Written by: Dmonet
Before I go into this I want to say that I do not endorse violence, killing or sexism and although these themes are very evident in this style of music I believe that they are symptoms of a society that is severely sick. It’s a known statistical fact that poor communities (the hood) have a higher rate of unemployment, lack of infrastructure, and opportunities for kids to safely spend their time.
So you have a marginalized portion of town, no jobs, terrible schools (that are being closed down), no safe spaces for youth, constant police harassment, and a lack of community due to the violence that grows out of these places.
What do people expect to happen? Chief Keef is a product of systematic racism and a lack of care that turns so many young kids into self proclaimed savages, hittas etc… This essentially is where we get drill from, it’s the music of disenfranchised youth that have not had much opportunity to succeed. It creates gutter music for people who live on the outskirts of mainstream society.
Which brings me to my next point, Chicago itself has not gotten any more violent since Drill became popular, there have always been shootings and if anything they’re going down in comparison to before. The murder rate actually used to be at about 600 in the early 2000’s* and have gone down since then, so what's gotten Chicago all this attention?
Chief Keef and his drill peers actually made the violence in the city a national issue. Before drill music, people outside of the city rarely talked about how violent and truly bad things were. These artists were a microcosm of what is truly wrong with our inner cities. When you see the first Chief Keef/ King Louie/ Fredo videos you can see that this is genuine real organic street music. Before this, rap was getting a little too shallow and a lot of rappers were just flexing.
When drill came out you could immediately tell that this was no front and the statistics were there to prove it. A lot of people will even tell you that everyone in the hood now wants to be just like Chief Keef and his music has made the city a more dangerous place to live. So you have to ask has drill made the city more violent? No, it hasn’t, in 2013 there were 415 murders and in 2012 there were 516 so technically ever since drill went mainstream the violence has gone down. Personally I love this style of music. The flow is aggressive and the production is amazing.
The story of a 17 year old kid with asperger’s from the city slums and a young producer (Young Chop) making it to the top of the music world and changing the game is remarkable. People are actually making a living out of this and although some people like to lessen the value of this music, it's definitely been a part of the so called Chicago musical renaissance. So next time you want to criticize drill think about what’s actually the problem: young kids adapting to a screwed up environment or the system that is made to keep black and brown men powerless and in jails.
Thanks for reading!
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Chicago Go to homicides in Chicago the data is there just scroll down.