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Che “Rhymefest” Smith is the quintessential renaissance man. As a writer, artist, activist, Political organizer and teacher, Che has cracked glass ceilings and shattered negative stereotypes about hip-hop.

In 2005, Rhymefest won a Grammy for co-writing the mega – hit “Jesus Walks” with his childhood friend Kanye West. In 2006 he released his critically acclaimed “Blue Collar” Album on Clive Davis’s J-records.

In 2013 Che, Kanye and Che’s wife Donnie Smith founded Donda’s House. Donda’s House is a non-profit premium Arts program that teaches youth 15-24 years old Health & Wellness techniques, Studio Etiquette & Creative Writing. Donda’s House has served over 160 youth with free instruction and continues to be a force for creative change in Chicago.

In 2014 Rhymefest was nominated for a Grammy for his work on Kanye West’s “Yeezus” album for the song “New Slaves.”

In 2015 Rhymefest won a Critics Choice award, Golden Globe and Academy Award (Oscar) for his work on “Glory” along with John Legend and Common for the film Selma.

Che is the subject of the BreakThru Films documentary In My Father’s House, which explores fatherhood, homelessness and family. In January of 2013, Che goes on a journey to find his father, only to find his father homeless on the West Side of Chicago. The film premiered at Tribeca in 2015, and is expected to be distributed October 9, 2015 in select AMC Theaters. Che Smith was selected to represent Kenneth Cole in the 2015 “The Courageous Class” Look Good, For Good Campaign.

Che believes “true power is the power to empower others.”


The year is 1985. The game-Innovation. The players- DJ Pierre, Spanky and Herb J. The story goes Pierre got wind of the uniquely interesting sound coming out of the small silver box infamously referred to as the Roland TB–303 at a friend’s house. The story goes on to say Spanky rushed to purchase the 303 at a used equipment store, after Pierre’s urging. At the time it was defunct and no longer produced by Roland because it did not accomplish what it set out to do. It was originally designed to emulate a Bass Guitar and apparently that did not catch on to the general public.

So back to the moment when our players got a hold of the little silver box with 303 tagged on it. Their creative out-of-the-box mindset saw more to this machine. They saw DIFFERENT and they saw BIG potential. They didn’t see a defunct machine. They made contact and the squelchy sound that to a normal “lay” ear would sound like-nothing, sounded like sweet music to them. They were elated because they knew they found “IT”. Spanky started on drum beats, Pierre got on twisting the knobs…Herb J joined the jam session which lasted hours.

The end result was the very first Track that had elements of what we call Acid House. Acid Track is also tied to legendary DJ Ron Hardy and Marshall Jefferson who helped the group get it to where it is was when we first heard it on record. Ron Hardy was the first dj to play the track and caused an acid madness to sweep across Chicago and ultimately the world.

Acid House took over the UK and the Rave culture was born as a direct result. The Summer of Love in London primarily was a direct result of the first Acid Track and the innovative thinking of the members of PHUTURE.

DJ Pierre, the group’s creative director, began to produce other material and came to be known as the innovator of another sound-Wildpitch. Spanky as dj Spank Spank created notable tracks as well outside of PHUTURE. At the time, the guys had no idea they would be the fathers of a scene that would last over 30 years, so the thought of leaving solo careers to remain as PHUTURE was not a priority.

With age comes wisdom. They looked around and Acid House is a genre that has it’s rightful place amongst electronic music in mainstream Hip Hop, Pop and what the industry refers to as EDM. You hear the impact in all of these genres. And so the players are naturally back in the game because they are intimately connected to this thing called Acid House. It has a new energy now and it’s only right that the fathers, the original players return to help baptize the new generation.

Original members dj Pierre and Spanky with new member Rio The musician are gearing up to release their first album in over 20+ years with a tour to boot.

PHUTURE has survived.


