Behind the Story: Chance the Rapper and that Kit Kat Jingle

Chance the Rapper stars in a new Kit Kat commercial. Image courtesy Kit Kat.
Chance the Rapper stars in a new Kit Kat commercial. Image courtesy Kit Kat.

Chance has a new song out and it’s not a rap, it’s a jingle. For Kit Kat.

I was curious as to how all this came about, so I talked with Kit Kat officials to learn more. I wrote all about it for Forbes.

“We’re in the process of trying to modernize the Kit Kat brand, not just in terms of what we’re communicating but how we’re communicating,” says Ian Norton, director of marketing for Kit Kat, which is distributed in the U.S. by The Hershey Company. “We were looking for an influencer who was the voice of his generation, but we wanted to stay leveraged and connected to our core Kit Kat fan. He is the positive voice for the generation. He’s a multi talented artist so he was really great to work with.”

Chance had a great week last week, what with the BET Hip Hop Awards win and performing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I love to see A fellow South Sider doing big things.

Then this happened.

Chance the Rapper Shout out to Adrienne Samuels Gibbs

As a writer it’s always cool to get a shout out. Can’t wait for that sit down…

BTW… if you read this far and you love Chicago the way that I do, head over to my other site, Southside Parenting, for a new look at the South Side.

 

Remembering Doug Banks

The soundtrack of my early life was pretty much curated by Doug Banks. The legendary radioman dominated Chicago airwaves in my formative years, and I’ll never forget getting dressed for school and listening to Doug and Bonnie. Oh. How they laughed and giggled and carried on. Pure joy in the am. I met Sinbad through the Doug Banks Show. I learned about Jodeci and got my news on Anita Hill and experienced some of my first political discussions by listening to Banks.

Back in the day, you could listen to Eddie and Jobo on B-96. And I liked them, but they could be oblivious to people of color at times. And other jocks were just assholes. Straight up. Banks played the music I liked and had a good spirit. You could tell just by listening.

All these memories of slathering on lotion and selecting a high school trendy outfit while listening to Doug flew through my mind yesterday as I wrote an obituary for Ebony.com. And this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see that The Washington Post quoted heavily from my piece.

Continue reading “Remembering Doug Banks”

On Stage at The Frunchroom – South Side Style

The Frunchroom
The Frunchroom

A strange thing happens when you visit The Frunchroom. You learn all kinda stuff you never knew that you didn’t know.

Allow me to explain.

I’ve lived near Mother McCauley – a Catholic girls high school in Chicago – all my life and had no idea that MM was a feminist well before the word became a trendy word to embrace. I’ve lived near Hardboiled coffee for some time and had never quite managed to stop in, despite the fact that the signage is ultra cool, and I know the owner plays records all day long. I also learned that I’ve lived in a food dessert, and that income has little to do with access to good, whole, fresh foods when it comes to living in a black neighborhood. Then there was the guy from Bridgeport who bikes all the time, even to Rainbow Beach on the South Shore – a place that I love but have never, ever considered riding a bike to.

That was The Frunchroom, a place where a few fine folks gathered to read a story or two – most of it true. It’s a Chicago tradition, and I’m glad to have been a part of it. I read an essay about the ghetto gold of Evergreen Plaza and how I coveted that stuff. The Plaza of my youth is long gone, but the memories are fresh, and it seemed that everyone nodded in agreement when I brought up the now-closed movie theatre, the cookie shop, the Jesus store and the arcade that was in front of that Orange Julius. (Frunchroom is a Chicago thing, in case you were wondering. It’s all in how we pronounce it…)

My Frunchroom compadres were assembled by Scott Smith, aka “@ourmaninChicago” on Twitter. You should follow him. He’s a thinker and has a blog worth reading. (And I’m not saying that just because he invited me to read.) Who else was there? Natalie Moore, a WBEZ reporter and author who read a chapter from her upcoming book about contemporary segregation on the South Side; Dmitry Samarov, a writer and artist whose sketches adorn the walls of Hardboiled; Jen Sabella, a McCauley grad and the director of social media and engagement over at DNAinfo.com; and Chuck Sudo, the former Editor-in-Chief of Chicagoist and the before mentioned  biker.

You can actually read a write-up of the series here, at DNAinfo.com. Howard Ludwig wrote it. You should follow him too.

Beverly is on the far South Side. I stress FAR. Most people don’t even know that this is Chicago. And that’s a shame. But with the new Frunchroom series, the upcoming Beverly Art Walk and the revamped Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour, I bet a lot of North Siders – and others – might come to see the far Southwest Side in a new light.

I’ll be posting that Evergreen Plaza essay soonish. Stay tuned for more.