Our first networking social, "The Chicago Hip-Hop Music Industry Networking Social", took place on April 13th 1995, at B-Side Cafe on Belmont & Sheffield. The networking social was a huge success, and was very well received. The social provided an opportunity for Chicago Hip-hop community to come together, and was complete with an open bar, an exotic spread of tropical fruit, pastries, and hors d'oeuvres.
To celebrate the end of 1996, we hosted our "End of the Year Blowout", in an exclusive 1,000 sq ft. loft near Webster & Ashland. The party featured music and live performances, with DJ 007 on the tables, spoken word performances by Quincy L'Near and Amina, hip-hop performances by Elements of Nature Crew members Verb, and Spalaney's, as well as live music by Tree Roots and the Traveling Caravan.
In '97 we hosted the "One Love Hip-Hop Affair", at Bedrocks, a tucked away jewel on Roscoe, near Damen. Again the live performances bridged the gap between traditional rap music, and spoken word with performances by Mario, Thawfor, Spo, Spalaney's, Decipher, and DJ Opski, on the tables.
Our first series of networking socials took place during 1999 & 2000 at Betty's Blue Star Lounge on Ashland & Grand. The 6-month series featured performances by B Movie Fiendz, Bad Luck, Coolout, Cru Life, Absolute Ikon, Maintain, Mic One, Mozes Gunn, Mario, Profound, Rec Center, Spo, Tina M. Howell, and Tony Baines, with music by Honey Dipped Beats' DJ's Am Pm and Mary Jane, and Rec Center's DJ Emmaculate. The series was sponsored in part by C.O.R.E., Fader Magazine, Noise Pollution Productions, Original Afrowear, Rotten Soil Entertainment, & Wide View Entertainment.
The second 6-month series of 'Chicago Urban Mines Networking Socials' took place during the first half of 2001, in the Lounge at Subterranean, located in heart of Chicago?s Wicker Park. Similar to the first series at Betty's, there were CD, T-Shirt, and Music Video giveaways, as well as an open mic, and guest performers.
In July 2001, we launched the 'Chicago One Love Campaign', which honored hip-hop in Chicago. The kick-off party, which was a huge success, took place in the Lounge, at Subterranean. The event was marked with performances by Earatik Statik, Kenny Bogus, Lunatic The Messiah, Skunk Millish, Spo, Coolout, Amina, Rugged Science, Absolute Ikon, Prophet, Chasm, and DJ Emmaculate.
We hosted a 10-week open mic set entitled "One Love Mondays" at Vertigo, on Western Ave., from August - October. The weekly event introduced the unique series "B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Beatz)" open mic set, an alternate open mic format where participants bring their own music, and perform one of their original songs. "One Love Mondays" also featured guest performances by Cru Life, Spo, Pevin Everett, Prime, Urbanized Music, L.T., Lone Assassin, Pro & Con Productions, Cadre Quarters, music by guest DJ's Journey, Tae Ski, and Coolout, and a host of open mic'ers.
In November, December, and January ('01-'02) we hosted our 360° series at Empty Bottle, Chicago. The series featured the 2-part 360° Emcee Battle, which crowned EQ as the city?s most well rounded emcee. The December event also served as our End Of The Year Bash. In January we welcomed 2002 with the Chicago One Love, All-City Hip-Hop Jam. The series was sponsored by Shure, Beat Parlor, Rotten Soil Entertainment, and Urbanized Music, and featured performances by Rec Center, Qualo, Presence, Lunatic the Messiah, Lomai, Rugged Science, Coolout, Absolute Ikon, Amina, DJ Journey, Skunk Millish, Profound, Lyrisis, Earatik Static, and the phenomenal turn-tabling skills of Phonograph Scientists.
The campaign continued with a tour of live performances throughout the city at venues like Elbo Room, Subterranean, The Note, and Nevin's.
On June 30th, 2002 we celebrated the end of the Chicago One Love Campaign with an anniversary party. A downed power line sabotaged our setup evening at Subterranean, but we bounced back a few hours later, by transporting the party down the street to another venue. The crowd stayed intact, and performances went on as scheduled. To thank our supporters for unfading dedication, we tossed out the $8 cover charge, and everyone partied for free! Primeridian, Animal Kingdom, L.T., Urbanized Music, Original Man, Puertochinko, and P.M.S graced the stage, and Hip-Hop World Report, a local cable program that spotlights hip-hop in Chicago, tapped this event, (as they have done for many of our functions), for broadcast on CAN TV's channel 19.