What’s The Hook?

A. Ucheena Woodfolk

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A synthesized beat vibrates through the speakers accompanied by the occasional and rhythmic intentional blow of a jovial horn. Along with the smooth melody lying over the beat, Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper asks, “what’s the hook?”

Chicago is no stranger to being the home for rappers. Among them are some of the biggest names in the rap game today- Chance the Rapper, Common, Vic Mensa, Chief Keef and so many more. With Chicago established as a place for the birth of rising rap stars, the question is who is next on the horizon?

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School represents Chicago in the culmination of future artists that are sure to rise to the call of fame. But how do such young, promising artists navigate the wiles of rising to stardom? And what support can we offer as a student body to ensure the success of these budding artists?

Within these walls, Whitney Young is privilege to containing rising artists, Z Saj, Ching x2, Mu, Jaefkae, and others that we are sure will follow in the footsteps of these rappers.

These three artists describe the need for networking skills as necessary for success in the rap industry. Ching, ‘20, describes it as a cycle where “if you know 300 people and they listen to your music, they go and tell their 300 friends and it continues.” While Z Saj, ‘19, believes that “no matter how talented you are, if you can’t navigate` people then your talent will go to waste.” Given this insight, we students should be quick to provide the support for these artists, providing more opportunities for them to showcase their talents at open mics and other events as Z Saj describes the reaction of her peers as valuable for what steps she takes with her music.

As rapper and writer Mu, ‘20, encourages other rappers to not only “never give up” but Z Saj encourages rappers to “do what you feel and follow your dreams. Seriously don’t let anyone stop you.” Whitney Young should be the support that artists like Z Saj, Mu and Ching need in  order to maximize their great potential to the fullest.

These artists have the hook; talent. Now we have to bite the bait, and support their rise to fame. – A. Ucheena Woodfolk

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