Winter Block Party X showcases Chicago hip-hop for kids of all ages | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Winter Block Party X showcases Chicago hip-hop for kids of all ages 

click to enlarge MFn Melo

MFn Melo


By early February, many Chicagoans don’t wanna do anything more adventurous than curl up under a blanket with a book and a mug of something hot. But Metro, WBEZ, Vocalo, and Young Chicago Authors could lure even the most cold-weather-averse hip-hop fans to Wrigleyville for Winter Block Party X: This Is Chicago. Unlike summer block parties, with their street-side bounce houses and water-balloon fights, the Winter Block Party moves its attractions—which include music performances, poetry, live art, and even a pop-up barber shop—indoors out of the elements. The daytime portion, which runs from noon to 6 PM, is decidedly kid friendly, with a dance workshop, face painting, a break-dance battle, an MC Olympics, and a turntable showcase from Vocalo host (and DJ) Jesse De La Pena. Things get a bit more grown-up from 6 to 10 PM (though both events are open to all ages). The evening bill is headlined by political MC duo Mother Nature and includes smooth rapper MFn Melo, who’s been known to rhyme over lute-infused samples; poet and mentor Navarro, whose music reflects his Mexican-American identity; singer-songwriter Loona Dae, who writes her own tunes but also covers (and draws comparisons to) Erykah Badu; and a Secret Wall Battle from hip-hop production collective the Molemen. Those who live too far to make the party are in luck too—Vocalo will host a live radio broadcast from the event.   v

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