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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, August 9

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Event Tue Sep 21 2010

Review: Hennessy Artistry feat. The Roots and Q-Tip, 9/18/10

Questlove gets interviewed (photo by Dave Knapik)

I'm usually not one to pass up free drinks, but if you add a free show with The Roots into the mix, you can't keep me away. Such was the case as the annual Hennessy Artistry event ran through town this past Saturday. The Hennessy Artistry series is my personal most anticipated event each year, mostly due to their ability to book over-the-top surprise guests. This year they went all out, bringing the iconic Erykah Badu on stage, performing with The Roots as the house band. Add in Q-Tip and one of my hometown favorites, Kid Sister, and we've got one unspeakably awesome line-up.

Having attending this annual event series for the past two years, I can say with certainty that Hennessy had outdone themselves tenfold this year. In place of the small, stuffy clubs of years past, this year's event was held in an open warehouse space where guests were able to dance, mingle, and walk around with ease. The back portion of the warehouse held an art gallery featuring the works of Chicago portraiture artist Stephen Flemister. The tremendous event space also afforded a great deal of seating area, plus a large dance floor, stage, and photobooth area. Tasty gourmet hors d'ouerves were passed and libations were served in full force.

Curren$y (photo by Dave Knapik)

After just enough time had passed to try every drink on the menu (who knew Hennessy could be mixed in so many delicious ways?), The Roots and Q-Tip finally took the stage to a more than enthusiastic crowd. The night was filled with a plethora of special guests, starting with New Orleans-based rapper Curren$y, moving on to the soulful Yazarah and Chicago's own Kid Sister, each performing about four songs apiece. The night ended with one heck of a surprise guest — the legendary Erykah Badu, who pretty much brought the house down.

Q-tip (photo by Dave Knapik)

Hennessy seems to top themselves every year with this event, so I can only imagine what they'll have in store for us next year. In the meantime, I'll be talking about this night for a long time coming.

Click here for video footage of Q-Tip chatting it up backstage about Hennessy, Chicago, and what it means to be an artist. Warning: video contains a great deal of background noise.

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John / September 21, 2010 8:27 PM

The roots are one of the mos original groups in hip hop ever. everything they do is fresh and original.

amanda williams / September 30, 2010 10:57 AM

Wanted to note a correction. The featured artwork was by artists Stephen Flemister and Amanda Williams.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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