Chicago – While for most, Labor Day Weekend marks the end of summer, relaxing with a cold one and some barbecue, in Chicago, LDW ushers in North Coast Music Festival, which calls for one last stand in Union Park, having fun and soaking in the sun. Chicagoans party all day and then well into the night at festival after shows around the Windy City. Saturday night, Bottom Lounge played host to the best North Coast Afterparty with Chicago musicians Joey Purp and Saba putting on killer performances.
If you’ve been keeping your ear to the ground, then you know Chicago’s music scene is H.O.T. right now. Between rockers like Twin Peaks and hip hop artists like Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa, our beloved music scene is finally getting its due attention, leaving other up-and-coming artists to bask in the spotlight, too. One such artist is Joey Purp, who just recently performed at Lollapalooza. Joey Purp – born Joey Davis - may seem “new” to some, but he’s been around for a minute, as part of the Savemoney crew, like the wizard behind the curtain, working with everyone who’s anyone as of late, as well as half of the duo Leather Corduroys. Now it’s his time to shine as a solo artist, with his recent release iiiDrops - one of the strongest mixtapes to come out of Chicago this year.
Joey Purp took the stage with DJ and producer Knox Fortune, and was met with screams and applause. The night started out with “Photobooth,” from Purp’s mixtape iiiDrops. Joey Purp’s set showcased much of the material from iiiDrops including “Money & Bitches,” “Winners Circle,” and “Escape.” The room went wild when Purp performed the single “Corner Store,” which features Saba and theMind. “Corner Store” has become an anthem of sorts for Chicagoans fighting an uptick in violence. Perhaps the highlight of night came when Joey Purp brought out Chance the Rapper for “Girls @.” Fans lost their minds! Hardcore fans also went apeshit for old tunes like “Morgan Freeman” and “Run It Up” and Leather Corduroys jams like “Mexican Coke” and “We Don’t Know How to Stop.” All night long, Purp proved he’s ready for the big leagues, and he’ll surely continue heat things up within not only the Chicago music scene, but also within the world of hip hop.
Though Chance joined Joey Purp, the same couldn’t be said for the rapper joining Saba on stage, even though the two collaborated on “Angels” from Chance the Rapper’s recent and critically acclaimed release, Coloring Book. Honestly, twenty-two year old Saba, born Tahj Malik Chandler, didn’t need the support of others – though he was still joined onstage by some friends from the Pivot Gang - because he nailed his performance! Like Joey Purp, Saba has been drawing the attention of many within the hip hop community, especially with his magnificent Lolla set and the recent Red Bull documentary on the rapper, that showed the world how Chicago nurtures its musicians through programs like Young Chicago Authors and YouMedia at Harold Washington Library and other CPL branches – programs which influenced many of the rappers who have risen from the local scene, like Noname, Chance, and other members of the Savemoney crew.
Throughout the night, Saba performed plenty of new material from his upcoming mixtape Bucket List. Of course, he also performed older songs, like “Timezone“ from 2014′s ComfortZone. The crowd seemed to love it all, especially when Saba ran back forth the wooden stage, jumping high in the air. Saba too will soon be making Chicago proud, as he sets off to become our next legend.
Joey Purp just finished up a tour with fellow Chicago rapper Vic Mensa, but he does have a few upcoming tour dates coming, including a handful of European shows. Head over to the Joey Purp Facebook page for more info.
Photography by Sarah Hess for Best New Bands.
After attending The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Sarah went on to study education at Dominican University, earning a degree in history. When not teaching, writing, or taking in a show, she is most likely to be found with a camera to her eye or hanging out in a darkroom.
You can follow Sarah Hess on twitter at @Sarahhasanh and view her music photography on her website: smhimaging.com.