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Chiraq, Drillinois
January 9, 2014 3:12 PM   Subscribe

WorldStar HipHop has released a 40 minute mini-documentary on violence in Chicago and the young rappers who are a part of the scene surrounding it. The Field: Chicago features appearances from up-and-coming rappers such as Lil Durk, Lil Reese, King Louie, Lil Bibby, Katie Got Bandz, and more.

Drill music is a style of rap that has comparisons to Atlanta's trap music, but focuses predominately on the violent life in South Side Chicago. Most drill rappers are young, with some getting signed to major labels when they are 17 much like Chief Keef, who is regarded as responsible for making drill go mainstream.

Two rappers who were involved in the filming of this documentary were killed before it was released. L'A Capone, who was 17 at the time of his death, was shot outside of a recording studio. The other, Jerome "J-Money" Wood, was shot a few weeks earlier. He was 21. Rapper Lil Jojo was killed last year after releasing the song 3hunnaK, which mocked Chief Keef, Lil Durk, and Lil Reese.
posted by gucci mane (15 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, WSHH...the word "chutzpah" comes to mind.
posted by rhizome at 3:23 PM on January 9


I knew this sounded familiar.

Just about any teenager in Chicago today can tell you the story of Chief Keef and Lil JoJo […]

This is now spawning a bunch more of "why is chicago so violent" googling, and the first five minutes of the documentary look really interesting.

It's so beyond my experience of what a city can be like.
posted by pmv at 4:15 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Does being Lil predispose one to pursuing a career in teh raps?
posted by indubitable at 4:57 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Fascinating, and really well shot. Thanks for posting.
posted by mannequito at 5:07 PM on January 9


Does being Lil predispose one to pursuing a career in teh raps?

lil' comes from a gang honorific meaning you took the name of an elder or former member
posted by Quart at 5:39 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


pmv: This is now spawning a bunch more of "why is chicago so violent" googling, and the first five minutes of the documentary look really interesting.

It's mentioned in the film by rappers, but it also is mentioned in this article (which I should have worked into the FPP. My bad!):

In common with local crime experts, Sickamore traces drill’s roots to the destruction of the Chicago Housing Authority projects, which dispersed gangbangers throughout the city, atomizing a well-organized gang structure. At one time, 500-member gangs operating out of CHA towers controlled several square miles of turf, says former police lieutenant Arthur Bilek, executive vice president of the Chicago Crime Commission. Now neighborhood gangs, like Durk’s Lamron crew, are shooting each other over the right to sell drugs on a single street corner, sending the city’s murder rate to a 10-year high.

I don't really know what the entire story is behind why the CHA projects were destroyed and whether or not there was a coherent plan in place to relocate the inhabitants, but it appears to be the genesis of the violence we're seeing right now.
posted by gucci mane at 5:46 PM on January 9


Any way to stream without buffer...buffer...buffer
posted by symbioid at 8:28 PM on January 9


I think it's interesting to compare drill to some of the cloud rap coming out of the bay. You've got a lot of similarities with the artists, but the beats and to a lesser degree the subject matter are really divergent.

Thanks for posting this, enjoyed it. Also learned that no one in Chicago replaces the batteries in their smoke detectors. They should really talk to their landlords about that, it's gotta be a fire code violation.
posted by yeahwhatever at 8:33 PM on January 9


Youtube version doesn't have the buffering issue and works on mobile devices, but lacks the insane number of comments. A bit of background on the people featured in the video can be found over here at morningnews.
posted by zenon at 9:31 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Does being Lil predispose one to pursuing a career in teh raps?

lil' comes from a gang honorific meaning you took the name of an elder or former member


Um... I think you can also just be 'lil because you're 'lil.

Is there a Big Poopy?

A Big Bow-Wow?

C'mon people...C'mon.
posted by Hennimore at 11:05 PM on January 9


A Big Bow-Wow?

That would be Snoop Dogg.
posted by PenDevil at 11:22 PM on January 9


I don't really know what the entire story is behind why the CHA projects were destroyed and whether or not there was a coherent plan in place to relocate the inhabitants, but it appears to be the genesis of the violence we're seeing right now.

The Cabrini-Green Projects were a part of CHA. Coincidentally, also where the movie Candyman took place.

There was a pretty good documentary on netflix about it a few years ago, but I can't find any reference of it now. Basically, it was a crime-ridden project that the mayors office (or maybe someone on the city council) made a public stand against by staying in the projects "until the crime stopped". Their security team welded all the exits shut except for the front door. The gangs layed low until the politicians left and then took over their newly buttressed fortress.

This was in 1981, before crack.

If you've seen New Jack City, its a bit like if the city had done half of Nino Browns work as a PR statement and just deserted it ("The Carter" housing project in the movie) afterwards. Crime escalated until the city began demolishing the highrises, and relocating families into southside housing, this spread a tight-knit, hardcore gang headquarters into new territory.

This was one housing project, and the highrises were torn down between 1995-2011, so this is not something that happened overnight. Its an extreme example, but did not happen in isolation. If this was a project of dismantling all the highrises in Chicago, that would only multiply the effects.

The younger kids in these families are growing up in a new close environment in gang culture based in houses / small apartments so the cliques are smaller, with the advent of social media (see "facebook drilling" in the original article), and the usual lack of opportunity, buckets of guns, teenage recklessness and the greater internet anonymous fuckwad theory, and you've got pointless violence, 24-hour news coverage, buzzwords, and reprehensible websites making exploitative documentaries.

Here's a couple extra links about the people and place:
Voices of Cabrini (vimeo)
Time Photos: The End Of Cabrini-Green

All those people and all those problems didn't just disappear.

The whole situation is so mind-bogglingly fucked up its hard to comprehend. Well-intentioned public projects, budget cuts, poverty, political grandstanding, the war on drugs; its a microcosm of so many fucked up things that have happened in the US in the last century.

Seriously, just read that first wiki link I posted, and try to figure out what went wrong, and where you think the arc of that situation is going to go in the future.
posted by lkc at 12:57 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Also, a bit further, the Rhymefest in the "Chiraq" article gucci mane linked has a lot of quotes from Rhymefest, who co-wrote Kanye's "Jesus Walks" (point of reference, though I'm not a Ye fan), and No I.D. who apparently now works for Def Jam.

Here is a Rhymefest track, produced by No I.D.

Here is an earlier Rhymefest and J.U.I.C.E. track, produced by the Molemen.

And internet fave Chance the Rappers second mixtape "Acid Rap", was recorded last year when he was only 19, and sounds like a young Randy Newman making a Cee-Lo green album. In a good way.

Just in case all that other shit was getting you down.
posted by lkc at 1:32 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Where are the other documentaries about the cities with even worse violence and murder rates? Just for example, in 2012, Chicago's murder rate per 100,000 ranked #20 in just the state of IL. (Correcting for statistical anomalies, it ranks fifth in cities over 25,000)

Chicago has a violence problem, but the hyperbole (and creepy glorification of violence) of the "Chiraq" moniker is insulting to the millions of people who aren't going around murdering people, and ignores the many, many other places in the US with much worse violence problems.
posted by gjc at 10:05 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Chicago has a violence problem, but the hyperbole (and creepy glorification of violence) of the "Chiraq" moniker is insulting to the millions of people who aren't going around murdering people, and ignores the many, many other places in the US with much worse violence problems.

Good grief, Tipper Gore much? Yeah, it's the hip hop movement that's been glorifying violence all along. I've never seen a sensationalist headline in national media blaring about the number of homicides Chicago had this weekend. /hamburger
posted by IvoShandor at 3:36 PM on January 11


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