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YCA Blog

The Top Five Featuring Kevin Coval

The Top Five Featuring Kevin Coval

Welcome to the Top Five.

We know it's Monday and you may be looking for inspiration, and we are here to help! Every Monday, we will be inviting some of our favorite artists to share five links that inspire them. Tune in to find some new music, poems, and more. Today, we have Kevin Coval talking about some of his favorite new(ish) Chicago projects. Enjoy!

Top 5- new(ish) Chicago shit i'm currently rocking with

Vic Mensa: Almost There


Vic's New EP, The Manuscript, is the continuation of an evolving pen that is one of the illest in the country. Vic can write and the elevation of his personal narrative & the story of his father's immigration to this country on this track is stunning & bar heavy.

LyriQ The Misfit- Indigo Soul


It's a vibe. LyriQ is a WordPlay regular & recent Chi Track alum. His debut project Indigo Soul will be your contemplative late night chill record for the summer.

Freejay- The Valley


My new favorite crew in Chicago is Free Sole, a squad of young creatives who mob like the Wu. The stand out track for me in their growing discography is from one of the youngest in the collective, Free Jay. The Valley is inspirational & wavy. The kind of record that makes a star. Also check out Jay Wood & be on the look out for their crew album coming to your headphones very soon.

The Wall of Respect Exhibition at The Chicago Cultural Center


The Public Art mural that started it all popped out of in Chicago in 1967. The Wall of Respect was a respite & community touchstone. The city tributes the artists and the movement at the Cultural Center for the FREE.

Tasha- Dreaming


Tasha recently sang at Prouder Than A Bomb a the base of the ferris wheel during Family Pride day at #NavyQueer. I was reminded of how dope and lovely her voice is. Her song dreaming will let you know the same.

Kevin Coval Bio:

Kevin Coval is a poet and community builder. As the artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, and professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago—where he teaches hip-hop aesthetics—he’s mentored thousands of young writers, artists and musicians.

He is the author and editor of ten books, including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and Schtick, and co-author of the play, This is Modern Art. His work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Drunken Boat, Chicago Tribune, CNN, Fake Shore Drive, Huffington Post, and four seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. His latest book is A People's History of Chicago.