Jayson Jenkins, better known as Mick Jenkins (his stage name), is an American hip-hop recording artist born in Huntsville, Alabama on April 16th, 1991. He was then raised on the south side of Chicago, Illinois. Jenkins is a member of Free Nation, a hip-hop group that promotes creative thought without accepting narrow views imposed by the powers that be. In the spring of 2013 Mick released a mixtape entitled “Trees and Truths” that quickly became a local favorite, buoyed by acid jazz-influenced production, biblical allegory and lacerating lyricism. The project was by far his most lyrical body of work and caught the attention of Chicago’s incipient gatekeepers. A few months after its release, a collaboration with Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa came in the form of a single entitled “Crossroads”, which was a summer hit.

On August 12, 2014, Jenkins released “The Water[s]”, a project spearheaded by the release of “Martyrs”, a record that juxtaposes harsh truths about society with thought-provoking single with various underlying messages and subtle notions. Centered around the idea of comparing water to life’s truths, “The Water[s]” has garnered national attention and serves as Jenkins’ breakout project while receiving critical acclaim. In November of 2014 Jenkins toured on The Smoker’s Club Worldwide Rollers tour with Method Man, Redman, B-Real, and Berner. In February of 2015, he headlined his first national tour with Pro Era’s Kirk Knight, selling out almost half the shows on tour. Jenkins later joined Joey Bada$$ for Phase 1 of his World Domination Tour in June 2015 while playing festivals like Bonnaroo & JMBLA. After wrapping up the summer tour, Jenkins focused his attention on his EP “Waves”, which was released on August 21, 2015.

After the release of “Wave[s]”, Jenkins embarked on a domestic and international headlining tour through the United States and Europe.


Wrapping his childhood influences of soul, hip-hop and rock and roll into a new package, MG&F frontman Mike Golden has launched Golden, a new collaborative project intended to bend musical boundaries and keep heads bobbing. More than just being heard, Golden is honest music that’s meant to be felt. Mixing brass, piano, strings, electronic beats, rap verses, rock guitar and anything else that helps tell the story, Golden pushes the now famous “Chicago sound” into new territory from club bangers to stories of love lost to huge soul standards. Golden has been described as “Versatile” “Powerful” “Real and Raw” and “Refreshing.”

Mike began in his hometown of Hammond but quickly carried his bags and soul into the Chicago music scene, honing his craft and style in every major venue in the city. Becoming truly “Chicago made” meant proudly representing that music scene in festivals all over the US and in 3 countries, being featured by some of the industry’s hottest artists (Including The Social Experiment’s SURF), being seen and heard in hundreds of major retail stores across the US and being in Ubisoft’s Chicago-based video game, Watch Dogs, that has sold over 10 million copies world-wide.


Remaking a song from the hottest artist in the industry is a dicey proposition. But for Dreezy, her rendition of Nicki Minaj and Lil Herb’s “ChiRaq” catapulted her to national prominence because of her fiery delivery, ferocious lyricism and magnetic microphone presence.

In 2013, a friend introduced her to producer D. Brooks Exclusive, the beatsmith whose work with King Louie, Lil Herb and others had him perched as one of the Windy City’s hottest rising sonic architects. “Chicago is known for a hard drill sound and Brooks was the only producer really adding piano melodies and violins, more feeling to his music,” Dreezy says. “And when the sound changes, he knows how to embrace it and make it his own.”

Brooks produced Dreezy’s Schizo mixtape, which was released in February 2014. Her subsequent work on the “ChiRaq” remix led to her appearance on Common’s “Hustle Harder,” a cut from his acclaimed 2014 album, Nobody’s Smiling. The pioneering Chicago rapper appeared on Dreezy’s “No Good,” solidifying their bond.

Common isn’t the only prominent artist checking for Dreezy. “A few females reached out when ‘ChiRaq’ took off: Rah Digga, Shawnna, Remy Ma, Tish Hyman and some others,” she says. “I’ve already done collabs with Tink, DeJ Loaf, and Chicago female MCs Sasha Go Hard and Katie Got Bandz. Sasha is like my sister. Our friendship started out from rapping but we’re like sisters now. Katie and I are really good friends, too. We support each other. There’s room for everybody. That’s how it’s supposed to be.”

As Dreezy makes her mark among music industry icons and new artists alike, she remains focused on being counted among the genre’s elite. “My goal is to be legendary,” Dreezy says. “Music is my purpose and I want to set the bar — especially for females — and break all the records that come with it.”


