On a cold snowy day at a downtown Chicago hospital, K’Valentine made her entrance into this world. She served as an early Christmas gift for her mother. The news of her birth also excited her father, Valentine Ogilvie Reid, who at the time, was incarcerated in another state. At an early age, in spite of many family hardships, K’Valentine excelled academically and in the Arts. Anything associated with creativity was and still is her forte.

As a little girl, K’s exceptional artistic ability was so evident that it’s no surprise that music became her life’s passion. When she discovered the power of hip hop, it became her first love. She dove in head first and learned everything she could about the art form. Soon enough, she was impressing friends and family with her vast knowledge about the world of hip hop.

K’Valentine began her lyrical journey by writing poetry to get out emotions she wanted to express. After a chance meeting with world renowned poet laureate Dr. Maya Angelou before she passed, K’Valentine was encouraged to practice until she mastered her craft. On the advice of Dr. Angelou, K wrote poetry non-stop, and those poems eventually transitioned into songs.

After reciting poetry at numerous spoken word events and receiving positive feedback, it was time for K to finally get in the booth. Shortly after, she released her debut project, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” 2011. Breakfast at Tiffany’s gave listeners their first look into K’Valentine’s heart. She wrote about personal subjects but she also wasn’t scared to get down and dirty on the microphone. On Valentine’s Day 2013, K’Valentine dropped her second mixtape, K’Valentine’s Day, which picked up where Breakfast at Tiffany’s left off.

In 2014, K’Valentine linked up with Javotti Media, a label owned by hip hop star Talib Kweli, and began to work on her third mixtape, Million Dollar Baby. Million Dollar Baby finds K’Valentine rhyming over tracks that are new as well as her versions of existing hits, giving the listener a well rounded perspective of a young lady that can lyrically spar with the best of them. Million Dollar Baby puts on for the city of Chicago by featuring great Chicago artists like Bubble Eye, Vic Spencer and Mikkey Halsted, but it’s undoubtedly K’Valentine’s showcase. You can also find K’Valentine’s contributions to the world of music on Javotti Media’s mixtape, The Cathedral, which placed K in the company of esteemed artists such as Big K.R.I.T. Joell Ortiz, Curren$y, NIKO IS and more.

K’Valentine’s love for music has given her a calling, and she is here to answer that calling. The music she makes is not just wonderful for the listener, but has also been her therapy to get through life’s trying times. As beautiful as she is talented, her experience is valuable and her voice is needed. Experience K’Valentine and enjoy!

Rhymes: 2Pac, “Keep Ya Head Up,” Lauryn Hill, “Tell Him,” Eminem, “Lose Yourself,” and Drake, “Make Me Proud”


Click here to download K’Valentine’s Interview

More Info on K’Valentine:





Songs from this Interview:

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones joined ProPublica in late 2011 and covers civil rights with a focus on segregation and discrimination in housing and schools. Her 2012 coverage of federal failures to enforce the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act won several awards, including Columbia University’s Tobenkin Award for distinguished coverage of racial or religious discrimination.

Prior to coming to ProPublica, Hannah-Jones worked at The Oregonian and The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. She has won the Society of Professional Journalists Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award three times and the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism. She has also gone on reporting fellowships to Cuba and Barbados where she wrote about race and education.

Rhymes: X Clan “Heed the Word of the Brother,” 2Pac “Keep Ya Head Up,” and Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige “All I Need”


Click here to download Nikole’s Interview

More Info on Nikole:


Pro Publica


Songs from this Interview:





PHENOM, born Teh’Ray Hale in 1977, learned to rhyme at the becoming age of 13 in the back streets of Chicago, Illinois.  In the 2000 Source Magazine Unsigned Hype Emcee Battle PHENOM earned 2nd place to Detroit Hip-Hop legend and D-12 member “PROOF” out of 1000 nationwide contestants. Before being signed to Focus Music Group’s Visionary Recordings, PHENOM took his contagious fire to the poetry scene and founded the exciting poetic theater collective POETREE Chicago, “People’s Organized Entertainment Teaching Righteous Education Everywhere”. PHENOM has dedicated his life to empowering the People through his music. In 1995, First Lady Michelle Obama chose him for the Public Allies program where he had the opportunity to work with and teach youth about violence prevention strategies. PHENOM was influenced to start L.Y.R.I.C, (Let Your Rhymes Inspire Creativity) with co-founder and national poet K-Love in 2009. Today, the L.Y.R.I.C program serves Chicago-based high school students and offers them opportunity to write and perform poetry as a non-violent means to stopping the violence in their neighborhoods.  His goal is to inspire change in the urban neighborhoods of Chi-town and abroad.

Rhymes:  2Pac “Keep Ya Head Up,” The Roots “Silent Treatment,” and Common “I Used to Love H.E.R.”


Click here to download PHENOM’s interview

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

More Info on Phenom:

PHENOM on YouTube

“Closed Mouf Don’t Get Fed”


PHENOM on Facebook

Songs from this Interview:

2Pac “Keep Ya Head Up”

Gang Starr “Conspiracy”

Fast Eddie “Yo Yo Get Funky”

X-Clan “Fire and Earth”

2Pac ft. Scarface “Smile”

Michael Jackson “The Way You Make Me Feel”

Nas “My Way”

50 Cent “In My Hood”

The Roots “Proceed 2”

The Roots “Silent Treatment”

Lupe Fiasco “Kick, Push”

The Roots “Silent Treatment (Da Beatminerz Remix)”

Kelis “Trick Me (E-Smooth Remix)”

Da Band “Bad Boy This, Bad Boy That”

Common “I Used to Love H.E.R.”

