A Fierce Attachment

My mother is an urban peasant and I am my mother’s daughter. The city is our natural element. We each have daily adventures with bus drivers, bag ladies, ticket takers, and street crazies. Walking brings out the best in us.

How Chicago House Got Its Groove Back

A look at Chicago’s DJ culture in the ’90s.

One day in 1997, Sneak promised his friend and fellow Chicago DJ Derrick Carter a new 12-inch for Carter's label Classic, then spent hours fruitlessly laboring over a basic, bustling four-four beat. Finally, Sneak gave in and smoked the J he'd had stashed for later in the day. When he came back inside, he carelessly dropped the needle onto a Teddy Pendergrass LP, heard the word "Well . . . ," and realized, "That's the sample, right there." He threaded Pendergrass's 20-year-old disco hit "You Can't Hide From Yourself" through a low-pass filter to give it the effect of going in and out of aural focus, creating one of the definitive Chicago house singles.

A Letter to a Younger Me

I remember when you were a little girl, you used to call yourself “peach-brown”. Peach represented your mother, brown represented your father, and together they made peach-brown, a perfect articulation at the time for what you were. The colors came from the crayons you matched to the skin of your parents, and although they were separate and didn’t mix together very well on paper, they were the best you had at the time. This silly little phrase represented what would become a lifelong struggle of coming into your own identity.