One of the freshest acts to emerge from the musical underground in the last few months has been local hip-hop act Yea Big & Kid Static. Pairing edgy electronic beats with a playful lyrical aesthetic reminiscent of old-school legends De La Soul and Digital Underground, this producer-and-MC team has an irreverent but irresistible style that will undoubtedly make it a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming year.
After releasing their self-titled debut in fall of 2007, the two are now focusing on reeling in even more converts to their unique brand of beats and rhymes via their energetic live performances. We recently caught up with the Chicagoland natives to get the scoop on their favorite local spots and what drives their passion to get people moving on the floor.
If I were to come to your neighborhood, where would you insist I visit?
Yea Big: The Coffee Studio, on the corner of Clark and Olive. It's a new place down the street from my apartment. The people who work there are nice, and they make a good latte.
What's your favorite hidden gem in Chicago?
YB: The No. 147 bus (Lake Shore Drive Express). It'll get you downtown with the quickness!
Kid Static: The Garfield Park Conservatory; it doesn't make it into many landmark mags, but it's a really great place. It's a giant greenhouse with rooms dedicated to the various climates. There are parts of it where you can just go and sit, and it feels like you're in the middle of some uncharted jungle somewhere. Sometimes you don't always have time to get out of the city. The Garfield Park Conservatory is the closest you can get without leaving.
What's the best Chicago-related advice you've ever given or received?
YB: Visit in the spring.
For those who don't know you, describe what your music sounds like.
YB: We just try to make music that we'd want to hear other people make. Music that if I heard it bumping out of someone's apartment window, I'd be inclined to knock on their door to ask who it was they were playing.
Why should people come out to see you guys live?
KS: I think people should come see us live because it's a damn good show. That's the one thing about us that usually grabs people first. If you could imagine the amount of energy that we expend on any given show night, you would realize that these two dudes are some hard-working artists who are damn serious about moving your ass muscles, whether you do it yourself, or we grab 'em and do it for you. You'll like the record, but the show takes it to a much higher level. And if you don't have the record, you'll buy it to take a piece of the show home with you. And in your dreams for the next couple months, you'll be chanting the various refrains and choruses that we laid upon you.