Chicago Drill Music is Most Connected to Roots of Hip Hop

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YouTube: The Next Slim Jesus? White Chicago Drill Rapper GMEBE Bandz ft Racks ATM, Benji Glo "Demons"

CHICAGO — New York introduced the world to hip hop, a culture steeped in street traditions and lore. The West Coast of California brought funk and gangster elements, along with Philadelphia's underground hardcore gangster rap. The South eventually rose and Atlanta became a hotspot for talent, which culminated in trap music and club songs. Chicago is breaking new ground in the hip hop world coming from the Midwest.

Drill music is street music from Chicago. A heavy synth sound and lots of bass along with real stories about drug dealing, murder, guns, snitching and its consequence and other real street life stories. Chicago was nicknamed Chiraq because its murder rate exceeded that of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan during the American led wars in the Middle East. The politics and other government structures, including justice and law enforcement, are corrupt in the city and the infrastructure of the state of Illinois is in downward spiral. Those at the bottom of the totem pole in the most segregated city in America are producing a soundtrack to their violent and dismal surroundings. That is the essence of hip hop.

They may be missing the graffiti art, the DJing and the dancing, but the music tells stories of Chicago's streets. Chicago was El Chapo's home base for smuggling narcotics from Mexico/Texas to nearby hubs like Minneapolis/St. Paul or the East Coast or Pacific Northwest. Also, the videos, some might say, serve as graffiti art in the digital age. They definitely help illustrate their surroundings and storytelling. And the new age DJs in drill music are the producers like Chopp, who has worked with young drill sensation Chief Keef, a rapper who became Internet famous with the song "Don't Like", which rendered millions of views and a contract with corporate label Interscope.

Chicago's streets are some of the most violent on earth. The violence however, is centered within the streets of Chicago's poorest area's, with larger populations of Latino and African Americans, those on the south and west sides of the city. The gangs there have been splintered since the destruction of major housing projects took place. Within the projects were well organized street organizations like the Black P Stones and Gangster Disciples. Over the years, the gangs have rebranded, reorganized, branched out, died out or splintered into factions. Many of them war over turf to sell drugs and commit other crimes. In 2016, Chicago had more than 760 murders, beating all other major urban areas for homicide numbers. This is the backdrop for drill music.

Will drill music last? Music evolves. Chicago will evolve. There is no telling what the music and culture that makes the music will say, but it will certainly reflect the society under which those Chicago youth are raised. For now, drill music is telling the story of city youth involved in complex scenarios based on gang life/culture and the prospects, hardships and threats of death that come with it. It also beckons and cries for help but at the same time glorifies the war stories of domination and conquest for sake of greed, also known as chasing paper. Drill music is pure hip hop soul, just drenched in chaos and tragedy.

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