Something about this time of year keeps me in a nostalgic state of mind. In Chicago, summer is not taken lightly due to the severity of the winters. As Kanye so eloquently stated, “aaahh summertime Chi,” it’s not just the summer solstice that occurs when the tilt of earth’s semi-axis in the northern hemisphere is most inclined toward the sun. Summertime Chi epitomizes an awe-inspiring feeling as if it embodies the very essence of a good time. It’s the beginning of festival season, concert season, food season, boat season, beach season, and unfortunately as of late, murder season. Even with the latter, Summertime Chi is still amazing and there is a light at the end of tunnel. That aforementioned light is partially illuminated by iHeart Media’s WGCI radio station as it represents the pulse of the youth culture just as at did when I was teenager. From the music, to the events, the community outreach, to the radio personalities, Chicago’s WGCI has always been the voice of young people and the community.
When I was a teenager, WGCI was the place I went to find the Hip Hop and R&B music my soul craved at the time. I could recall laying across my bed waiting for Jodeci’s “Stay” to come on the radio during the “Coke Top 8 at 8″ just so I can record it. Yes, I know I’m dating myself but WGCI was an integral part of my childhood experience. I’m not the only one that waited for their favorite joint to play on the radio so you could try to record it for that mixtape you were working on for the girl you liked at the time. Ok, back to the lecture at hand.
After attending WGCI’s Summer Jam 2016 this past Friday night at the United Center, I was briefly taken back to my childhood. No – Jodeci, SWV, Snoop, BBD, Outkast, or Nas wasn’t in the building but the energy of youth and resilience flowed through the United Center like the winning essence of the 90’s Chicago Bulls. WGCI personalities like Leon, Kendra G, Kyle, Frankie Robinson, Charmaine, and Tone Kapone served as formidable masters of ceremonies for the evening as they moved the crowd in a way that was reminiscent of the way a pastor uplifts his congregation to the point they are shouting, dancing, and rejoicing. As the spirit and liquid spirits flowed, It’s apparent that WGCI still has a powerful voice that really connects, resonates, and touches the people as all eyes and ears were stage center anytime the Morning Takeover crew or any WGCI personalities ascended the stage. Before any of the designated acts took the stage, WGCI’s crew already had the crowd lit, turnt up, and ready for Katie Got Bandz, Lil Dex, Kent Jones, Plies, Desiigner, Migos, 2 Chainz, TI, Jeezy, and Lil Durk.
The talent didn’t disappoint. From the jump, Katie Got Bandz showed why her buzz is strong throughout the industry as well as the streets of Chicago. Also known as Drillary Clinton, she commands the crowd with the unapologetic force of her Drill music style. Famous Dex did his thing and Kent Jones had everybody speaking other languages as the entire United Center came together like a choir to sing, “Hola, ¿CÃ³mo estÃ¡s?, she said “Konnichiwa,” she said “Pardon my French”, I said “Bonjour Madame” Then she said “Sak pase” and I said “N’ap boule.”” No matter what language Kent was speaking, the south and west side heavy crowd was speaking the same language and the translation was strictly about having a good time. Whether they were brown, yellow, Puerto Rican, or Haitian they were enjoying themselves at Summer Jam representing the diversity of the Chi-town nation.
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