In the MIXX: Chance Donates Grammy, Ald. Beale Calls Foul, Chosen Few DJs Takeover

Chance the Rapper and mom, Lisa Bennett rock the red carpet at the BET awards in L.A. (Getty/C.Flanigan)

Chicago has a real love affair with Chancellor Bennett, better known to fans around the world as Chance the Rapper. He was recognized for his work as a newly appointed board member for the DuSable Museum of African American History at the Night of 100 Stars this past weekend. The youngest board member, Chance, and his father, Ken Bennett, have both served in the capacity of bringing more youth capabilities and partnerships to one of the oldest African American historical museums in the country.  The black-tie affair was held at the Hyatt McCormick Hotel and brought out a cross-generational mix of some of Chicago’s power players from the African American community. The 24-year-old made the announcement of donating one of three Grammys won this past year to the museum.

Wearing a sharp, tailored-cut red suit—the 24-year-old looked handsomely groomed to take a flight to LA where he attended the BET Awards on Sunday. There, the three-time Grammy Award-winner walked the red carpet with mom, Lisa Bennett, as his date. He was honored with BET’s Humanitarian Award for his extraordinary contributions in the past year through his non-profit organization, SocialWorks. We have some awesome talent that hails from Chicago, but no one has made the level of social impact in such a short time as the kid from Chatham.

White Fright or Public Safety?

The controversy of the Ohio Street underpass closing due to last week’s shooting has sparked some heated arguments among Chicago city councilmen. The drive-by shooting that took the life of 26-year-old Raven Lemons was close to Navy Pier and in a high-traffic location. Lemons was killed in cross-fire exchanged by alleged gang members. Ald. Brendan Reilly pushed plans for more police enforcement and closing the underpass from midnight to 5 a.m. from April through October. This is also the same alderman who has pressured downtown nightlife businesses to decrease events that attract Black and Latino patrons to their establishments.

Alderman Anthony Beale

On Tuesday, Ald. Anthony Beale (9th Ward) made his opposition against the underpass closing—speaking to WVON’s morning show hosts, Maze Jackson and Charles Thomas. As chair of the Transportation Committee, the proposed ordinance was brought to the Finance Committee, which he says was racially biased and held more priority than other public safety concerns that plague the Black community because it’s in a predominately white area. Are we surprised?

Jackson asked Beale. ‘Why are Black alderman going along with the status quo of Chicago politics?’ Beale answered, ‘Because it’s every man for themselves.’ Hmmm…well, there you go! Not one to hold his tongue, Beale grew a ‘set’ as he made it abundantly clear that there is no ‘Black and Brown’ coalition as the number of Black families move out of the city and Illinois becomes a sanctuary city that serves approximately 500,000 undocumented immigrants. Does this affect the re-mapping of aldermanic wards based on groups that culturally represent that area—yes it does. Alderman Ray Lopez (15th Ward) has gained a great portion of Englewood, yet some critics will say he doesn’t fight hard enough for his Black constituents. Alderman Walter Burnett (27th Ward) has had the most drastic change as his area is the hottest piece of real estate in the West Loop, bustling with trendy restaurants, luxury high rise buildings, and satellite offices for leading Fortune 500 companies.

Let House Music Reign

Last night, my girls, Dana Divine and Ronda Flowers set it off with the 3rd Annual House House Club Tour ‘Pub Crawl’. The “Get on the Bus” tour celebrated the different sub-genres of House Music played throughout the city of Chicago with a talented group of selected DJs. Some of the different sounds included Afro House, Classic House, Chicago Old School, Down Tempo Disco, Funk, Global House, Latin, Studio 54, Underground, and Vinyl. Shout outs to some of the DJs that kept the party going; First Lady and Mickey Calvin at The Family Den; CelestetheDJ Alexander and DJ Boxx at Red Pepper Lounge; Steve Miggedy Maestro, Vince Adams and Dee Jay Alicia at Baderbrau Brewery; DJ Mark Fuller and Chris Underwood at Frances; Ron Carroll, Hula Mahone and Esmoove at Lemelles; Maurice Joshua, Sundance at The Promontory; and so many more wonderful, dope-ass DJs carried the bus loads of patrons throughout the Southside Black pub life scene.

