If you have not heard of John Chuck & The Class yet, you seriously need to check them out immediately. John Chuck & The Class are a Minneapolis based duo consisting of rapper JC Stroebel (John Chuck) and producer Henry Donato (The Class), and they are currently killing the local rap game.
Stroebel and Donato have been good friends since they were in first grade, and began making music with a few of their other friends during freshman year of high school. Their music with classmates started out as piano-rock, but Stroebel and Donato have since evolved into John Chuck & The Class toward the end of their high school days.
“I’m not sure what started all of that exactly, but we both were enthusiastic about creating art and music early on and it just felt right to do it together,” said Donato.While the duo have been working on music for years now, the fully-formed idea of John Chuck & The Class did not surface until pretty recently.”
I had done some writing and production for myself and other groups before then, and JC had been rapping for a few years. It wasn’t officially John Chuck & The Class though, at first. Just making beats for my rapper friend,” stated Donato.
Though the two have been working together musically for quite some time now, they just released their first EP, ‘Grow Up,’ as a duo this past August. Prior to the EP being released John Chuck & The Class put out the single “Business As Usual” in December of 2015. Since then, the two have seen their fanbase grow online via Spotify, especially. They have also been featured on Spotify’s Discovery playlist and featured on Rapzilla, which has helped boost their social media following.
The two have begun work on a new EP already, but have no promises as to when it will be released. If the project continues beyond this upcoming project, a full length album has the potential to be in the works. Donato said that they like working on EPs, however, because they are more cost effective and they are able to put more care and attention into each song.
“I’m not sure what started all of that exactly, but we both were enthusiastic about creating art and music early on and it just felt right to do it together.” – Henry “The Class” Donato
While hip-hop might not be everybody’s cup of tea, I would highly encourage anybody to give John Chuck & The Class a chance. They pull inspirations from many different genres, and this is prominently displayed in their sound.
“I like rock, pop, folk, R&B, hip-hop, whatever’s out there. I’m glad we’re not hip-hop heads entirely. I think that makes our music the combination of sounds that it is. Some artists I draw from a lot for this project would probably boil down to Vulfpeck, Mutemath, Chance the Rapper and Kanye West,” Donato stated about his influences.
Being from Minnesota has also helped the duo define their sound in various ways, learning from both the underground hip-hop scene that Minneapolis displays as well as legendary performers from the area, like Prince for example.
“I think how a band’s sound depends a good amount on the artists performing and coming up around you rather than the actual physical place. Minnesota is known for its underground hip-hop scene, and in recent years with Doomtree, Brother Ali, Allan Kingdom, et cetera, that’s been validated,” said Donato about Minneapolis.
While John Chuck & The Class currently have no plans to tour, be sure to keep an eye open for shows in your state. Donato stated that the duo is currently looking into one-off or two-off shows for weekends in states where they have a large following, primarily Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan.
Be sure to check the guys out, and you’ll be bumping their tunes for days (or weeks/months). Also, don’t forget to follow them on their socials below because they make me smile everyday with their Internet antics.
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Purchase ‘Grow Up’ Here (you won’t regret it!)