sweet as the scratch

chicago: still drillin

Chicago’s street rap scene may have fallen off the national radar since its most recognizable figure, Chief Keef, all but disappeared from the mainstream rap consciousness.

But even as Chicago rap and Chicago drill music in particular hasn’t been getting much radio play, its sounds have formed the backbone for a number of national hits in the last year or so ("Coco" and "We Dem Boyz", to name just a couple).

The old Chicago drill standards are still the ones making noise in the region. King Louie’s "Live and Die in Chicago," Katie Got Bandz’s "Bring That Ass Here Boy," Chief Keef’s "Faneto," and Lil Durk’s "Try Me" remix have been some of the biggest local hits of the past six months, all songs by artists that have been around since drill began to gain popularity outside of the city in 2012. None of those songs seemed to gain much traction outside of the city, though.

There are still a number of artists with the potential to become the new representative of Chicago’s rap scene. Tink is working with Timbaland and was featured extensively on Future Brown's self-titled LP (Warp Records' first release of 2015), Dreezy is releasing an album on Interscope soon, and Lil Durk has a solo album coming out on Def Jam in May. While the (relatively) new school of Chicago rappers hasn’t had a breakout star that has achieved longevity in the national spotlight, any of these names could prove to be that artist.

Heading in the opposite direction after being dropped from Interscope a few months ago, Chief Keef and his Glo Gang affiliates are fading from view despite their huge local following. Keef is delving into production and Glo Gang Productions and Chopsquaddj seem to be developing somewhat of a signature sound over recent Glo Gang releases, most notably Keef’s "Back From the Dead 2" and "Sorry 4 The Weight."

With the gruff storytelling of Lil Bibby and Lil Herb, the slurred, monotone delivery of Lil Flash and Ballout, the melodic drill of Lil Durk, the brash cockiness of Katie Got Bandz, and the murky, brooding production of Chief Keef, Chicago rap is spanning a vast expanse of sounds.

Check out an array of Chicago rap from the past few months right here:

0:00 "Can’t You Tell (feat. Lil Reese, Tadoe)" – Ballout – (2014)
3:40 "As They Say [Prod. By Von Da Ghost]" – Capo – G.L.O.N.L. 2 (2015)
6:30 "Vet Lungs [Prod. By GGP]" – Chief Keef – Sorry 4 The Weight – (2015)
9:46 "Four Minutes of East End" – Dae Dot x ReeseMoneyBagz – (2015)
13:36 "Boss [Prod. By D Brooks Exclusive]" – Dreezy – (2014)
16:47 "Half Of It [Prod. By Young Chop]" – Fredo Santana – Walking Legend (2014)
20:03 "Fuck School (feat. DooWop)" – Lil Flash – Finesse School (2014)
22:27 "Three’s Company [Prod. Dirty Vans]" – Gino Marley – (2015)
25:25 "39 Bars [Prod. By BlockOnDaTrakk]" – Katie Got Bandz – (2015)
27:42 "Right Now" – King Louie – (2015)
30:32 "Ain’t Heard About You (feat. Lil Herb)" – Lil Bibby – (2015)
34:04 "Purge (feat. Ike Boy)" – Lil Durk – (2015)
37:31 "Finesse Or Not (feat. Terentino) [Prod. By Nasa Hitz]" – Lil Flash (feat. Terentino) – 2014 Lil Flash – GTA Music (2014)
41:01 "Planet of the Apes (feat. Talley of 300) [Prod. By Charisma 808]" – Montana of 300 – Cursed With a Blessing (2014)
44:09 "Niggas Ain’t Shit [Prod. By Young Haz On Da Beat]" – Sasha Go Hard – (2015)
47:25 "Bring That Ass Here Boy [Prod. By Jack Flash]" – Katie Got Bandz – (2014)
50:47 "Bricks [Prod. By Young Haz On Da Beat]" – Sasha Go Hard – (2014)
54:23 "Annoying [Prod. By Young Chop]" – SD – Life of a Savage 4 (2015)
57:37 "Faneto [Prod. By Chief Keef]" – Chief Keef – (2014)
1:01:04 "Ratchet Commandments [Prod. Timbaland]" – Tink – (2015)
1:04:17 "Never Gonna Change (feat. Johnny May Cash, J Rock, YB and BMore) [Prod. Young Chop]" – Young Chop – Still (2014)

-- Bert

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