It’s about that time again where BBQ grills, mobile lawn furniture, and coolers are packed and stacked high on the four-wheel red Radio Flyers as house heads head to Jackson Park. The 27th Chosen Few DJs House Music Festival takes place Saturday, July 1, kicking off the 4th of July festivities. Originally, the picnic started as an intimate family reunion held by the Hatchetts and slowly grew out of the familiar meet-up held behind the Museum of Science and Industry. Since then, every year the country’s largest festival of old school House music is a celebration of reunions—bringing together long-time friends, family and the Black community in a peaceful and positive setting.

The Chosen Few DJs recently kicked off the week of festivities at Guaranteed Field during Monday night’s White Sox game.At this year’s two-day festival, expect to be wowed on Saturday with live performances by Cece Peniston and Dajae along with DJ sets featuring Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley, DJ Spinna, Greg Gray, Brian Frazier and Chosen Few DJs—Wayne Williams, Alan King, Tony Hatchett, Jesse Saunders, Andre Hatchett, Terry Hunter and Mike Dunn. On Sunday, the party continues with music spun by Ron Trent, Sadar Bahar, Gene Farris, Craig Loftis, Hula Mahone, Dee Jay Alicia and other others.

There’s still time to get your tickets online so don’t delay—the walk-up line to pay at the gate is NO JOKE. http://www.chosenfewdjs.com

V103’s Chris Micheals

Birthday Shout-outs

Cancer nation takes us into the 4th of July celebration. Belated happy birthday wishes to fashion designer and breast cancer advocate, Barbara Bates on June 27. Marketing consultant, Carl Washington; hip-hop publicist, Briahna Gatlin; and rap artist-turned-manager, Pheave celebrate June 28. One of my favorite 100 Black Men of Chicago members, Nathaniel Ward aka ‘Mr. Wonderful’ celebrate the BIG 50, V103’s Chris Micheals; businessman, Troy Williams, and the late Commissioner Robert Steele on June 29. Party promoter, Shannon Waldron and former DJ/talent manager, Eric Sexton aka Eric the Wiz rock out on July 1. Dr. Who fan, Rachell Montgomery; rap artist, Cordell ‘Co-Still’ Hunter; and hairstylist Meako Bailey June 2. Entertainment attorney, Daryl Jones; House music DJ, Craig Loftis; playwright and producer, John Ruffin and Groove Parlor founder, Paula Jones celebrate on July 3.

Pre-4th of July Weekend Chicagoland Hot Picks

This will be a long holiday of 4th of July activities as the weekend kicks off on June 30 and many are returning to work in mid-week.

The International Festival of Life begins Friday through Tuesday, July 4, in Union Park (Ashland and Lake St.). Make sure to check out Capleton & The Prophecy Band, Darius Brooks, The Tommies, Lyfe Jennings and Al Hudson & One Way—along with many more acts. Special Hot Mix 5 DJ sets on Sunday, July 2 so bring your comfortable shoes to dance the evening away. http://www.internationalfestivaloflife.com

Good Vibes Music Festival takes place in Aurora (360 N. Broadway) on Sunday, July 2. This has been on my calendar for the last two months! If you want that dose of 1990’s R&B, make sure to catch Ginuwine, Dru Hill, Jon B. and Mya.

Naperville’s Ribfest has become to the ‘go-to’ foodie event in the suburbs. Grill masters as far as Mississippi attend the Ribfest, showing off their skills serving thousands of attendees. Naperville is approximately 36 miles Southwest of Chicago but it is truly worth the drive and bring plenty of wet wipes. The festival runs from June 30 through July 3 at Knoch Park. Great 1980’s flashback performances by Flock of Seagulls and the B52’s. Bring the family out to the fireworks on Monday, July 3, at 9:30pm. http://www.ribfest.net

Press secretary for Senator Tammy Duckworth, Kiera S. Ellis

Promotions & Big Ups

Congratulations to Kiera S. Ellis, who was recently named the Press Secretary for Senator Tammy Duckworth. Ellis worked in the City of Chicago’s press department with Mayor Rahm Emanuel for the past three years. We know she will do a wonderful job in her new role with Senator Duckworth’s team.

Got a scoop? Send us special birthday, anniversary, promotions and who’s who sightings.

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