP), which presents the Boston edition of the Louder Than A Bomb youth poetry slam festival. She is passionate about youth community-based writing programs, teaching and learning, and the philosophy, theory, and practice of comics and cartoons.

Rhymes: A Tribe Called Quest “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo,” M.I.A. “Paper Planes,” and Serengeti “Day By Day.”


Click here to download eve’s interview

[audio https://archive.org/download/RhymesReasons-EveEwing/RhymesReasons-EveEwing.mp3]

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eve on Tumblr

Songs from this Interview:

A Tribe Called Quest “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”

Weezer “Buddy Holly”

Gwendolyn Brooks “We Real Cool”

Smashing Pumpkins “Perfect”

Daft Punk “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong “Summertime”

Cannibal Ox “Iron Galaxy (Instrumental)”

M.I.A. “Paper Planes”

M.I.A. “Galang”

Missy Elliot “Work It”

Public Enemy “Revolutionary Generation”

Serengeti “Day by Day”

Big K.R.I.T. “Wake Up”




Twin Cities born and raised, DisputeOne (formerly known as Extreme) has been part of the every growing hip-hop culture in Minnesota since anyone can remember.

Rhymes: A Tribe Called Quest “Can I Kick It?”, Ice Cube “A Gangsta’s Fairytale”, Main Source “Lookin’ at the Front Door”, and Main Source “Fakin’ the Funk”


Click here to download DisputeOne’s interview

[audio https://archive.org/download/RhymesReasons-Disputeone/RhymesReasons-DisputeOne.mp3]

More Info on DisputeOne:

DisputeOne on SoundCloud

Loud Mouth League


DisputeOne’s Tumblr

Songs from this Interview:

Ice Cube “Who’s the Mack?”

A Tribe Called Quest “Can I Kick It?”

Ice Cube “A Gangsta’s Fairytale”

LL Cool J “The Boomin’ System”

Big K.R.I.T. “Boobie Miles”

2Pac “Trapped”

Main Source “Lookin’ at the Front Door”

Main Source “The Large Professor”

Main Source “Fakin’ the Funk”

2Pac “Soulja’s Story”

Atmosphere “Scapegoat”

Atmosphere “Travel”

Kaze “Spirit of ’94”

Beyond (Musab) “Positivity”

Musab “Hat & Shoes”

DisputeOne “Time”

Beyond (Musab) “Career Opportunity”

Atmosphere “Sunshine”