Sidaka had one foot in the door of Chicago hip-hop, and he opened it with Coming Back Home

Chicago rapper-producer Sidaka got his start in music seven years ago, when he was just 15, tinkering with a piano in an effort to impress a lover. Since then, he’s gone from experimenting with chamber recording to learning all aspects of music-making: he studied audio engineering at Flashpoint Chicago, and in 2019 landed an internship at the hip center. -hop renowned Classick Studios. Sidaka already had a foothold in the local scene – he had been a DJ for a few years – and in the summer of 2019 he befriended underground producer Cloud Boy, whose collective Creative Mansion Sidaka has since joined. Earlier this month, Sidaka self-published Back home, a five-song EP of which the two bonus tracks are the most visceral and vital (to hear them, you have to buy the EP on Bandcamp, they are not streamable like the other three). On “Road to Miss,” his steely flow cuts through a hazy but suffocating instrument that feels like it should have been impenetrable. Listeners can find their way through the song’s heady fog by clinging to Sidaka’s vocal line like a handrail, even though he rarely raises his voice – and when he does, it’s not for scream the music but to emphasize a point in its lyrics exploring youthful insecurities and ambitions.

Blake Saint-David, Sidaka, Sun 2/20, 8 p.m., Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, $12, 21+

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