Veteran Chicago producer and rapper Tyree Cooper shows there’s more to him than hip-house | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Veteran Chicago producer and rapper Tyree Cooper shows there’s more to him than hip-house


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Even in retrospect, hip-house still seems like the cousin nobody wants to claim as their own. Born in the late 80s out of Fast Eddie’s desire to make hip-hop at DJ International, the historically important house label that knew no other sound, hip-house didn’t find a home among locals in the hip-hop scene—and it still gets written off as a gimmick within house history. But hip-house did allow producer-­rapper Tyree Cooper to kick off his career with a bang. Next to Fast Eddie, Cooper is most emblematic of hip-house, riding the sound’s upbeat house melodies and blocky hip-hop breaks to the majors—his 1989 Nation of Hip House came out on DJ International and CBS. As hip-house died off, Cooper doubled down on house, releasing a slew of EPs through Dance Mania in the 90s that nodded to the legendary ghetto-house label’s gritty, raunchy aesthetic—though his tracks have a friendlier edge. Diversifying his sound has helped keep Cooper, who now calls Berlin home, engaged with house’s present; he’s continued to produce tracks through the decades, and I imagine his Summer­dance set will sample from his whole vast career rather than focus on his past glories.   v

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