Thursday, February 25, 2010

Love for Chi-Town Through Song

The opening of class with Kanye West’s “Homecoming” made me think about how many popular songs around today have been based on representing one’s hometown. Chicago is probably one of the most repped hometowns by rappers, rockers and alternative artists. Off the top of my head, I was able to think of more than five songs that mention the artist being from Chicago, including Lupe Fiasco’s song “Go Go Gadget Flow.” Since Lupe Fiasco is coming to Claremont soon, I thought it would be appropriate to mention how he is just one of the many artists who chose to write songs that show pride in their hometown of Chicago. From just reading the lyrics, you wouldn’t know that Lupe is talking about Chicago, because he doesn’t explicitly say the name, but he spends the whole song talking about how his city is the “best in the whole wide-wide world,” and claims that he is a “West Side representative.”

Rappers like Lupe are not the only ones to use their music to show their love for Chicago. The city, popular since becoming the “Black Metropolis” (according to Gregory) in the early 1920s, has raised and been respected by numerous other artists. Fall Out Boy mentions Chicago in more than one of their rock songs; folk-alternative rock band Wilco pays tribute to their hometown in “Far, Far Away”; and The Academy Is… honors their love for the city in “LAX to O’Hare.”

The homage paid to Chicago through the numerous songs show that the booming city that sprang up in the early 1900s is still loved for all sorts of people. And form the dozens of artists calling Chicago home, we can see that it is still a center for entertainment and music.

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