A Tale of One City


Last month, I ran across a very interesting, yet very problematic article on http://soundfusemag.com/2013/10/15/chance-the-rapper-vs-chief-keef-not-a-rivalry-but-a-microcosm-of-gun-violence-in-chicago/ discussing the two sides of Chicago’s rap scene, which pinpoints Chance The Rapper and Chief Keef as the faces of the sides.

While I get that the author of this article really used this as a catalyst to rant about how great Chance is, he really ignored some vital points in his “research” when it comes to composing such an article of this nature.

Though I have a number of problems with this article, the main issue I have is that the author literally tried to box Chicago’s music scene into two categories, and FAILED.

What I took from this article is that the author feels like that you’ll either be a “Chief Keef” or a “Chance The Rapper”

That view of Chicago’s hip-hop scene couldn’t be more limiting, but given that Sound Fuse Mag is a site that covers more so alternative rock and live music, I’ll give him a small benefit of the doubt for his poor observation.

However, at the same time, I can’t give the author a pass for being so biased.

It irritates me to learn that most hip-hop or music journalists in general try to put Chicago music into one box.

Do these fools not realize that CHICAGO is racially, economically, socially and musically diverse?

Whether you’re from Chicago or not, I feel like if you’ve been here long enough and travelled within the city then you’ll realize that one side of the city is nothing like another part of the city.

Case in point, not all southsiders are the same. So no, they’re not going to rap about the same things, look the same way, nor portray themselves in the media the same way.

And if you think they should, then you’re a fool.

However, when you’re getting most of your information from one prominent blog in Chicago, then I expect your views to be limited and unorthodox. I don’t expect someone like that to go out and explore the diversity within this city’s music scene.

But lo and behold, this person wrote this article, despite his lack of basic knowledge.

To compare and contrast Chance and Keef  is idiotic because they are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Sure, Keef is more overt with his displays of violence but to confidently say that Chance doesn’t speak on violence at all goes to show me that you’re not really listening, and that you’re just caught up in Chance’s “good boy” image, which would make anyone look like a saint next to Chief Keef.

Thus, I feel that the author’s argument was half-assed and pointless. The only successful thing that this article did was perpetuate its prejudice undertones and biased point of view. I get it that the author loves Chance, (I mean, who wouldn’t?) but you shouldn’t praise him just because you don’t like the other person’s music.

To conclude, I encourage every music journalist to understand this about Chicago’s music scene: This may be one city, but no two people are the same. No sound is the same. No lyrics are the same.

We’re diverse dammit, deal with it.

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  1. Agreed! Chicago is too diverse musically which is a good thing! And yes Keef n Chamce are the faces of Chicago music at the moment, originally chicago music scene was wrapped Twista, R.kelly and house music. It is just now we getting a bigger rapper movementa nd each rapper from Chicago i know has a different vibe to them which is great because nobody is really sounding alike!

  2. You neglected to address one of the main points of the article. It appeared to me that his distaste for Keef also was based in the fact that he perpetuates this “thug” image and glorifies heinous actions whilst presenting in a very rudimentary method. I understand people have different tastes, but at the same time, I feel like the music can have a detrimental affect on society, as if Chicago doesn’t have enough problems to begin with. The same can be said for the majority of pop music, from bieber to miley to that blurred lines crap.. not to mention the staggering emphasis on reality television.

    Again, these are all societal problems and the issue is much deeper than a critique of the two biggest names in the Chicago hip-hop seen.

    One last thing, throwing them together in the whole “from the southside” thing may not have been the best way to put it. Outlining the details of particular neighborhoods/environments may have been outside his realm of knowledge, but hey, I enjoyed your critique as well as the original piece.

    Here’s to Rahm trying to address the real issues our city faces instead of nickle and diming those that can hardly afford it.

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