Chicago hip-hop mourns musician and designer Quincy ‘Q’ Easton Kelly | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

Chicago hip-hop mourns musician and designer Quincy ‘Q’ Easton Kelly 

Plus: Joyride Records throws its first plugged-in show.

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Quincy "Q" Easton Kelly in one of his Cake My Style "crown" hats - SHAHRNAZ JAVID
  • Quincy "Q" Easton Kelly in one of his Cake My Style "crown" hats
  • Shahrnaz Javid

The Chicago hip-hop community mourns musician, designer, and entrepreneur Quincy "Q" Easton Kelly, who died on Thursday, December 7, at age 25. No cause of death has been announced. "He was motivating people to do what they wanted to do," says Kelly's longtime girlfriend, Briana Smith. "He's a person that pulled out the absolute best of anybody." Raised by his grandparents in Gary, Indiana (Smith says he called his grandfather Alfred Kelly his "angel"), Kelly enrolled at DePaul at 16 and graduated last year. While at school he got involved in Chicago's hip-hop scene. "He really connected with a lot of Chicago artists, like Hollywood Holt, Chance the Rapper, and Vic Mensa, and he was inspired by those guys," Smith says. Kelly wanted people to know that he represented Gary, both as a solo musican (to friends he was often "Q," but he recorded as Easton Kelly) and as the founder of clothing line Cake My Style—he called his signature hats "crowns." "His slogan was, 'Never take your crown off,'" Smith says. "He wanted everyone that wore his hats to know they were kings and queens." Condolences on social media have come from Chance, Evie the Cool, Sulaiman, Caleb James, Femdot, YP, and the Boy Illinois, among others. Kelly's funeral is at 11 AM on Thursday, December 14, at First Baptist Church in East Chicago, Indiana.

When Gossip Wolf wrote about the opening of Joyride Records in September, owners Jesa Espinoza and Rosemary Villaseñor mentioned that they hoped to book rock shows at the Ukrainian Village shop (formerly occupied by Permanent Records). They've made good on that plan, and at 4 PM on Sunday, December 17, Joyride hosts a free show featuring a squadron of this wolf's faves: Luggage (with Reader staffer Luca Cimarusti on drums), Torture Love, Toupee, Unmanned Ship, and Lil Tits, who debut a new lineup that includes Meat Wave drummer Ryan Wizniak.  v

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