NilexNile, an up-and-coming Milwaukee rapper, had a breakout 2022 that included a steady stream of great music videos, appearances at pretty much every major summer festival in the city, some shows out of state, a support slot with Pusha T, and a growing awareness from listeners both locally and far beyond. He performed at SXSW this past March and very recently had hometown headlining show at The Cactus Club.
CRASHprez was born from lonely musings in a suburban basement in Prince George’s County, MD. The “CRASH” originates from a poetry event in Baltimore in the summer of 2010: he almost passed out from dehydration and the homies clowned him for it, giving him the nickname. The “prez” comes from his time at Kettering Elementary: the school nurse told him he could be president one day.
CRASHprez is a hip-hop project rooted in the traditions of protest music, remix culture and digital DIY. Through an intersectional lens, he interrogates the triumphs and turmoil of modern society from the vantage of a millennial Black man in the United States. He’s shared stages with Chance the Rapper, Danny Brown, Vince Staples, Ab-Soul, and Lil B the Based God among many others.
Milwaukee born musician and songwriter, Duwayne, presents a style of musicianship that blurs the line between vintage melodic expression and the novelty of computer generated music by use of a frequent combination of both real instrumentation and computer-based instruments. Though only recognized by few for his personal music, Duwayne has become a recognizable figure within the Milwaukee music scene without having an accessible catalog on streaming services by performing small acoustic shows accompanied by only his guitar. The Multiinstrumentalist has also performed as a drummer for other Milwaukee acts. Duwayne combines moving melodies with intricate rhythmic syncopation to create his freeform songs. Using a philosophy he coined “Eccentric Esotericism” Duwayne supplements his instrumental grooves with lyrics that are both ideal for the easy listener and the deep diver.
LaSalle Grandeur, better known to his peers and friends as LaSa, has been making music since 2011. He began his journey rapping in his high school years, attending open mics around the Chicago-land area while spreading both his name and message. His growth and investment in his artistic expression have led to shows at well-known venues within Chicago from Reggie’s to Schubas and even a sold out show at The Wire. He has even made significant strides to expand his reach beyond live shows within the city of Chicago by performing at the legendary SOBs in New York towards the end of 2022. He began gaining notoriety with the release of his debut “KELLY SUMMERS” EP, which had his most known single at the time “Pointless”. Most recently, his album, TEARS, released in 2021 to even greater acclaim, led by the singles “Men Don’t Cry” & “Hey Now”. His singular release of 2022 thus far, “bad gUy” featuring Ric Wilson, has gone on to be his most successful streaming debut to date. He has been featured among a number of prominent Chicago publications including Vocalo, Lyrical Lemonade, the Chicago Tribute, the Chicago Reader, and Fake Shore, amongst countless other underground blogs. With his unique sound, which takes inspiration from a multitude of genres, it is LaSa’s trademark to have a catchy hook be stuck in your head all day, and feel great as you sing along.