Chicago rapper, Jorge Mikell, doesn’t consider himself “woke”.
Instead, the 23 year old Southside native, views himself as aware.
“[The term woke] is being tied into a thing of cool,” said Mikell. “Certain people will be like ‘Yeah I’m woke!’ Well what are you woke about?” he continued. What’s said after is usually unclear and not quite as enthusiastic as the newly coined term.
These news stories to the rest of the country are reality to Chicago day by day. The effect of their emotional aftermath are exactly what Mikell discusses line by line in his music.
“I know my music can turn people into something,” said Mikell. “I know it can have an affect on somebody, but at the same time, I like to turn up too! I love Ty Dolla Sign, I love Flocka, [everyone] likes doing hoodrat stuff with your friends,” he reminisced with a smile.
“I consider myself a person too. I like hanging out with my friends and going out on the dance floor. But I’m also aware that when I wake up the next morning I’m going to see on my Facebook 23 people shot, three people critically injured and one person dead,” he continued.
Jorge, who was one of many protégés of the late, famed poet and hip-hop mentor Brother Mike, combined his frustrations of today with his hopes in tomorrow. All of that is evident in his latest track “Southside” and his upcoming EP so[u]liloquoy.
“I made the song for the Southside,” said Mikell. “For the perspective of people who view Chicago as Chiraq, the ‘Oh you must know Chief Keef, you must be three hunnit’ Northside vibin’ type."
"Let me take you to the world where I’m from,” he finished.
—watch the video for “Southside” below.