Hip Hop Star on the Rise


Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Paul Robeson High School in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.

Kamau Armstrong, a student at Robeson High School, wants to be a hip-hop star so that he can make money for his family.

“I want to help if one of my family members doesn’t have a house, car or can’t afford the bills. I can pay for my family to get what they want,” said Kamau. “If I live with my mom, I can take good care of her. My family will have what they need.”

Kamau likes to rap about girls, money school and family. He learned how to rap by himself. He use to hear his cousin rap and decided he would try to rap himself, but he use to mess up on his raps often. Now he raps very well.

Kamau always raps at his grandmother Mattie Butler’s house. She has a studio for her grandchildren and her nephews to rap in. The studio has a Macintosh computer with a little radio and microphone. Also, it has a video cameras as well as cameras. Kamau raps in the studio and put the tracks and videos on YouTube and Facebook.

He recorded a CD. Some of the songs on his CD are “Everything Gucci,” “Copanana,” and “Take a Photo.” The name of Kamau’s CD is “TrackSlayer.” Kamau Armstrong is working toward being a new name and face in the world of hip hop!

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The Compassionate Blues


Where does the nation’s heart still beat? Once upon a time, the thump-thump of compassion was not hard to hear. The footsteps of those who marched for justice and equal rights generated a powerful rhythm that was audible around the country.

Today that beat is a little softer, but the echoes can still be heard among the abandoned buildings, vacant lots and potholed streets of Chicago’s low-income neighborhoods. The nation’s heart was beating loudly the other night at Lee’s Unleaded Blues. Located at 75th Street and South South Chicago Avenue (the double south to indicate the direction of ‘South Chicago Avenue’), Lee’s is among the last of the city’s ‘juke joints.’ Seven nights a week, Lee’s hosts authentic Blues acts for a largely African American crowd. Everyone is welcome at Lee’s, though, and on many nights, you can see working class people along with college students and even a few downtown types. In a city infamous for its segregation and racial tension, Lee’s is a rare haven for those who long for a truly multicultural place to have a good time.

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