Kendrick Lamar “m.a.a.d. City”

Afu-Ra “Lyrical Monster”

Soulja Boy ft. Chief Keef “Ugly (Instrumental)”

Bubba Sparks “Ugly”

MC Tree



Very few artists have successfully held the title of both rapper and producer. Many try, most fail. But Cabrini-Green originator, Tree, plans to shake things up a bit and introduce the world to his unique pairing of words and beats. The official/unofficial member of Project Mayhem has recently gained national recognition with the release of a slew of projects, including his most recent, Sunday Schoolnamed one of the best mixtapes of 2012 by MTV.  He was also named one of the Best New Artists by Spin Magazine in August 2012.

Rhymes: 2Pac “Keep Ya Head Up”, Mr. Jinks “Ride 4 U”, and Outkast “Return of the ‘G'”


Click here to download Tree’s Interview

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

More Info on Tree:

Download Tree’s “Sunday School” Mixtape

Download “Tree ft. The City”


The Fader on Tree

FakeShoreDrive on Tree

Songs from this Interview:

2Pac “Keep Ya Head Up”

Young Joc “It’s Goin’ Down”

Ice Cube “Once upon a Time in the Projects”

2Pac “When We Ride On Our Enemies”

2Pac “Me Against the World”

Crucial Conflict “Life Just Ain’t the Same”

Mr. Jinks “Ride 4U”

Master P “Make’em Say UHH”

Nas “The Game Lives On”

Outkast “Return of the ‘G'”

Devin the Dude ft. Snoop, Andre 3000 “What a Job”

Coo Coo Cal “My Projects”

Group Home “So Called Friends”

Murs “Yesterday & Today”

Tree “Real Ass Niggas”



A.M. (Abstrak Mind) has become one of Chicago’s most prolific artists to hit the rap radar in quite some time. Most categorize his music as heartfelt, inspiring, creative, and just flat out good. Musically inspired by musical eliteness such as Jay-Z, Eminem, 2 Pac, Andre 3000, and Jadakiss , A.M. tries to live up to the standards of those who have come before him . The music that A.M. writes channels different mediums from his personal struggles and achievements to the economic imbalance that we all struggle from today. None the less he always has an upbeat spirit and likes to rub off those positive energies through song or if it’s just a casual conversation in person. A.M. just dropped his debut mixtape “A Painted Thought” which has shaken the ground beneath, a lot of those who were sleep on his talents and endless capabilities musically. The Hip Hop world should be very pleased at the direction A.M. will take the art as whole in years to come. So world get ready to brace yourself for something historic!

Rhymes: 2Pac “Keep Ya Head Up,” 2Pac “Brenda’s Got a Baby”


Click here to download A.M.’s interview

[audio https://archive.org/download/RhymesReasons-A.m/RhymesReasons-Am.mp3]

More info on A.M.:


A.M.’s Facebook

A Painted Thought Mixtape 

A.M. on ReverbNation

Songs from this Interview:

2Pac “Brenda’s Got a Baby”

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony “Thuggish Ruggish Bone”

2Pac “If My Homie Calls”

2Pac “Keep Ya Head Up”

2Pac “Holla If You Hear Me”

2Pac “Dear Mama”

2Pac “I Ain’t Mad at Cha”

2Pac “Pain”

Big K.R.I.T. “Down ‘N Out”

Big K.R.I.T. “Free My Soul”

Big K.R.I.T. “The Vent”

Big K.R.I.T. “I Got This”

Justin Schloer

Justin Schloer

Imagine, if you can, the horrible feelings of dealing with death; not just once, but on many occasions. Imagine, if you can, having your best friend die in your arms, because there wasn’t a damn thing you could do to stop it. Imagine being shot for the first time, at the tender age thirteen, while you vigorously fought mind over matter in order to bear the pain. Imagine, if you can, being shot seven more times before you were even old enough to vote; once in the chest, three times in the left side, once in the right knee, once in your lower back and the worst being a shotgun blast to your upper shoulders and head. Now imagine that everything stated herein has actually happened to one man.  A man that wages a constant battle with society just to prove that a man can change.  A man that truly deserves to be called a man. That man is me…and this is my story.

Rhymes: 2Pac “Keep Ya Head Up” and Ice Cube “Us”


Click here to download Justin’s entire interview

Click on the arrow to hear Justin’s entire interview

More Info on Justin:

Thrive Counseling Center

Songs From This Interview:

2Pac “Keep Ya Head Up”

Ice Cube “Us”

Jasson Perez

Jasson and his daughter Nisa

Chicago born and raised, Jasson Perez is a community representative for SEIU Local 73 as well as one of the members of the rap group BBU.

Rhymes: 2Pac “Keep Ya Head Up,”  Outkast “Rosa Parks”


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More info on Jasson and BBU:



BBU’s website: It’sBBU.com

Download BBU’s Mixtape “Fear of a Clear Channel Planet”

Download BBU’s Mixtape “bell hooks”

Songs from This Interview:

2Pac- Keep Ya Head Up 2Pac-Holla If Ya Hear Me 2Pac- Hit’em Up Outkast- Rosa Parks Outkast- SpottieOttieDopaliscious Outkast- Return of the G  BBU- Chi Don’t Dance BBU- I Do This for My Culture BBU- Jukin’ on Landmines Jay-Z ft Beanie Sigel- Where Have You Been LL Cool J- I Can’t Live Without My Radio Geto Boys- My Mind’s Playing Tricks on Me Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth- T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You) Wu-Tang Clan- C.R.E.A.M. Little Brother- The Yo-Yo Kanye West ft. Jay-Z- Diamonds from Sierra Leone Remix Nas- Black Girl Lost Jay-Z- U Don’t Know  Common- Resurrection