Milwaukee Hip-Hop Chess Club
It’s not often that the words hip-hop and chess club are attached to each other. In Milwaukee, that’s no longer the case.
Long-time friends Raquel “Rockz” Aleman and Brandon “Superego” Fury are co-founders of Milwaukee’s own Hip-Hop Chess Club. The club has been up-and-running since October.
Bringing Hip-Hop and Chess to Milwaukee
Inspired by a hip-hop mentor’s efforts to serve a Rhode Island community with chess club and other community service projects, Rockz and Superego recreated the chess club right here in West Allis.
The club meets every Tuesday from 6pm to 8pm at Just For Today, an old bar that was repurposed into a clean, recovery club for veterans and addicts. Rockz and Superego have access to the pool hall space for free.
The vibes are laid back and completely chill. Milwaukeeans start filtering in at their leisure to simply listen to hip-hop and play chess.
The beauty of this club lies in its strong will to use hip-hop and chess as a positive influence for Milwaukee’s youth. Rockz says the game of chess teaches a person to constantly think ahead and consider the potential consequences of their moves. The lesson seamlessly translates into life lessons for the kids.
While Rockz pairs players together for chess matches, Superego provides his own instrumentals for the players to listen to or freestyle to. He also encourages producers to supply their own music for hip-hop chess club or try their hand at making beats with him.
The club is unique in how it balances intellectual thinking with creative expression. One minute a player can be working towards a checkmate, and the next minute, a player can learn to be a beat maker.
The Hip-Hop Chess Club is open to people of all ages. Rockz says age gaps inspire conversations between generations that otherwise wouldn’t take place. The chess club meets every Tuesday at Just For Today in West Allis at 6pm and is free for all participants.