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The first night of Lollapalooza 2016 closed out with a historic stage moment for the city of Chicago to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the famed music festival. Lollapalooza partnered with Bud Light Music this year to bring together some of the Windy City’s biggest names in sports and music to create a stage moment that Lolla attendees will be talking about for years to come. Chicago-based DJ duo, Flosstradamus set the tone for the night when they debuted their new single “Came Up” featuring Post Malone, FKi, Key! and graves. The crowd erupted and before you knew it, they brought out Chicago native and Chicago Bulls superstar, Dwyane Wade as he excited the crowd with his opening remarks saying, “It feels good to be home Chicago.” The NBA champion continued the Chicago homecoming theme by bringing out Destiny Child’s own Michelle Williams to sing her hit song “Survivor.” Just when the crowd thought the set couldn’t get any better, Chicago’s favorite hometown artist, Chance the Rapper joined the group onstage to rock out singles from his newly released album, Coloring Book, including “No Problems” and “Summer Friends.” They all joined the stage towards the end of the night leaving the city with words of encouragement. It was a cultural moment for the city of Chicago and fortunately for us, we had the opportunity to catch up with Flosstradamus and D-Wade moments before they hit that main stage.
You guys are both Chicago natives; you know the city best. What are some of the greatest challenges Chicago is facing right now and how much of it plays into your music?
J2K: Last time we were here when we played Lollapalooza in 2014, we spoke out about police violence before it had even really reached the level that it’s at now. There was such a massive blowback from he promoters and the people involved in the festivals that now there’s a clause in every contract that we sign that we can’t say anything about the police when we’re on stage, but as we know with Laquan McDonald, Chicago is one of the hotspots for gun violence and for police-related gun violence– it’s really messed up. We need gun control in the States and hopefully our next president is for that and not against it.
At this point in your careers, how do you feel personally about it and what can we look forward to in the future?
Autobot: We’re in a really, really good spot. I think it’s still building. We’re never satisfied but we’re very content with where we’ve gotten. This is a huge thing – we’re headlining Lollapalooza, in our hometown. We could throw in the towel today if we had to.
J2K: Yeah we’re older now, so we have the perspective where we’ve struggled so much and there have been so many stops in our career. Now so many artists blow up overnight so they don’t have the whole trip. We had the whole experience on the way up so we had that perspective, but at the same time we’re always trying to push it, trying to build and experiment as artists.
Can you share with us anything you’re working on musically?
We have a single coming out called “Came Up.” It’s featuring Post Malone, FKi and Graves and Key!. That’s dropping soon and we’re debuting it at Lollapalooza for the first time. It was a live version so we were excited for that. We also have a record label called Hi Def Youth; we got some good stuff coming out.
What’s your favorite part about being back in Chicago?
It’s home. Its familiar. When I land in Chicago it’s the feeling of being home. This city has so much culture and the people are nice, you know? Midwest people are real nice, so it’s cool to be back.
What’s the thing you’re most looking forward to with being back in the city?
Just a new experience. When I was in here in my younger years, I had a different experience. How I grew up was totally different to how I’m gonna come back and experience Chicago this time around. I’m just looking forward to experiencing this place in a new way, and to see what that brings.
On the note of different experiences and your younger years – musically, it was different when you were growing up in Chicago. Who do you find yourself listening to nowadays?
I continue to keep my ears to who’s next. I’m always proud, I’m always looking at the Chicago artists that come out because not only do we have amazing talent from an athletic standpoint, but we have amazing artists that come out of Chicago. It was a great chance to share the stage with Chance The Rapper. I still support and listen to Kanye. Common is one of my best friends. And from there, it continues with the great artists. I’m still a Jay Z fan, I can’t be nothing but a Future and Drake fan, so all the new artists as well.