It’s no surprise these days that Chicago is the hotbed of “cool.” Right, Lupe? But where’d this massive cultural cache originate? With Chess Records in the now revitalizing Bronzeville? Right, Harold Lucas? Naw. Chicago’s cool all comes down to the early naughts when two of the rising stars of Illinois politics took to the airwaves with campaign songs that foreshadowed the coming cultural shift from a pre to post Obama Era America (Obamamericera).
A cultural shift that will be historically remembered as the point in time when soul hooks and back beats went from backseat to shot gun. Sure, it all started when McDonalds and ESPN started using hip-hop as interstitial and background music instead of generic rock riffs, but the real change we came to believe in emanated from the Democratic floats of the Bud Bilikin day parade in and around 2003.
Example 1. Your boy, BHO, whose “Solid as a Rock” jam boomed from Subaru Outbacks and Lincoln Park loft apartments (with exposed brick!) incessantly from the Illinois Senate primaries to the graceless demise of Jack/John/Something Ryan.
Example 2: Chicago criminal du jour, Gov. “G-Rod” Blagojavich. C’mon, it’s not his fault. Like it’s even possible to serve as Governor of Illinois without some charge of corruption. The city’s named for a Native American term for “onion,” after all.
So turn up those UBL’s and break some Logitech keyboards on your Lacie ’cause this is the birth of the Cool. Right?