Few places are more appropriate to celebrate Hip-hop than the Chicago Hip Hop Heritage Museum. The minute you enter the doors of this two-story Bronzeville walk-up by 45th and Indiana, you’re transported back to Hip-hop’s golden age from Chicago’s purview.
Framed photographs, posters and flyers of the most accomplished Hip-hop artists to ever perform at or emerge from Chicago decorate the walls from the museum’s first floor to the second.
The curators of this space were highly intentional about featuring influential Chicago Hip-hop figures with photos of Common and groups like Primeridian, Infamous Syndicate and All Natural.
And if you are lucky, you visit on a day when one of those esteemed persons pays a visit. That’s precisely what occurred on Thursday night when acclaimed Chicago Hip-hop artist and writer Psalm One was interviewed by Jun June and FaceTime for the Hip-Hop Unplugged podcast.
As her interview was rapping up, about 20 people filed into a room on the museum’s second floor where DJ JAIDOT manned the turntables. Soon after, Psalm One followed, entering the room wearing a Project Pat T-Shirt.
And before you knew it, a microphone got handed to her, and hazy, head-nodding instrumentals emanated from the speakers. That’s when the acclaimed emcee with more than 20 albums, mixtapes and EPs to her name took center stage.
Psalm One performed tracks from her latest project with producer Custom Made, “THE RETURRN OF BIGG PERRM.”
She displayed her usual lyrical dexterity, going from playful and introspective to clever and defiant. Such is the case with the moody “Caught a Melody,” where she reminds anyone who would dare, not to play with her “emotions” or her “payment.”
She would perform a few more songs before a standing room, amid walls and walls of photos, flyers, funeral programs of the departed, and posters of movies associated with the city, all in service to Chicago Hip-hop.
And somehow, in Chicago, the Hip Hop Heritage Museum by 45th and Indiana felt like the place you needed to be on Thursday night, the day before Hip-hop turned 50.
We celebrate Hip-hop’s 50th Birthday and Chicago’s indelible influence on the genre.
For more information on the Chicago Hip Hop Heritage Museum go to its Instagram page. To follow Psalm One on Instagram, visit this link. To follow the Hip Hop Unplugged Podcast on Instagram, go to this link.