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CHICAGO — Josh Brickman just happened to be riding a Divvy last winter when a certain Notorious B.I.G. song popped into his head — and he couldn’t help thinking, “Divvy Divvy Divvy, can’t you see? Sometimes your bikes just hypnotize me.”
But Brickman, an engineer living in Streeterville, didn’t stop there.
With help from four friends who also are Divvy super-fans, all in their mid 20s, he ended up writing, performing and filming a slickly produced music video, sampling Biggie’s “Hypnotize” and name-checking Chicago staples like Wacker Drive, the polar vortex, hot dogs with no ketchup, the Cubs’ World Series drought and Lake Michigan.
The song was recorded with singer/actress Neala Barron, who also collaborated with him on a song and music video released earlier this month, “Chicago I Love You (But You’re Bringing Me Down)“.
“It’s a labor of love,” said Brickman, who has pursued rapping as a hobby since high school. “I enjoy getting myself out there creatively. It’s a way to merge a few things — I’ve done projects about the camp I worked at and the college I went to, so why not do a song or two about Chicago?”
The footage was mostly shot between last August and December along the lakefront Downtown, but also offers glimpses of Logan Square, Wrigleyville and Hyde Park, Brickman said.
The lyrics even address the “coolness” factor (or lack thereof) of the clunky bright blue bikes: “Hipsters on the block, like, ‘you’re so quaint.'” But Brickman and his friends — all of whom have annual Divvy memberships — said they don’t sweat the haters. They even have a Facebook message thread where they try to one-up one another for how many rides they rack up.
Steve Sprieser, who jokingly calls himself the social media coordinator of the group, said that the heavy bikes are useful for marathon cross-training, “up and down the hills over the Kennedy or Chicago River bridges.”
Though the five friends said they are in no way paid by Divvy, “we won’t complain if Divvy reaches out and says free rides for life,” Brickman said.
What’s next for Brickman? He and Mark Palace, another friend who helped on the Divvy video, are working on a new song about “a basketball team of giraffes and the pluses and minuses that come with [that].”
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