Chiraq. It’s the present nickname for Chicago among many the the african American youth who inhabit the city and also it originates from a pat on words, based on the city and also Iraq, a country with well-known problems of poverty and rampant violence.

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Teenagers living over there seem to it is in embracing the similarities that their residence shares with this troubled third world nation. However, this is nothing new. Significant cities such together Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and brand-new York have been dealing with the effects of being lived in with short income, crime infested areas for as lengthy as storage serves. And also for just as long, young people who consist of those areas wear those ills together a argorial of honor.

Still, other strange seems to be occurring in the united States’ 3rd largest city. According to the Huffington Post, more than 500 homicides to be committed in Chicago in 2012 (a 16 percent climb from the previous year). Even an ext disturbing is the frequency v which fatalities have actually occurred. In the course of three weeks, 38 killings were reported. ~ above Feb. 19, a new city document was collection when 6 world were murdered in a single day. End the exact same time period, 228 lives were shed to gun violence in Chiraq, as opposed come 144 U.S. Troops who were killed fighting in Afghanistan.

These astonishing statistics beg the question, “What is going on in Chicago?” part of the answer: the marriage in between a lengthy standing culture of gang task and the next wave of lab artists climbing in the area.

Vice Lords, Gangster Disciples, black Disciples, Latin Kings, and several various other gangs trace their beginnings to the roads of Chicago as far earlier as the 50s. Most, if not all of them, started with beliefs built around social and also economic development for minorities. However of course, over time they need to represent so lot that plagues the city: drug dealing, robberies, reckless murders, etc.

(Enter the rappers). Critical year, Chi-Town’s i know good hop scene experienced a significant shift native the socially, politically charged layouts of Lupe Fiasco and also Common to the pure glorification of street life presented by the likes of Lil Mouse and also Chief Keef. On his single “Get Smoked,” Lil computer mouse raps around popping pills, killing civilization with hollow tip ammunition, and also recites every curse word because that a grand complete of 43 times. Does that seem too too much in today’s music climate? Well, Lil mouse is only 13. The reality that someone no yet old sufficient for high institution was permitted to record and also promote such material speaks to Chicago’s present problems.

Then there is chef Keef, a 17-year-old rapper through a cult-like adhering to of teens from throughout the country. And this is not because of his lyrical prowess. It is the gang affiliation and also the real life drama the surrounds him that has actually made the so popular with rap’s target demographic.

Keef was recently released from prison after offer a two-month sentence in a youth correctional facility. He violated terms of his probation by shooting a promo video at a gun range and flashing maker guns in number of music videos. What to be he on probation for? three counts the aggravated attack for flashing a gun in ~ police officers who were chasing him with his neighborhood.

When it comes to gang life, the number 300 is an identifying note for members that the black color Disciples. Keef’s most well-known song is title “300,” he constantly repeats that in his interviews, and on his Twitter account he supplied to finish each tweet with #300. He supplied to because he end doing so after the greatest scandal of his young career.

Keef’s rival, 18-year-old Chicago rapper Lil JoJo, was shot to fatality in vast daylight after releasing a viral music video clip titled “300K” (gang code for black Disciple Killer) that was a diss come Keef and his crew. In the video, Lil JoJo brandishes handguns and assault rifles that were precise bigger 보다 him. In another video clip he is watched harassing artist Lil Reese (a member the Keef’s entourage) together he cd driver by him in the street, and someone can plainly be heard screaming “JoJo, I’ma death you.” He shed his life 5 hours later. After his death, Keef taunted his death on Twitter, to immediate backlash native fans and also the media. JoJo’s mother has appeared on BET’s don’t Sleep proclaiming that Keef payment to have actually her boy killed. That was doubted by police, yet never charged. His street lore reached an all-time high adhering to the incident.

The biggest example of whereby the mentality of youth in Chicago is top is shown in a YouTube video clip of clip taken from Lil JoJo’s funeral. In the video, which takes place in a small church, countless teens (most the whom had never also met JoJo) practically knock his casket over together they scramble over each other to gain a glimpse of among their partner who died behind gangster rap music seeping into reality. JoJo’s family members was therefore upset the they then stopped the funeral. After ~ the group of to be kicked out, they entered the church’s parking lot and began to smoke weed and also play “300K” over and also over again until the police finally damaged up the gathering.

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There is a difference between rappers favor Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy and also Chief Keef. Keef is more than likely the most well-known street artist in the music sector today because it is therefore much much easier for young, impressionable world to check out a have fun of themselves (or at the very least who they want to be) in him. Why? Because, he is the same age as they are. How numerous teens life in Chicago look at him and say, “if he can be in a gang, be fear by his enemies, and also be a rapper who’s on TV and also radio every day, why can’t I?” have those aspirations become the new American Dream for the black color youth? What is walking on in Chiraq most certainly indicates so. Wherein that train of assumed will command a lot of of human being can be frightening to ponder.