Updated: Jun 2
Around this time 9 years ago, a 16 year old BD from Chicago uploaded the following video to YouTube:
Many people see this song, this video, this cultural moment as the birth of Chicago drill music. It currently sits at 41 million views on YouTube. The success of this song laid a blueprint for a whole generation of Chicago youth looking for a way to tell their stories using the voices they were raised with.
That’s what drill music is all about, after all: holding that mirror up; only this mirror is battle tested and might need to double as a shield. I urge our readers to resist lazy and surface-level analyses that paint drill music as problematic for encouraging violence in Chicago. The violent lyrics are a reflection of lived experience; a lived experience created [over years and decades of time] by deliberate state policies.
Conscious rappers might tackle similar topics as drill artists, favoring more explicit systematic analyses and normative judgements. But nobody quite addresses them with the brutal honesty, transparency, and tendency for adaptation as Chicago drill artists like Keef, G Herbo, and Durk.
Also, don't be lame - the shit's hard.
Let's Run it Back.