Today the Chicago Reader released its weekly issue. If you saw it on newsstands, you were greeted by a large “Insert Rapper Here” mugshot. The cover story inside is a look at Chicago’s bubbling Hip Hop scene and its connection to Chicago’s streetwear culture and the Chicago’s local clothing brands that power it such as LDRS1354, Jugrnaut, St. Alfred, and the newly launched City of W1n. The piece has caused quite a stir in the Hip Hop community, especially the cover photo, which masks the face of ShowYouSuck and to some, insinuates that Chicago artists are interchangeable. ShowYouSuck and his team reached out to RubyHornet with a statement on the cover and the article, and asked us to present it to our readers. See Show’s statement below.
“Why was I asked by name to do this? For my face to be covered? I feel disrespected. Why ask someone who is working hard towards something to waste time and humiliate them? I’m more so disappointed with the message, ‘Insert Chicago Rapper Here.’ Being different in the Chicago Hip Hop scene wasn’t embraced years ago. The usual topics and characters were being spotlighted with a negative following, but now rap fans in Chicago are definitely open to different sounds & artists. Instead of THAT being celebrated, we all get thrown back into being another rapper. We (Hip Hop artists) worked for a really long time to show we’re more than that. I’m naive to have thought that my own city wouldn’t have done this. I expect it from other cities but not the one I’m from, I thought we were passed the ‘all rappers are the same’ mentality.
“I’m always happy to help put on for my crew because I realize I don’t only represent myself, so Treatedcrew being the focal point isn’t my problem. I was not requested to wear that hat, I wore it by my own choice. My problem is that I was asked to shoot for the cover as an individual, I feel like I was used just to get a shot of that hat.”
ShowYouSuck’s frequent collaborator and another artist featured in the article is Auggie The 9th. He wrote us as well saying,
“I am truly appreciative of the opportunity to be in the Chicago Reader, be it any of the other musicians in the feature though, I’d feel the same way as ShowYouSuck. That is to say that not only is the cover in bad taste as far as its execution of wording and imagery but also the article inadvertently belittles the work ethic of the featured artists in addition to the streetwear industry. Almost as though streetwear co-signment is the new gimmick to up and comers as was youtube and features on blogs for both stores and musicians.. While the two do indeed go hand in hand, the integrity of both must be acknowledged. Just because you spend a “g” every other week at a store, doesn’t mean you’ll headline a party of theirs if your music sucks and or doesn’t reflect them.”
Via Twitter, The Reader wrote the following:
“Wording not the best, but again, it’s not an article about the rappers, it’s about the streetwear game. Def. not hating.”
“We wanted the Treated hat to be the cover’s focus—it’s about streetwear’s relationship not just with 1 guy but with the every rapper.”
You can see the photo in question below, and read the full cover story right here to get the full picture.
*The thoughts expressed above are those of the contributor and do not reflect the views of RubyHornet.com