Noisey releases part 1 of their eight-part documentary series simply titled ‘Chiraq’. I’m lookin’ foward to sitting with this one today with an open mind, but guys, I’m really tired of this ‘Chiraq’ label. We’re just attracting more of a negative light and an odd sense of bravado about the violence in our city by promoting this label. Who’s with me on this?
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, arguably one of the biggest rappers 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.
“The Field: Chicago” is a documentary put together by World Star Hip-Hop about Chicago violence and hip-hop. Overall it was a very well put together documentary that depicted a previously untold story of why Chicago is what it is today. It featured several Chicago artist, such as King Louie, Lil Durk, Lil Mouse, Young Chop, Rhymefest, and more. They all talked about what they think to be the reasons why Chicago as a city is so violent and why Drill Music has become the outlet for those stories.
Unfortunately like most documentaries about Chicago violence it didn’t offer much means to a solution or even acknowledgement that the violence needs to stop. While I do appreciate the conversations that are sure to come as a result, I feel like a huge opportunity was missed by not using the documentary it self as the driving force to spark change.
Still I would like to thank World Star for taking the time to bring light to what’s going on in Chicago. But I have to ask, you cared enough to bring attention but do you care enough to help change? For that matter do any of us?
You know Common, the rapper. And Common, the actor. But Common, the photographer?!
Common was host to the Canon PIXMA PRO City Senses event last week in Chicago, and additionally featured with two local photographers (Kristyna Archer & Taylor Castle) to share their vision of the city through limited edition photography. There was a baseball theme amongst all of the artists’ photos, and the photos were presented as a sensory experience in a gallery at Ignite Glass Studio. We walked in different rooms and were asked to use various senses like smell, touch, hearing, and taste (WE GOT FREE HOT DOGS!) to create a new mood and perspective before the lights were turned on to view the photos. It was an interactive and innovative way to take in art, and surely an influence too, as we found out from Com himself.
Common talks about his photography — how he drew inspiration from his sensory experience of his hometown of Chicago and the concept behind his photograph “1st Base” (seen below). “1st Base, you gotta start somewhere.”
The sounds of the city.. I’ve throughout the years come home just to ride around Chicago, and feel how the smell of the city and what it sounds like, so I can write songs because I wanted it to be rooted where I come from. And I think all your citizens are important when it comes to making art.
As you can see, Common is very aware of his city, whether he’s capturing it through photos or making music from its environment. He even brought it back to growing up on Dorchester in the video.
As a bonus, Common shares some new info on the art he’s most known for: his music. The central theme of his upcoming EP (to drop later this year) and album (2014) is now revealed above, as Common also mentions he’s been working with No I.D. & Swizz Beatz for the projects.
Without further ado, watch above and get an even clearer picture of Common, the artist.