Thanks to about a million young, talented artists, led by the likes of Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa, Chicago is once again becoming an epicenter of hip-hop. Since both broke onto the scene, their savemoney movement/squad/army/collective has been gaining more and more steam. You’ve heard about them, you are hearing more about them by the day, and you will continue to hear about savemoney as we start to focus on 2014. However, outside of Chance and Vic, who else from the savemoney army can you name?
After two other members, Joey Purp and Tokoyo Shawn announced their presence to the world with a dope set of visuals for “World Turning”, I think it's time we all get better acquainted with the fresh faces of Chi-town hip-hop. Consider this your SaveMoney cheat sheet.
You know how in school the smart kids would always make a color coded, chronological study guide that you would beg to copy and would be 100% of your study materials? This is the rap game version. Below you will find a list of each member of SaveMoney, links to their social media, a go-to song, and a quick hit about each one as well, as a full savemoney playlist so you can be a savemoney-ologist.
An obvious place to start. With a unique, pseudo stream of consciousness style, Chance was is a breath of fresh air and more buzz than a beehive. He isn’t the leader per say, but Chance is definitely the face that most will associate savemoney with because of his highly successful mixtape, "Acid Rap". His success this year will help pave the way for his fellow crew members who have yet to break out; he’s the first but he won't be the last.
The former Kids These Days frontman took a big risk leaving his former bandmates for his solo career but he is off to a very strong start. Just a few weeks ago Vic dropped his "INNANETAPE" which has been garnering some serious attention. He might be similar to Chance—they are after all like brothers—but those who say they sound just alike clearly aren’t listening close enough. Both have their own distinct flavors and approaches.
Aside from a few solo cuts and some collabs with fellow savemoney-ers, Purp has been relatively quiet in 2013. Still, I can’t help but feel he might be on deck. His Purple Tape from 2012 was solid and now with more experience and a more refined flow (just listen to his command on "Monologue"), Purp is definitely one to watch.
Chance and Vic aren’t the only ones with mixtapes this year. While you probably didn’t hear about it, Dally’s "The Wood", deserves just as much praise. Dally’s raspy, shrouded flow will go over well with the smokers out there, but really, anyone will enjoy the tape; the production is top notch.
For those who prefer a raw, gritty feel to their hip-hop, Kami might be the savemoney emcee for you as he might just be the most aggressive, grimy member of the Chicago collective. When not on his own, Kami can be found rapping along side Joey Purp; together they are known as Leather Corduroys. For more, check out his 2012 tape, "Light".
Like Dally, Caleb too had an album that hasn’t gotten the spins that "Acid Rap" has had, but is certainly just as deserving. After hearing “Freddie” (see the video above) I had him pegged as an old-school, '90s emcee, but he showed about a million different styles on his summer mixtape, "The Jones". Caleb is also a whiz behind the boards and is happy to lend a beat to his fellow crew members (he produced the aforementioned "World Turning").
Though his semi-solo project, "Community Service", came last year (under his old name, Preston San) Shawn has been pretty busy lately, dropping unattached singles which often feature another SaveMoney member. With an increase in releases in the past few months, I’m sure he has something brewin’ for the new year. I look forward to it because I can’t get enough of his fun, charismatic style.
Brian’s "Mafioso" tape, which dropped in May, has more than a few cuts featuring his comrades - Chance appears three times - but Brain still found space to showcase his talents. The thing that makes savemoney so great is that they all have their own distinct styles. Bran could copy Chances flow, he certainly shows he has that style in him, but it sounds like he’d rather do his own thing, which includes a strong trap influence that you don’t really hear in his cohorts.
I don’t know if he is technically in savemoney, but he damn sure should be! While Vic, Chance and the lot lay it down on the mic, Nico prefers to do his talking with the trumpet; hence the Donnie Trumpet alias. If you hear a jazz influence or powerful horn section in a song belonging to any of the savemoney emcees, chances are its Nico (who was also a former Kids These Days member). He is at least partially responsible for savemoney’s strong jazz influence ands adds a dash of something special to anything he gets his hands on. Check out his "Donnie Trumpet EP" , which he released this summer just before heading out on tour with Frank Ocean (NAMEDROP!).
Perhaps the best part about this group is that they are all so close and love to rap with one another. Rather than me tell you, I’ll have them do it. Below is a playlist full of songs that feature some of their best collabs.
So there you have it, you are now a savemoney expert. Now go impress your friends with all your new found knowledge. Where most cliques have one or two leaders and then a significant drop off in talent, savemoney is deep as deep can be. I continue to be impressed by each and every one of these youthful and charismatic emcees and it should be fun to watch them takeover the world. Hop on the bandwagon while there is still space!
Nathan Update: In fairness, bringing in a conversation from Twitter. You can check out more music from Vic Spencer here.