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Popular Culture

Andrew Callaghan Discusses The Creation of Channel 5 and His Best Piece of Advice

Even inside a crowded artist lounge at Lyrical Lemonade’s Summer Smash in Chicago, it was hard not to recognize Andrew Callaghan. Standing at 6-foot-3 with curly, messy hair and wearing a tan brown suit, Callaghan was prepared to capture his next interview— likely another hit added to his ultra-successful Channel 5 media platform.

Over the past 14 months, Callaghan and his close friends and collaborators Nic Mosher and Evan Gilbert-Katz, have witnessed the massive success of Channel 5. First launched in April of 2021 following a publicized contract dispute, the trio has elevated their new YouTube-based platform with a style of journalism best defined by them— first-person storytelling aided by a wide range of humor and honesty from its participants that is hard to believe by those watching.

“What’s surreal about our success is the access we’re getting now,” Callaghan said. “I always had a deep interest in strange subcultures and general empathy towards groups, I’m not too familiar with. So being a journalist is the only way to be everywhere at one time.”

Whether you’ve followed Callaghan through Channel 5 or beforehand, there’s a clear sense of journalistic pride. After you look beyond the jokes and forms of madness within his content, which has attached 65+ million YouTube views and millions more via social media, Callaghan serves as the presenter of the environment he’s in without making himself the center of attraction. In a way, the Seattle, WA native is a savvy point guard who knows how to be efficient, control the pace, and make the right decisions.

As we continue living in this era of multi-media journalism where realism serves as its root, Callaghan and Channel 5 consistently raise the bar. Just before Callaghan and I spoke, he finished filming another interview and had nearby attendees’ attention, with their phones out taking pictures and videos of it. But regardless of his present and future fame, there’s a sound piece of advice Callaghan remembers.

“You have to keep doing what you’re doing. Even if certain friends don’t understand what you’re doing, you can always make new friends and create stronger bonds. You can’t hold onto everything all the time.”

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Music

AG Club Discusses New Music, Odd Future’s Influence and More

While duos and trios are familiar sights in hip-hop, it’s been a while since collectives took center stage. And if we’re being honest, what other collectives can fans think of besides Odd Future, ASAP Mob, and BROCKHAMPTON over the past decade? But with AG Club, the reality of hip-hop birthing collectives isn’t only existent but filled with great excitement about what they have and will do.

Coming out of the Bay Area via San Francisco, CA, the nearly 15-member crew attacks all angles of the music industry. As the duo of Baby Boy and Jody Fontaine create magic on records– their F*** Your Expectation album series is stellar– the remainder of AG Club consists of talented photo/videographers, stylists, and graphic designers who’ve been friends with each other for years.

“When we first came around, people didn’t understand what we do,” Fontaine told me after AG Club’s performance at Lyrical Lemonade’s Summer Smash last Friday. “But it’s dope people understand now.” Terms of what have helped fans understand and accept the Avant Grande collective’s efforts are great music and momentum.

Alongside both editions of F*** Your Expectations being well-received, the Bay-Area natives also collaborated with NLE Choppa and ASAP Ferg for the remix of their biggest single, “Memphis,” before touring with Pusha T and Denzel Curry since the beginning of this spring. To be so young in their careers, yet able to touch different demographics is impressive, especially with great musical aspirations.

Upon listening to AG Club, you’ll quickly recognize their diversity in sound. In one moment, their music can spark a riot (“Columbia”), the next, their harmonies will remind you of the early 2000s R&B-pop group B2K (“Popeye” feat. Peach Tree Rascals), and lastly, you’ll find the fitting anthem to play in your car (“Brass”).

This level of execution reminds rap fans like me, a millennial in his late 20s, of the previously mentioned Odd Future and ASAP Mob. “Everything is better when you’re doing it with friends, and we saw that in Odd Future and ASAP Mob,” Fontaine says before he and Baby Boy point to their friends. “We all love this s***,” Baby Boy says with a smile. “We do it together because it makes sense.”

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Music

The Three Best Moments From Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash 2022

With lines of attendees wrapped around the corners of Douglass Park, this year’s Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash festival was greatly anticipated. Launched in 2018 by Lyrical Lemonade founder and acclaimed music video director Cole Bennett and established concert promoter SPKRBX, the Chicago, IL-based event was once again home to an assortment of rap’s biggest and upcoming talents last weekend (June 17-19th).

The crowd’s energy didn’t come down from the first moment attendees entered the park and then sprinted toward any of the three performance stages. All-day long, despite the weather ranging from being hot to slightly cold and windy, the mostly Generation Z crowd rapped and danced to every song in rotation– whether it was with up-and-comer Elijah Wallace or multi-platinum superstar Post Malone.

Lyrical Lemonade’s Summer Smash has carved out a space for itself in the evolving festival space due to its natural existence at the intersection of what’s present and the future of rap; an evident influence from its founder (Bennett) whose creative vision and execution of music videos either birthed or refreshed the careers of several artists.

Here are our three best moments after attending Summer Smash.

Post Malone’s performance further reminds us of his superstardom

Even though the numbers and bodies of work have long legitimized Malone’s resume as a superstar, his Summer Smash performance was a huge reminder of why.

As Posty closed out Saturday’s portion of the festival, tens of thousands of attendees sprinted to the main stage and let out a massive ovation as the multi-faceted artist stepped on stage and performed a mix of his biggest records and cuts from his new album, Twelve Carat Toothache.

G Herbo received a lot of hometown love

For any festival in a major city, it has become a mistake not to have one of its biggest acts performed if possible. But that wasn’t a concern as Summer Smash welcomed one of Chicago’s most popular acts, G Herbo, and he delivered an exciting performance.

My favorite moment was watching Herbo perform his classic “Who Run It” freestyle and having the crowd rock side to side as he did in the original video

Offset and Takeoff perform a surprising set

Even amidst breakup rumors surrounding the Migos, that didn’t stop Quavo and Takeoff from representing their group and surprising fans on Sunday. Wearing their three-headed chains with a picture of each Migo, the crowd enjoyed watching a pair of Migos on stage and couldn’t stop recording their performance.