I edited the 8-part documentary series NOISEY: CHIRAQ, produced by Andy Capper and hosted by Thomas Morton.
Starting January 22nd, NOISEY presents a weekly, 8-part documentary on the music, culture, politics and young people behind Chicago’s current rap music scene. An access-all-areas pass to some of the city’s most notorious streets, the series examines the personalities, controversies and social forces behind one of the most gang-related, criminally convicted music scenes in recent history.
EPISODE 1: WELCOME TO CHIRAQ
In the first part of Noisey’s 8-part documentary CHIRAQ, we head to Englewood, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city of Chicago, to meet Chief Keef, the most famous rapper in the drill scene. Unfortunately at the time, Chief was facing legal trouble, so we instead found Young Chop, a producer credited with shaping drill music, and he gives us an overview of the scene. Later, fellow 3Hunna members Lil Durk and Lil Reese expand on Chop’s thoughts, and we learn extensively about the violence surrounding the area, and the social and cultural challenges the city faces.
EPISODE 2: KEEF IN NYC / CHIRAQ’S NEW KIDS
In the second episode of Noisey’s Chiraq, Chief Keef and his crew head to New York while we catch up with MGS and Global Gangstas Entertainment, two other rap collectives in Chicago. They, along with the Chicago Police Department, speak extensively on the social and cultural challenges faced by the community. Near the end, we’re introduced to Yung Trell, a 14-year-old rapper from Englewood who’s looking for his break.
EPISODE 3: ALIEN vs. PREDATOR vs. CHIEF KEEF
In the third episode of Noisey’s Chiraq, we pick up where we left off in Englewood, and get a taste of the new music coming from the area. Then we jump back across the country and join Chief Keef, Fredo Santana, and others wandering around Times Square. They say what’s up to Alien and Predator before heading backstage for some free styling as they prepare for a show.
EPISODE 4: LIL DURK TERRIFIES THE CITY
In the fourth episode of Noisey’s Chiraq, we catch up extensively with Lil Durk, the next superstar of the Drill scene and go to a show with fellow 300 / OTF member Lil Reese. It’s the night of Lollapalooza, but that doesn’t matter because inside and outside the venue, the crowd is packed to the walls. Afterwards, we roll through the South Side of Chicago with Durk and meet his family, learning about the life from which he came, and why he “terrifies the city.”
EPISODE 5: SAVEMONEY BUSTS JOEY PURP OUTTA JAIL
In the fifth episode of Chiraq, we step outside of drill music and catch up with Chicago rapper Vic Mensa and the rest of his SAVEMONEY crew. They spend the day gathering cash to bail fellow rapper Joey Purp out of jail, and on the way we chat about the city’s scene. Vic doesn’t associate himself with the Chiraq lifestyle because he feels it’s too negative, but understands the struggles of those who come from that part of the city. He’s also, surprisingly, a really big fan of Rage Against the Machine.
EPISODE 6: YOUNG CHOP ON CHIEF KEEF AND SEGREGATION
In Episode Six of Noisey Chiraq, we tag along with rising super-producer Young Chop, who despite being the most successful beatmaker to emerge from the Chicago rap scene, still doesn’t have his drivers license (his mom drives him around). Song-maker for artists like Chief Keef, French Montana, Juicy J, Big Sean and Pusha T, Chop visits Chicago’s Bean for the first time ever and we find out the extent of racial segregation in the city.
EPISODE 7: HOW TO MAKE IT OUT OF CHIRAQ
In Episode Seven of Noisey Chiraq, we continue exploring the Sosa phenomena, the segregation of Chicago, and the societal forces behind the violent lives of the young people on the South Side. Later, we catch up with Young Chop, who explains what he’s done to succeed, and he introduces us to fellow drill producer Paris Bueller, creator of Lil Durk’s “L’s Anthem.”
EPISODE 8: CHIEF KEEF TAKES THE SUBURBS
In our final episode of Chiraq, we discover what the Nation Of Islam thinks about the Chiraq phenomena then finally get an audience in the court of Almighty Sosa, a.k.a. Chief Keef, a.k.a. young Keith Cozart. Filmed at his house in the suburbs of Chicago, Keef spends his time whipping donuts around the backyard on an ATV.