Vic Spencer
Chicago, IL
Hip Hop
Performing: Saturday, July 9 at 4:45 pm on Kum & Go Stage
Making your name in the ever-burgeoning world of Chicago hip hop requires some navigation. Never the wellspring of achievement like big brothers New York or LA, nor having received much of the street-wise esteem thrown the way of Atlanta or Houston, the Chicago scene — unless your name is Common or Kanye West — has been somewhat overlooked by the mainstream. But the opportunity that comes along with that fact is a sense of freedom; the footing to take chances without fear of upsetting the delicate ear of Top 40 America.

Enter Vic Spencer. Hailing from the South Side neighborhood of Englewood, Spencer’s group home upbringing has given him not only a gritty sense of reality, but a perspective uncommon in many of his contemporaries. His lyrics don’t get lost in a haze of violence or misogyny. He instead uses hip hop as art, lyrics as paint, words as the palate as opposed to the beat. What accentuates his chaotic, sometimes berserk flow, is how it hangs loose over a drum beat or an unfastened string chord.

Come see underground Chicago hip hop at its best in the form of Vic Spencer at this year’s 80/35.

- Written by Chris Lachky