Born Zebadiah S. Anderson, a gift from God, Versatile was raised on the West Side of Chicago, the Fifth City. Always outspoken, and born from a strong proud family, Verse had been selected at just the age of eight, to journey back to study his heritage and attend a very prestigious school in West Africa. This trip undoubtedly shaped his outlook and understanding. He spoke at cultural and political events, and stood in what would become history.

The winter’s cold in Chicago, Verse found himself back into the unforgiving Chi-city streets. He is one of many, bred into a legacy of gang violence and human rights struggle, thereby finding his outlet through music. Chicago has been a breeding ground for anger, hurt and misunderstanding. The violence that we are tired of seeing, is a product of a miscommunication with the youth and a lack of education and resources so many people suffer from. Instead of making music that expresses that hurt in an angry or violent way, Z-verse sets out to explain, “We are trying to literally spread love to defeat the pain, despair.” Through his trials, Verse has worked with legends, such as, Suge Knight at Death Row, Puff Daddy at Bad Boy, a list of well-known writers, producers, and execs.

Being under the tutelage of executive producer Shorty Capone (who produced artists like Crucial Conflict, Dude n Nern, and Lupe Fiasco), and his close friend and partner Anthony Winfield, who works as a manager with Lupe’s label 1st & 15th, and who also is the owner of Born Leaders, a label that houses Chicago’s own The Boy Illinois. Verse learned, “Above all not to sacrifice artistry for fame, do you, make good music and the people will follow.”

With close by advisers and friends in the industry, such as Chili or Charles (C.E.0. of 1st & 15th), housing artists such as Lupe Fiasco and Gemini; John Monopoly of Hustle and G.0.0.D. Music, housing artists such as Kanye West, John Legend and Common; Verse is ready for whatever. Verse has compiled a vast library of work on his album, More Than Music: The Street Album, which debuted in 2009. Back for the first time, Z-Verse releases his debut single “Victory” with a new sound. For the last 9 years, Zebadiah Anderson has hustled his way through the ranks of Chicago’s top recording studios. A veteran at his young age, he has had the blessing of working with and learning from some of the highest profile artists and executives in the music industry.


Taylor Bennett is a 20-year-old hip hop artist from the south side of Chicago. The music video for “Happy Place” earned 40,000 views in one month and was followed by the a premier on Rolling Stone for his “Broad Shoulders” title track featuring his brother Chance the Rapper. Taylor has come a long way since picking up the mic while at Urban Prep High School. He gained his following after posting a series of songs on his Youtube account. His unique sound created a buzz around his hometown and throughout the nation.

Taylor went on to open for Nas, Curren$y and YG in shows across the world before headlining his own shows. Hip Hop fans from every facet of Chicago have packed historic venues like The House of Blues, and Lincoln Hall to watch Taylorlight the stage up as one of the youngest headliners in the game.

On July 26, 2014 Taylor held a charity concert at Reggie’s to support his #SaveChiacgo movement and donated all of the profits from his sold-out show to the Kids From the Block nonprofit organization. He has also worked with Maybach Music Group’s Rockie Fresh, recent Cinematic signee G Herbo (formerly known as Lil Herb) and more.

Taylor grew up alongside Save Money teammates Vic Mensa and Towkio and is ready to create his own legacy within the Chicago hip hop scene. His stage presence exudes the energy of a young MC who’s poised to make a lasting impact on the youth.


Hologram Kizzie has a past. She even has another name: Psalm One. Psalm is the first woman artist on Rhymesayers Entertainment and since singing in 2006 has steadily built a dedicated following of discerning, diverse and cunning fans.

She has traveled the globe performing and recording an impressive discography, while always maintaining a critically acclaimed stream of self-released music. Balancing time between the road and running a hip hop influenced after-school program, Rhymeschool, she has toured extensively in the USA and Canada with luminaries like Rakim, Del the Funkee Homosapien, Gym Class Heroes and Atmosphere, to name a few.

She is currently preparing to embark on an International Tour in Europe/USA, with fellow Chicago artists Hood Internet, ShowYouSuck, WhoIsFluffy?, Auggie the 9th and My Gold Mask!