Chicago Doesn’t Need ANYMORE Documentaries

“Were in the Windy City, Chicago, home of deep dish pizza, the Bears, and the highest murder rate in America” goes a nerdy, skinny ass white boy who’s apart of Noisey, the newest 8-part documentary done on Chicago.

It’s title? Welcome To Chiraq. (Excuse me while I roll my eyes on that one)

As I watched the first part of that documentary and also World Star Hip Hop’s one called The Field on the same subject matter, I couldn’t help but think I am T I R E D of these pointless ass documentaries being done on Chicago.

I call these documentaries pointless because of the subject matters.

In both documentaries, you see/hear:
Interviews done with the SAME rappers.
Interviews done with the SAME rappers managers.
The killing of Lil JoJo.
Interviews with the SAME producer(s)
The extras, who wave guns around in the camera.
Interviews with the cops, who are “really trying to crack down on gang violence.”
[As if gangs spearheaded by a single leader even exist anymore]

Oh, and the one or two after school program(s) that’s supposed to be the beacon of light in the whole documentary.

I’m not saying that these stories don’t deserve to get told… But why the SAME story?
Who exactly are these stories for?
And who exactly do these stories benefit?

To an out of towner, or a Chicagoan who didn’t know any better, you would probably think that Chicago is a violent city and if you’re violent enough, you’ll get a record deal from a label that doesn’t REALLY give a fuck about you, while still living in poverty.

That sounds like exploitment to me. I am infuriated that these “media outlets” [ and I use that phrase loosely, ] constantly choose to exploit my city for YouTube views. I’m infuriated that the people on these documentaries don’t care that they are getting exploited.

Or maybe they do, but instead of speaking out about that, they choose to glorify the same violence that plagues their lives, because they have been conditioned to believe that as long as people are watching them, it does not matter what is being shown.

It is no secret that I despise the term “ChiRaq….” People have tried to capitalize off this term with everything from apparel bearing the word to the most recent documentaries.

No one can give me a logical answer as to why it is so cool to be from a city that is known as a war zone.

I don’t find it humorous that some people find it hard to walk down the street without fearing for their lives, I don’t think it’s cool for people to have to bury their young friends and family when they’re young, I don’t like to see people living in poverty… I believe violence in Chicago happens because of not only poverty, but also because most people are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.. If you witness or go through something traumatic, your life changes immediately.

However, us Chicagoans aren’t a fucking science experiment. Our day to day lives don’t deserve to be dissected and exploited for you outsider’s entertainment.

Lots of stories deserve to be told… But it must be done in the right way. These documentaries aren’t teaching us anything new. As diverse as Chicago is, it’s annoying that the same images are constantly being shown.

I’m from Chicago. The home of the Bulls, Blackhawks, and Bears. Deep dish pizza, hot summers and cold winters. The home of tall sky scrapers. Where Harold’s is the God of all chicken & AP Deli, Uncle Remus, Portillo’s & Italian Fiesta reign just as supreme. Where YouMedia was a Mecca for creative kids with something to say. The home of corrupt politicians and MAJOR political movements. The home of a dope train system that’s guaranteed to entertain you. The home of Milwaukee Ave, where hipster kids go and thrift shop.

If people aren’t willing to show that side of Chicago as well, then Chicago doesn’t NEED anymore documentaries!

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  1. Great blog Kia! First off, I think you are an awesome person and I love that you are passionate about your work, but just for the sake of argument. Isnt this how we view a lot of things in life? Don’t we associate things to ourselves to add merit to who we are and what we stand for? For example, I am from Eldorado, which is rich with meth heads and people being found dead in ditches commiting suicide cause they tripped on drugs. I must have lived in a “rough neighborhood”. I must be tough for making it through.

    1. Hey Mike, thanks for the read! Now, as I said, lots of stories deserve to be told. My issue is that there is only one specific story being told, with no alternative point of view.

      1. Yes, I have noticed that there is only stories about the crime rate and not the goodness. I just seen that you were disgusted by people “repping where they are from”. I was wondering if you thought it was only for attention or to “give weight” to what type of person they are.

      2. I don’t like the word disgusted lol. But I think they are being exploited, & that they are letting themselves get exploited, for attention.

    2. Great article, and I agree that their should be a change up in documentary styles. But I must admit as a hip hop blogger and long time Chicago citizen it was just the people that were chosen that killed the vibe

      1. Thanks for the read. I agree with you, the people def have a lot to do with the imagery of Chicago as well.

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