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Hyde Park SummerFest: Vocalo’s Breakdown

Written by on June 15, 2023

Hyde Park SummerFest is back on June 16, with a knockout lineup headlined by 2 Chainz, Clipse, Lil Kim, Tobe Nwigwe and Robert Glasper.

Prepping your setlist for Hyde Park SummerFest? Consider adding some of these recommendations to your game plan …


Headliners for Saturday are hip-hop duo Clipse, rapper 2 Chainz and South Africa-based DJ Uncle Waffles.

Also on Saturday is two-time Grammy nominated Chicago DJ and producer Terry Hunter, who has worked with big names throughout his career including Jill Scott, Chaka Khan and Mary J. Blige — but you might know him best from his remix of Beyoncé’s “BREAK MY SOUL.” He stopped by Vocalo a few months ago to chat with longtime friend Jesse De La Peña about his most recent Grammy nomination, his origins in the music scene and the importance of Chicago House and hip-hop. 

RELATED: DJ Terry Hunter Discusses Grammy Nomination And More

Daughter of Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers, Alex Isley is an accomplished singer-songwriter known for her soulful sound. Her single “Love Again” was one of Vocalo’s 50 most-played songs of 2022. On June 14, she released a new single, “Brown Eyed Girl,” featuring her father. 

RELATED: Alex Isley, Masego And Jack Dine Team Up For All-Star Collaboration With “Good & Plenty”

Chicago rap duo Mother Nature, consisting of rappers Klevah Knox and TRUTH, not only make phenomenal music but also use their platform as a way of education through their nonprofit, The Miseducation of HipHop (MISED) — who were a community partner present at Vocalo’s Winter Block Party this February. They released their latest EP Nature’s World, in collaboration with Renzell, in 2022, with features from theMIND and Mother Wata. They followed up the EP with the single “Crystal Cadillac,” which was produced by José Ríos and Kelsey González of Grammy-nominated R&B band Free Nationals.

RELATED: Mother Nature Lets The Energy Take Over

CaSera Heining, AKA DJ Ca$h Era, is well-known across the city for curating the best dance vibes with her DJ mixes. She was voted Chicago’s Best Hip-Hop DJ by the Chicago Reader in 2021 and 2022, and is the resident DJ at Chicago establishments including the Promontory and Scarlet Bar. This won’t be her first time DJing in front of a festival crowd; she’s also taken the stage at Lollapalooza, Pitchfork and Burning Man Music Festival, and opened for artists including G Herbo, Taylor Bennett and Jamila Woods. She’ll also be one of the featured DJs at Vocalo’s Summer Skate Party in McKinley Park on August 11.


Sunday’s big names are Lil’ Kim, Grammy-winning artist and actor Tobe Nwigwe, and acclaimed five-time Grammy winner, eleven-time Grammy nominee Robert Glasper

Sunday’s lineup also includes a Chicago Hip-Hop 50 set, celebrating 50 years of Chicago hip-hop with performances from Vic Mensa, Twista, Shawnna, Crucial Conflict and Do or Die.

Though he hasn’t released an album since 2021, Chicago artist and entrepreneur Vic Mensa has been very present in the community in recent years with the founding of his cannabis company 93 Boys — the first Black-owned cannabis company in Illinois. He also co-founded the Black Star Line Festival in Ghana with Chance the Rapper, which had its debut this January. His latest release, April single “$WISH,” features Chance and G-Eazy.

RELATED: Vic Mensa Talks Found Illinois’s First Black Cannabis Company

Twista, another Chicago legend, is taking the stage Sunday. He’s released many hits, such as
“Slow Jamz” and “Hope,” that resonate with the soul of the city and inspire young artists throughout Chicago. He released new album Twista Goat Playlist earlier this year.

Daughter of blues guitarist Buddy Guy, Shawnna is the first female artist signed to Def Jam South, and a former member of the Chicago rap duo Infamous Syndicate. Her 2006 single “Gettin’ Some” put her on the map, but she’s been releasing music ever since; her most recent single, “Drip,” featuring Mikey Everything, was released on June 1.

Crucial Conflict is a Chicago hip-hop group hailing from the West Side that came to be in the late ‘90s, originally consisting of Wondosas “Kilo” Martin, Ralph “Wildstyle” Leverston, Corey “Coldhard” Johnson and Marrico “Never” King. While they don’t release new music, their classic hits like “Hay” and “Ghetto Queen” are still popular around the city today.

Hailing from East Garfield Park, Do Or Die originally consisted of N.A.R.D., Belo Zero, and AK-47, rising to prominence with their 1996 single “Po Pimp” — and they still make music to this day. Their latest album, THE STORM, was released in 2022.

Duane Powell is well known for his role in Chicago’s house scene in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. Named the Custodian of the Indie House Movement, he is known for amplifying the music of young Chicago artists by including their music in record store shelves around the city. He has spun on local stages at venues such as House of Blues, The Promontory, Virgin Hotel and Reggie’s Music Club. He began hosting weekly event Soundrotation in 1999 at Funky Buddha Lounge, featuring music from the global soulful underground. Now, Powell releases a Soundrotation Radio mix every Sunday, in partnership with The Silver Room.

releases his “Sound Rotation” so fans can keep up to the latest of what he’s spinning. 

Check out the full lineup and how to attend Hyde Park SummerFest on the festival’s website.

Written by Morgan Ciocca, Omi Salisbury and Imani Warren

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