The Chicago music scene has been making a resurge in 2018. With artists like Valee, FBG Duck, and Juice WRLD being signed to major labels. It's clear that the powers that be see the talent brewing in the city. An artist that I believe is one solid project away from making his way into the mainstream industry playlist, is The Boy Illinois. The Boy Illinois aka Illi is a unique talent. His sound is a mixture of soul and hip-hop, which brings great vibes to a city thats over saturated with drill and trap. Not to compare him but he is the hip-hop version of BJ The Chicago Kid (Ironically both names pays homage to their place of birth).
Illi is far from a boy, the MC has been in the game for 12 plus years. Some might consider him a young OG, because of how insightful on the culture he is. Throughout his journey, he has had the pleasure to be mentored by Hip-Hop legends. Two if his standout mentors are Lupe Fiasco and SWAY. Like Illi, Lupe is from Chicago, and taking Illi under his wing comes to no surprise. Illi can rap, and like Lupe, he has the non-traditional Chicago image, that mainstream media insist on broadcasting. The two have plenty of other similarities, such as a groovy hip hop sound and stage presence. Watching Illi open for Lupe years ago is what really opened my eyes to him. New to his music but I was so mesmerized by his performance; instantly became a fan.
Also during our above interview, Illinois mentioned his relationship hip-hop icon SWAY. As a follower of the culture you cannot know SWAY, and by having a co-sign from him is huge. Illi having that mentorship from a guy he calls the "Zordon" (Power Rangers) of rap has really prepared the MC or the next step. That transition that we are waiting is coming; with the work ethic and talent that he posses, we won't be waiting long.