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Happy Anniversary: Andrew Barber on 10 Years at Fake Shore Drive, Re-Uniting the Big Tymers, and working at Apple Music!

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Do you remember when Chance the Rapper won his first Grammy? It’s no surprise the first person he shouted out was Andrew Barber. Fake Shore Drive was founded in 2007 by Andrew Barber with a focus on what was happening in the Chicago hip hop and R&B scene. 10 years later, Fake Shore Drive has helped break many artists on a national scale: that includes, Chance The Rapper, Chief Keef, Lil Durk, Vic Mensa and Mick Jenkin – just to name a few!

Daily Chiefers: Congrats on 10 years! Does it feel sort of full circle to be where your at now and have The Cool Kids and Bump J dropping music again?

Andrew Barber: Absolutely man I never imagined Fake Shore Drive would take me to where I’m at now. I quit my job selling advertising to follow this dream, not to knock that if that’s your career – but this is what I love. It’s funny I never really thought about that, I suppose your right. The Cool Kids and Bump J were definitely some of our earliest supporters at Fake Shore Drive. Watching The Cool Kids reunite a few months ago and deliver “Special Edition Grand Master Deluxe” was amazing. Needless to say having Bump J home is a blessing.

Daily Chiefers: In all your years working in the music industry would you have ever expected to be re-uniting the Big Tymers?

Andrew Barber: (Laughs) Honestly I can’t say that I ever thought that. I’m grateful for the opportunity and I can’t wait to watch the crowd’s reaction during their performance. It’s kind of surreal, I was such a big fan of the Big Tymers along with everyone on Cash Money at the time. Birdman and Mannie Fresh are such larger than life characters; additionally it’s the 20 year anniversary of their album “How U Luv That.” You can expect it’s going to be a special night.

Daily Chiefers: What’s inspired you to stay Midwestern focused for 10 years in regards to Fake Shore Drive?

Andrew Barber: Honestly, the fact that everyone kept telling me it couldn’t be done. I had so many people in my ear telling me to cover everything, but all publications at the time were covering the same 12 people. I saw my niche in Midwestern Hip Hop and I also wanted to shine some light on everything that was happening here in Chicago before it broke on a national scale. It’s similar to the way Daily Chiefers covered all of these Florida artists before they hit the mainstream.

Daily Chiefers: There are few things I enjoy more on Twitter than your videos of footworking horror characters – where are you finding those?

Andrew Barber: It’s funny man, that’s actually a bit of a sore subject for some people in the Chicago footworking scene. The original Michael Myers video came out like 10 years ago, right around the time I started the blog. It seems like every year someone like myself or Chance the Rapper shares the video and it goes viral; so now we’re starting to see copycats like the Freddie Kruger video. Personally I think they’re all dope.

Daily Chiefers: You’ve worn so many hats in the music industry, for example blogging, hosting your radio show, curating playlists at Apple, managing artists, and more. What has been the most rewarding for you? Andrew Barber: Definitely all the relationships I’ve built. I’ve become close with so many different people, including: artists, industry people, fans, and bloggers. I’ve got the chance to speak with so many different people that all share the same passion I do. Daily Chiefers: Congrats on your new role at Apple, what are you looking for in a track before placing it in #TheNewChicago playlist? Andrew Barber: Thanks! It’s a great opportunity. Playlists are like the natural evolution of blogs in terms of gate keeping for mainstream audiences. When I’m considering tracks for the playlist I definitely want to include the big names that people know, but I also want to provide a platform for less well known artists from Chicago. It’s all about guiding a person, giving them a track they might already know and than getting them to listen to another from an artist they might not be familiar with yet. Daily Chiefers: Talk a bit about your relationship with Valee, can you tell us anything about that G.O.O.D music co-sign? Andrew Barber: I can‘t say much about that now… but the co-sign was pretty amazing. Besides being my friend, Valee is a special artist who really knows how to use his voice as an instrument. I’ve never heard him use the same flow or cadence twice; he’s got a unique style. 

Daily Chiefers: I’ve heard their might be a few surprise guests at the show Saturday – care to give any hints?

Andrew Barber: (Laughs) Did you see the T Shirt that leaked today on Twitter? Jugrnaut did a T-Shirt for the event, which includes the names of most the performers; a handful of them had not been announced yet. I was excited to surprise everyone in the crowd Saturday night… We still have a few tricks up our sleeve.

Fake Shore Drive’s 10th Anniversary show will take place this Saturday, November 4th at the Portage Theater. Expect performances from the Big Tymers, Tee Grizzley, and many more. Come out and help celebrate!

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