Praising Violent Chicago Hip-Hop: That’s That Shit I Don’t Like

Praising Violent Chicago Hip-Hop: That’s That Shit I Don’t Like

Hip-hop’s ties to real life violence became increasingly documented and notorious (no pun) during the gangster rap era of the early-to-mid ’90s and, for some, began to fade following the murders of 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G. That’s not to say other sub-genres, including gangster rap itself, have ever completely faded. Tough-talkin’ mafioso MCs spittin’ that ol’ bullshit about pushing your wig sideways have been around for decades. And horrorcore has brought out some of the most gruesome rhymes ever. But when the lyrics become an in-your-face hard reality, as with Pac and Biggie, the hip-hop and music community at large tend to take a step back and consider a maybe-it’s-time-to-chill-the-fuck-out mentality.

That sentiment rang out like the very gunshot that killed 16-year-old Chicago rapper Lil JoJo on the evening of Sept. 4. He was yet another victim in the terrifying murder epidemic that continues to spread like cancer through the Windy City. If for whatever reason you’re out of the loop on the gut-wrenching gang violence that occurs there, take a minute to do some research on Google because an essay outlining murder statistics this is not. Rather, I’d like to use this as an opportunity for us—from anyone who truly cares about hip-hop to the indie rock kids who embrace the occasional buzz rapper—to stop celebrating the gun-toting raps of 17-year-old Chief Keef, Lil Reese, and the like.

And it’s not because they’re making “scary music” or because I think we need to bury our heads in the sand about serious issues or any shit like that (quite the contrary). It’s because these kids have not shown even an ounce of remorse for the killing of JoJo, Yes, Lil JoJo talked a load of shit to Keef and Reese prior to his murder, but since when does that warrant a human being’s murder followed by laughter and mocking on Twitter for the world to see?

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  1. Andrew Martin
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 09:45:00

    not my point

  2. M.C. K~Swift
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 07:31:00

    I really need people to stop characterizing this as a rap/internet beef that spilled onto the streets. This is gang violence with rap music on the side. http://mckswift.tumblr.com/post/31109147202/youth-gang-violence-black-brown-power-and

  3. nigelPOW
    Sep 07, 2012 @ 20:08:00

    interscope didn’t even bother to delete the previous tweets.

  4. tatertot1166
    Sep 07, 2012 @ 04:46:00

    yup look it up on google. he said in a interview that he just had a daughter 🙁

  5. Gedi D.
    Sep 06, 2012 @ 19:18:00

    I didn’t know that. That’s even worse :/

  6. tatertot1166
    Sep 06, 2012 @ 19:17:00

    it’s a shame because chief keef is a father

  7. Oz/Futura
    Sep 06, 2012 @ 18:53:00

    Good read. Keef does need some guidance before he becomes a victim of the same crime and we become apologetic. Two things I must add tho… gang violence should be condemned the idea of a gang isn’t entirely wrong. Bambu once told me this but the idea of marginalized kids with nothing on their plates joining together to give each other the sense of belonging is a great thing. Their anger needs to be channelled into positive tho. That’s where guidance comes in. Also, it’s cool to listen to Gangster Hip Hop if you’re not from the ghettos across the world, but don’t praise the behaviour without understanding the consequences Pitchfork and others. That’s that shit I don’t like.

  8. Gedi D.
    Sep 06, 2012 @ 18:44:00

    Chief Keef is basically “O-Dog” from Menace II Society on wax. These kids need father-figures in their lives in the worst way. Shame on Pitchfork for that gun range interview with Chief Keef. That was deplorable.

  9. Andrew Martin
    Sep 06, 2012 @ 16:56:00

    My bad, I saw 18 everywhere.

  10. Chi-town Player
    Sep 06, 2012 @ 16:45:00

    JoJo was 16.

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