The Lyricist Olympics at Lit After Dark

Poster designed by Xack Gibson/Bag Fry Productions.

CHICAGO, IL — Music fans! When the sun sets on the 2012 Printers Row Lit Fest on Saturday June 9, stick around for the Lyricist Olympics at Lit After Dark, a celebration of freestyle lyricism. Featuring eight of Chicago’s finest MCs, the Lyricist Olympics will showcase the spontaneous creativity and lyrical ingenuity of Chicago’s hip-hop community. The event begins at the RedEye tent at 9 pm. For updates and additional information, check in with @readjack.


Psalm One / @psalmone – Psalm One is not simply the First Lady of Rhymesayers. She is a teacher, tweeter, bio chemist, and remarkable rapper. One of Chicago’s finest, her LP follow up to 2006’s Death Of Frequent Flyer is due out summer 2012. After telling academia to piss off, Psalm is doing the unthinkable: letting you in.

Young General / @generalspeaks – Chicago is famous for its adoptions: Studs Terkel, Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln, Kevin Garnett… none were born here, all ARE here. So too is Young General, the man behind “White Sox Fitted” and “Welcome to the Madhouse.” Get up early people. Young General’s doing work.

The Boy Illinois / @theboyillinoisEvery so often, those gusts of Chicago wind carry in something worth keeping. That’s precisely what happened when The Boy Illinois arrived. The 24-year-old MC is on a mission to grab listeners with slick delivery, sharp wordplay, and most importantly by doing what he does best – being himself.

Rich Jones / @jonessoruthless – A native son of Chicago, Rich Jones has been in constant motion since returning from the winds of Wisconsin two years ago. Now 24, he has built a name for both his solo material and his work with Second City Citizens. Strong off the top, protect ya neck.

Dave Coresh / @davecoresh – “Anything you’re thinking about is going to come out. I try to pick words I don’t normally say. I try to speak on topics I don’t normally speak about.” So says Dave Coresh about the skills of freestyle rapping. His writing makes him a great recording artist, but his spontaneity makes him a great freestyler.

Jason Gatz / @jasongatz – Jason Gatz is an artist determined to bring unique and dynamic energy to hip-hop. Known for his ability to ignite crowds while melding rap, rock, and electronic music, the southside rapper fervently demands the attention and respect of all those within an ear shot.

MC Rota / @themcrota – MC Rota of the Nocturnals stays up too late drinking coffee and geeking out on hip-hop. The Nocturnals songs generally end where Rota gave up writing up after spending several hours trying to find a word rhyming with “orange,” “month,” or “purple.” The Nocturnals do not prefer long walks on the beach generally, due to a distaste for sand. On stage, however, The Nocturnals may kill it.

VILLAIN – Relying only on his freestyle rapping skills to support himself, VILLAIN created the introductory idea of asking listeners, “Who’s your favorite rapper?” and then topping their response. He lives his work every day, and his talent has been forged in Chicago’s hip-hop fire like a true phoenix.

DJ C3hreePO / @C3hreePO – Corey Colvin, better known as DJ C3hreePO, has been freeing himself from alienation through culture and art. His work has teamed with MTV, Nikki Lynette, Kid Cudi, Grey Goose, and Adidas, but the best sign of C3hreePO’s presence are the bopping heads that follow his turntables.

Jack Silverstein / @readjack – Along with his sportswriting for RedEye, host Jack Silverstein brings a passion for hip-hop and live performance to the Printer’s Row Lit After Dark tent. You can find his People With Passion music interview series at ChicagoNow, Performer Magazine, and

Xack Gibson / @bagfrydesign – Originally from Nigeria, graphic designer Xack Gibson’s career has been a prolific journey of creative exploration. Launching Bag Fry Productions in 2009, Gibson’s portfolio already includes work with Derrick Rose, airtime on MTV and PBS, and spotlights in publications like XXL Magazine. He is also a member of the Keystone Design Union.


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