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David Ashley’s brand-new album, Deep Down Inside, is on Helpful Music, the label run by Tom Krell of How to Dress Well. Courtesy the artist

Rapper and singer David Ashley is one of Chicago’s best unsung acts of the decade. After his R&B group Jody split in the early 2010s, Ashley focused on solo rapping, beginning with 2014’s Perfect Dark (on The-Drum’s Posture label). He’s self-released two more albums, 2017’s Cai Xo and 2018’s Draco, but this wolf has been particularly keen on Strictly 4 the Heads, a series of raw-as-hell singles he’s been uploading to Soundcloud since 2016. Ashley has made influential fans such as How to Dress Well’s Tom Krell, whose Helpful Music released Ashley’s new album, Deep Down Inside. Its trio of “Lethal Weapon” songs showcases Ashley’s thoughtful storytelling, in-the-pocket rapping, and deep affection for old-school hip-hop.

Local singer-songwriter Henry Joseph IV has spent years with somber indie rockers the Record Low and rambunctious rock experimentalists Treasurer, but lately he’s focused on solo folk-pop project Perma Cough. On Wednesday, September 11, Perma Cough headlines an Empty Bottle release show for a self-titled EP that comes out on Fine Prints this month.

s/t by Perma Cough

Gossip Wolf’s favorite online pastime is the Chicago Black Social Culture Map, a project of Afro-diasporic feminist collaborative Honey Pot Performance. So far it has indexed historical music and nightlife sites from the early Great Migration till the house and juke scenes of the past few decades. To add to the map, the CBSCM has been hosting panels and archiving events that include the digitization of attendees’ stories, flyers, and photos. At noon on Saturday, September 7, the Westside Justice Center (601 S. California) hosts Avery R. Young, George Daniels of George’s Music Room, house legend Rick Lenoir, and other panelists to discuss the west side’s blues scene, record stores, and labels (including Dance Mania). Folks who want to contribute to the map should RSVP to the free event on Facebook or e-mail [email protected].  v

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