Hotel Essex – Chicago, Illinios

At check in, I was greeted by the lovely smile of Martha who helped me pick my room. (Amber helped me later. Everyone was so nice.) I explained that my flight had been cancelled and that I might be sharing the room with 1 or 2 other people. After offering my enough Fiji water for all of us, Martha informed me that the room with two beds wouldn’t have the view I was looking for; the room overlooking the park would only have 1 bed. Because I was in a total mood & have some fancy friends, I chose the room with the view and couldn’t have been happier. Martha even called up to make sure I was happy with the room. What I loved about the service in this place is that they were always available if I needed them, but never overbearing.

Summer in Chicago

While it may appear quiet and peaceful at first glance, Chicago is land of the unexpected. My homegirls decided to book a trip to the Chi during Complex weekend & even though we didn’t attend the Complex events, our trip ended up throwing us for multiple loops.

Neo-Soul, R&B Artist @Just_KJames

Written by Brittany Shawnté

Neo-soul and R&B artist, K. James, whose music video for track “Koolin’ ” was recently featured on the site, has always had a great appreciation for good music with a message, containing real experiences. “Music has always been in my blood,” K. James said. “Since I was 5 years old, I grew up listening to my mother’s radio full of artists such as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Teddy Pendergrass, R. Kelly, and The Temptations.” He went on to add, “It has been a dream of mine to express my creativity through song, giving people something to relate to and making a living while doing something I love was all the motivation I needed to pursue this dream of mine.”

Hip Hop Artist: @Tony Benefit

Written by Brittany Shawnté

In The Spotlight, we have hip hop artist Tony Benefit! Hailing from Chicago, Tony began freestyling around the age of 14. He was found one day rapping on the corner by Carlos Polk, a member of legendary Chicago underground group, Eratick Statik. Carlos brought Tony to the group’s shows and studio sessions, where Tony started at the bottom, throwing water and t-shirts to the crowd. Eventually though, the artist was able to spit his own rhymes at the shows. “Once the crowd was receptive to what I was doing, it just kind of built from there,” Tony said. “I became a bigger part of the show, and, once I went on the road with them, I started building my own following.”