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Is Drill Music Responsible for Chiraq?

Written by on 11 December 2014

Guns, gangs and violence. Ever since the advent of gangsta rap, these themes have become synonymous with the genre. But now there’s a sub-genre of rap that seems to take the blood and gore a step further and to some, a little too far. Introducing drill music, Chicago’s answer to the 1980’s NWA and 1990’s Death Row music.

Budding from Chicago’s Dro City neighborhood, drill music was founded in the early 2000’s, and soon gained a large following. The in-your-face lyrics about street life and violence were subjects that many in the city and across the country knew all too well. It even catapulted artists like Chief Keef and Lil Bibby into the national spotlight.

However, the intense and highly aggressive and violent lyrics have many wondering if this very music is contributing to Chicago’s murder rate and high gang participation, which has led to the city being referred to as “Chiraq.”

One rapper, Lil Mouse, started at the ripe age of 12, espousing the ins and outs of gang life.  In his song, “D. Wade,” he pledges loyalty to his gang and explains how, “I’m the heat with the 30 and you can call me D. Wade…Stack star, hella bandz, HBN, choppa spray.”

With increasing visibility, several artists have been murdered in connection with the very music they produce. Lil Jojo, Johnny Boy Da Prince, L’A Capone and Lil Jeff are just a few that have been cut down in the very streets they claim.

Do you think music has the power to influence young people’s mindsets and values? Can lyrics be responsible for violence? Should artists be held to a higher degree and responsibility when it comes to their music?

Weigh in and let us know.

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