Article by: By JAMES WARREN
In “PolyMath,” the latest album by the Chicago hip-hopper Capital D, United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is heard on one track announcing the indictment of the former Chicago police commander Jon Burge on charges related to torture and physical abuse of criminal suspects.
Capital D then denounces “living in the belly of the beast where they feast on the weak,” acerbically alluding to cattle prods used on testicles and knees jammed into throats. Hailing the release as a landmark, Greg Kot, music critic of The Chicago Tribune, called the artist “as ominous as a shiv in a back alley, exposing the brutal politics of race relations.”
There’s far more: Some tracks are much lighter and self-reflective, and all are musically engaging. It explains why Mr. Kot called Capital D “criminally under-recognized nationally” and told me, “As a thinker, poet and socially conscious agitator and provocateur, he is truly an independent artist in a genre overrun with followers.”
Capital D is also under-recognized at the mainstream Chicago law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman — and not because establishment Loop lawyers are more inclined toward the Chicago Symphony than to Kanye West.
It’s because Capital D is their colleague David J. Kelly. He’s a successful senior associate in the corporate law department, specializing in sports and ably assisting clients on contracts and securities work, including the Bulls, the White Sox, the Oakland A’s and the Golden State Warriors.
Sheldon Zenner, a partner, suspects that many are clueless about the second life of “a wonderful guy” who doesn’t promote his other persona internally. When I asked Steve Bashwiner, a friend and longtime ace litigator, he had no idea that David Kelly was also somebody known as Capital D.
“There’s definitely a tension between my two lives,” Mr. Kelly, 40, said as we chatted in a near West Side coffee shop during a pre-Christmas snowfall. “Rappers don’t go to law school and then work for corporate law firms.”
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