When you think of the midwest hip-hop scene, you think of Detroit and Chicago. Even in Chicago, you only think about the city. In a time when hip-hop is becoming boundless, more and more rappers (and artist in general) aren’t flocking to one region of the country to get expose or showcase their talent. In today’s music scene, no one cares where you are from, but music listeners care about what you bring to the table.
Meet You-C, a rapper from Markham, Illinois, a suburb 30 minutes south of Chicago. While he has the ambition and hustle like most Chicago rappers, his style and vibe are different from those from the city.
Since 2012, You-C has released two mixtapes, Cough Drops & Water Bottles (2012) and Do You-C Me (2015), and one EP, Searching For Myself... (2013). His latest EP, 7-0-GR8, is a what the rapper calls, “a representation of a black person who is coming from the South Suburbs of Chicago”.
That stood out to me, before listening to any of his songs. While the media centers on the gun violence in Chicago, particularly the south side, the South Suburbs have silently been dealing the same issues of violence for years. Many South Suburban areas are dealing with issues of poverty, gangs, gun violence, unemployment, and education. Just as we were entering the fall of 2016, an 18-year-old young man was shot and killed outside of a popular South Suburban nightclub; and on Christmas day, a 16-year-old girl, who happens to be a related to one of my friends, was found dead in a garage in You-C’s hometown, Markham. While the South Suburbs has its challenges, there are those who have managed to not only make something out of themselves, but also give back to the communities that raised them, most notably Keke Palmer, Syleena Johnson, Jane Lynch, and Jason Weaver.
Listening to the latest EP, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but by the end of the EP, I was impressed. Vocally, You-C reminds me of A$AP Rocky, but his approach to music is gritty yet laid back; his music, specifically this new EP, is reminiscent of Outkast. Songs that stood out on the album are “708 (skit)/Roots” featuring Tres and “Baby Moms”, and I have to admit, my turn-up anthems are “Code Lyoko” and “NNF (Netflix-n-Fuck)”.
You-C is a talent that shouldn’t go unrecognized. His latest EP is a test to his potential in the Chicago hip-hop scene. With his Markham roots front and center, and the southern hip-hop influence and styling in his music, You-C brings something everyone in every music market can attach themselves to. More importantly, You-C is the first rapper I’ve met who gave me an authentic hip-hop vibe from his hometown. He’s the first rapper I’ve met who wasn’t afraid to say he’s from the South Suburbs, and you can hear that in his music. Could he bring a spotlight to the south Suburbs and create a new music scene? Maybe so, but you definitely listen to his new EP now.
You can follow You-C on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (@doyoucme3) and follow his SoundCloud.
Check out 7-0-GR8 now!