Shad

It was daylight outside, but you wouldn’t have guessed it from the subterranean lighting inside the Biltmore Cabaret. Hip-hop wordsmith Shad and I shared a red velvet booth, while his bassist Ian Koiter absent-mindedly grooved in the background.

A few minutes before soundcheck, we were contemplating the finer points of the 1984 video game Tetris.

“I play a lot of Tetris on my computer. It calms me down in a weird way,” he said. “There’s definitely a rhythm to it. I find it relaxing.” . . .

Animal   Instincts

They say grass is always greener on the other side. But for Swedish-born illustrator Daniel Egnéus—having already absorbed the beauty of London, Prague, Berlin, and Rome—the prettiest pastures exist in his dreams. “I always prefer to draw places and things I can’t go geographically,” he says, reached at his century-old home in Milan, Italy. “You have to draw them to imagine them—and then you can maybe feel a little bit safer, when you fantasize.” . . .

Ultraviolet

Twisted Sister

A little internet hype goes a long way.

Of all the buzzworthy artists floating around the blogosphere, this is especially true for Kid Sister. Within two short years, the Chicago MC went from selling baby clothes and stealing microphones at basement dance parties, to collaborating with Kanye West and performing at Coachella’s main stage. All this—plus a BET award nomination—went down before she released a debut album . . .