Anyone who knows the history of Chicago’s hip-hop music scenery will surely mention Abstract Mindstate, the first female and male MC duo. Though this dynamic duo made history in Chicago, they never quite made it big and ultimately split in 2005; now they are back and better than ever with Kanye West by their side. On Monday night, July 26, Abstract Mindstate hosted a private screening of their upcoming documentary, We Paid Let Us In! The Legend of Abstract Mindstate, and a listening session of their upcoming album, Dreams Still Inspire, leaving all 50 of us in the IPIC Theater truly uplifted.
Composed of Greg “Olskool Ice-Gre” Lewis and Ebony Poetess, better known as E.P. da Hellcat, Abstract Mindstate have returned after over a decade apart to kick-start a new era of hip-hop with a new genre they call adult contemporary hip-hop. Abstract Mindstate is the first release on Kanye’s YZY SND label/ streaming service.
While waiting for the event to begin, guests were able to enjoy drinks in a wonderful common room. Then, we were lead through dimly lit hallways and escalators that lead us to the second floor, straight into the theater room. Upon entering the room, you were instantly able to feel the joy radiating from everyone present as friends and family greeted everyone with smiles. As everyone socialized and settled, we were entertained by Abstract Mindstate and Greg’s mother proudly rapping along to the new songs as they walked through the room welcoming everyone.
Once the final track of Dreams Still Inspire came to an end Greg and E.P welcomed everyone once again in a small speech as they introduced their documentary. The duo’s return and emotional story is perfectly illustrated in the film, We Paid Let Us In! The Legend of Abstract Mindstate, directed by Trizonna McClendon. The room was filled with laughter and emotional expressions as we were taken through the ups and downs of Abstract Mindstate and their personal struggles to get to where they are today.
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The night closed with a Q&A in which Greg, E.P., director Trizonna McClendon and manager Lee Lewis answered all sorts of questions. Guests could not help but take the opportunity to thank Abstract Mindstate and McClendon for bringing something many of us noticed was missing from today’s hip-hop and especially for sharing such a moving story that left everyone in the room stirred. Let’s hope they finally reach and exceed the success they have been working towards for many years; Dreams Still Inspires is set to release on August 6th.
Featured image by Mike Quain.