[Interview] Chicago’s Silver talks changing stage name, the 11th Realm and violence in the city

After a brief stint in prison, a change to his stage name and a new look to his group The 11th Realm, the artist formerly known as Hyype is ready to get back to music. More photos at jwilesphoto.com.


Silver, The 11th Realm. Photo by Jesse Wiles
Silver, The 11th Realm. Photo by Jesse Wiles

A few weeks back I got the opportunity to walk around Wicker Park with the rapper Silver, formerly referred to as Hyype. Silver is one of my favorite artists currently on the come up in Chicago. His mixtape Divine Minded ended up on my list of the best projects at the halfway point of 2014 and his follow up tape, Seraphic, was met with solid reviews as well and showcased the growth he’s made as an artist. With a flow that’s hypnotic, laid back and smoked out you could compare his delivery to the likes of Curren$y. He doesn’t waste time trying to be anything he’s not and the music he’s currently got in the works is easily his best yet. Below are some of the topics that Silver and I discussed and his take on them, his responses are in italics.

Tell me about what you want to accomplish with the changes that have been made to the 11th realm, are you looking to grow more with a smaller team or are you looking to add more individuals to the group?

Growth is imminent and essential in this music shit. I’m honestly just looking to improve as an artist myself. Trying to focus on every artistic aspect I possibly can. Right now we’re rebuilding and focusing on this project that we’re creating. Keeping it very personal.

Since getting out of prison has anything changed with your mindset and approach to music?

Of course. Being in a cell all day gives you time to think, rethink, and create new ideas. I’ve got the blueprint prepared. The stuff I worked on in prison is sort of like the battle between Hyype & Silver, trying to figure out who I am. At the same time I was trying not to lose my fucking mind.


Silver, The 11th Realm. Photo by Jesse Wiles
Silver, The 11th Realm. Photo by Jesse Wiles

Why did you feel you needed to change from the stage name Hyype to Silver?

I feel like Hyype was more of a stage in my life rather then something I wanted to dedicate my life to. I decided making it my real name because I can simply be me, rather then a rapper. I want it all to be honest and organic.

With all of these changes can listeners expect to hear some new music soon? Either in the form of singles or an EP/ mixtape.

I’m working on a project right now. I’ll figure out a date to release the title, just know it’s coming and is coming out crazy.

Who are some artists that you’d really like to collaborate with in the future?

It would be raw as hell to work with Alchemist or Harry Fraud.


Silver, The 11th Realm. Photo by Jesse Wiles
Silver, The 11th Realm. Photo by Jesse Wiles

Does the violence in chicago have any effect on the content or direction you head musically?

Oh of course. I refer to the violence a lot in the new music, as documentation of the streets and personal memories. It’s an awful epidemic here in the city, but it’s also part of what I witnessed growing up so it’s only right I speak up on it.

What was the last full album you listened to?

The Buena Vista Social Club album.

 We’ve seen Vic Mensa, Chance The Rapper, Chief Keef and a handful of other rappers emerge on the national music scene in the past few years and it doesn’t seem like chi-town is going to run out of talent anytime soon who’s the next Chicago area artist to look out for?

Besides us (The 11th Realm), Lucki Eck$, Smino, & Plain Dave got it.


Silver, The 11th Realm. Photo by Jesse Wiles
Silver, The 11th Realm. Photo by Jesse Wiles

Interview and photos by Jesse Wiles.

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