Alex Fruchter is the man behind Chicago independent label Closed Sessions, the founder of hip hop blog Ruby Hornet, and a writer and DJ. His work has helped bring forward multiple waves of Chicago hip hop, from the Napster days into the streaming age and beyond. He talks about the industry, the role of a label, his own shift in perspective in the last year, and Morgan Park Academy, which is both his and Damon's alma mater. Soak up some Chicago hip hop history!
Wow. Hoda Katebi is a brilliant style designer, organizer, and writer who comes through for one of our favorite episodes ever. She's the founder of JooJoo Azad, a radical online fashion publication; the author of Tehran Streetstyle, a street fashion book of photos taken on the streets of her home country; and the founder of the newly launched Blue Tin Production, a fashion production co-op run by immigrant and refugee women here in Chicago.
David Stovall is a professor at UIC whose work focuses on reshaping education and the school-to-prison nexus (which he explains, don't worry). He's also just a very good dude. We take a deep dive into classrooms, shaping our definitions of abolition, and much more.
Camonghne Felix is new to town, but she's already working to challenge power at the highest level in the city. The poet, political campaign maneuverer, and BRONX NATIVE is here working as Communications Director for the mayoral campaign of AirGo alum Amara Enyia. She pops in to talk first Chicago impressions, the legacies and conflicts of the Obamas, political futures, and much more.
Vincent Martell is the founder of VAM Studio, an independent film and media production company consisting of primarily queer people of color that produces videos for musicians and record labels, foundations, and non-profits, nightlife and art identities. He is the director of Damaged Goods, a new web series celebrating a group of friends in Chicago's underground DIY scene.
For the last few months, AirGo partnered with the Real Chi newsroom at Free Spirit Media, a youth media nonprofit here in Chicago. On the final episode of their first season, the Real Chi squad talks bond reform and e-carceration with folks from the Chicago Community Bond Fund, plus a lot of other great deep dives into the news and North Lawndale community. Get on board!
Swopes is a photographer, graphic designer, influential instagrammer, and somewhat reformed socialite. Her trademark Chicago skyline pieces, which layer natural forces on aerial shots of the city, are immediately recognizable, and she has worked with dozens of national and global brands as a marketing consultant, graphic designer, and influencer. She talks about her craft, her determination toward positivity, what accountability in the mix can look like, and more.
Spurred by the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries, many women in the creative community here in Chicago have brought forth memories and allegations of sexual assault, rape, and sexual violence by men in the scene. Damon and Daniel talk about the moment, what we've learned, how they've processed and understand their respective responsibilities, and some potential next steps.