Black Youth, Social Hacking and The Business of Digital Clout: Chicago’s Drill Rap Scene In Retrospect

Drill is a style of trap music that originated in the South Side of Chicago that was defined by its dark, violent, nihilistic lyrical content and ominous trap-influenced beats. The drill scene was a major vehicle of the early 2010s rise of Chicago hip hop, and was a grassroots movement that had incubated (without mainstream support) in a closed, interlocking system: on the streets and through social media, in a network of clubs and parties, and amongst high school students. During this 60 minute panel, 2 artist managers, 2 journalists and 2 researchers take a retrospective look at Chicago’s Drill Rap phenomenon and its impact on self-branding and DIY ethos in the streaming era of music.

Jabari M. Evans
Northwestern University

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