Common Speaks On Drill Music + The New Generation Of Chicago Rappers
Chicago native Common took the time to speak on some of the more influential rappers of his hometown’s new generation of emcees and some of the more dangerous trends he sees in Chicago’s revived hip-hop scene at yesterday’s opening night for Canon’s PIXMA PRO City Senses Photo Exhibit on the city’s West Side. Some may not be aware of how pervasive and eclectic the Mid-West city’s hip-hop scene has become over the past few years, however much of its success has been attributed to the newly coined drill music movement. The movement boasts uber-violent lyrics and tends to glamorize some pretty terrible aspects of the survival mentality being bred in the impoverished South of the city, as well as the skewed priorities that develop around those dispositions. With young emcees like Chief Keef, Lil Reese and King Louie leading the charge and boasting former associations with prominent Chicago gang The Black Disciples, Common worries for the victims of the rap beefs that are derivative of these harder tones.
For those who may not recall the g-funk era of hip-hop when rap beefs were as common as the cold, they tend not to resolve all that well with the occasional assassination attempts on the heads of some of the culture’s biggest stars (some successful, see Biggie and 2Pac.) This was recently the case in Chicago when an 18 year-old rapper by the name of Lil Jojo was gunned down shortly after a tweeting bout with the aforementioned new Chicago emcees. Common being no stranger to rap beefs (former fellow beefers include Ice Cube and Drake,) took the time discuss what he learned as a feuding emcee in the mid to late 90s and how to conduct oneself in regards to other members of the community:
“What I learned was that hip-hop is always about the battle — but don’t take it past the records.”
Going on to discuss the burgeoning revival of Chicago’s hip-hop scene, he states his acknowledgement of drill music as both a legitimate and relevant form of art and seems to reserve a fair amount of fondness for the overly aggressive hip-hop derivative. Describing how the diversity of Chicago’s scene works to its own proliferation (specifically citing up and comer Chance The Rapper,) Common likens the new roster of artists from the Mid-West to that of the roster from his own era:
“”I like that there’s a Chicago movement — and a variety of music. That’s one thing I always appreciated about Chicago, that you had myself, you had Kanye, Lupe and you also had Twista, and each of us raps different.”
So however the fertile bed of Chicago’s hip-hop scene is developing and where it seems to be going, lets hope that these fiery new artists take a page out of the neo-soul emcee’s book and and heed the call to conduct themselves in a manner that uplifts the art form and continues to add to the culture from which it stems. You can read the entirety of Common’s interview at DNAinfo Chicago and get a better understanding for the drill music scene from King Louie’s interview with Ebony.
spotted at FSD