Chicago is blessed with one of healthiest hip-hop scenes on earth, spawning the likes of Kanye, Common, The Cool Kids and many more. With an eclectic infusion of neo-soul, live bands, and lyrical content, Chicago’s scene stands apart from the drum machine-laden trunk-rattling gangster rap dominating the world’s mainstream and indie hip hop charts as of late. Undoubtedly one group at the forefront of a new generation of this Chicago scene is the young, multi-instrumental Sidewalk Chalk.
At saki, the multifaceted nature of Sidewalk Chalk was obvious and intriguing to the audience at the onset of their set. The foundation created by the bass of Garrett McGinn, drums of Tyler Berg, and keyboard of Charlie Coffeen was all complimented by the rich horn section arrangements of both trumpet by Sam Trump and trombone by David Ben-Porat. The interplay of emcee Rico Sisney and the lush vocals of Maggie Vagle created a fantastic dialogue of urban intelligence. Peppered on top was a show-stopping anomaly, Jumaane Taylor and his portable floor designed to amplify his tap dancing. The result was nothing short of an intimate dance party where you couldn’t help but feel uplifted.