Drill Pic

It’s A Drill!: The Sound That Has Music Labels Flocking To The Windy City


Feeling like hype club music has taken a turn to the softer side of things? Sure, you could spin a Juicy J record around and around until the needle snaps off, but does that really satisfy your fist slapping, moshpit stomping needs? One could throw on Lil Jon, but that’s seven years old!

Introducing “drill” music, a revolutionary new way to get hype in an old familiar way. You may be thinking, “What’s drill music?” And, while many are cognizant of the goings on with one of the biggest new music movements, major labels are not.

In a matter of months, numerous artists under the drill moniker have received major deals and many more are being targeted. Chief Keef recently signed a deal with Interscope, and his associates Lil Reece and Lil Durk have signed with Def Jam. King Louie, a more veteran driller, signed with Sony/Epic Records, and even those associated with associates have been receiving major attention.

But let’s back up a minute. Again, what is drill music? The term “drill” first surfaced from late Chicago rapper, Pacman. He and his cousin Fatzmack were the first to associate the term with the music.

“The drill word started with Pacman, and basically it meant to retaliate on your enemy, so with the music, there were only a few people that rapped,” says Fatzmack. “[Pacman] started the whole drill music because he was rapping about what was really going on in the ‘hood, so everyone could vibe to what he was saying. We just took the drill term and put it with the music, and that’s how we came up with drill music.”

According to veteran Chicago Hip-Hop duo L.E.P. Bogus Boyz, the term “drill” is a slang term that can be used for anything from females getting dolled up to all out war in the streets.

“Instead of everyone saying they getting hype, they called it ‘drill,’” Moonie explains.

After receiving over 12 million views on YouTube, Chief Keef’s spring banger, “I Don’t Like”, is perhaps the most recognizable song that could be classified as “drill.”

Keef has helped Chicago’s newest movement receive major web hype, and it doesn’t stop there. Recently, Kanye West threw his support behind many young drillers, including Keef and Louie. His backing has only thrown gas on an already raging fire.

“I was kind of shocked. I had seen it coming but I was shocked that it happened so fast,” says DJ Victoriouz, tour DJ for Chief Keef, King Louie, and others. “Everyone got they eyes on Chicago right now. Major artists, major labels;  everybody is watching Chicago, and they want to be a part of it.”

Unlike other Hip-Hop “movements” that start from the top-down, Chicago’s drill scene began from streets and will always stay confined to the ‘hood.

“It’s a different beginning [but] it’s not a difference though and how we grew up is going to be the same,” says Lil Durk. “People change when they get a whole lot of fame but I ain’t gonna change. I’m gonna stay connected with Chicago.”

Durk also says the Chi-Town’s newest movement is not only a representation of the streets but also real life:

“I try to go for real music when making a record, stuff I’ve been through that other people can relate to, my day to day life, I’ve got a baby, it’s stuff people can feel.”

Males aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the movement. Females like Sasha GoHard and Katie Got Bandz have also gotten into the action, and have received major hype for their part as well.

“Guys ain’t the only ones that’s doing it or could do it; we got it in us, too,” says Sasha GoHard. “With us doing it like the guys doing it, it just shows other people that females got what it takes to be a rapper, too.”

Hip-Hop music in general has taken a shift away from anything containing a “gangsta” element. Drill music may at least provide those thirsting for a more hardcore bent some relief.

With Chicago’s murder rate climbing to an all-time high, drillers are quick to say they are not a contributor to the violence but, instead, the reporters.

“We just took to the drill music just to really rap about it, not even to brag about the violence,” says Fatzmack. “We just brought it up to open people’s eyes to say this is what’s really going on out here.”

Regardless of how long drill music stays hot on the blogs or is felt by Hip-Hop fans across America, Windy City Hip-Hop has a new sound they can call their own.

“We’ve always said that Chicago has a lot of talent and it’s not being showcased because we don’t have the labels here,” Count explains.

“Whatever happened to get the light shining on Chicago, to have Kanye reach back and put people on or whatever, I appreciate that, ’cause these guys are trying to feed they families like everyone else around the country. And it was sad that, for years, Chicago music fell on deaf ears.”

  • maya

    Revolutionary? Really?

  • Pierre Elliott

    THIS SOUNDS JUST LIKE DOWN SOUTH MUSIC, WACK WACK.. BUNCH BIRD CHEST NGGAS TALKING SHIT AND LOOKING LIKE MONKEYS…. MORE GARBAGE. UNINTELLIGIBLE MUSIC.. WOW, THIS AINT HIP HOP…..

    • Bumpy Johnson

      Paul dumby a$$ giving props to the female , talking bout even females got what it takes to be a rapper…what are you 10 years old paul…you allHIPHOP h0m0s give free promotions to these wack ass rappers and we wonder why rap is dead. when a hip hop website itself just has nothing bout wack MCs all over it.

    • Sparky Flinstone

      Don’t blame the kids they just reacting to what they see and trying to make what is so called “relevant music” to get out the hood… certain corporations are exploiting the ignorance as it ultimately supports the prison industrial complex shit deeper than people think

      • Pierre Elliott

        I hear you, but thats what is happening. WHAT ABOUT THE BROTHERS OUT HERE WHO HAVE A MESSAGE? THEY DONT GET HEARD, BUT THIS NGGER STREET GARBAGE GETS HEARD….NAW THEY ARE DOING THIS ON PURPOSE TO DILUTE THE MESSAGE….

        IM BOUT TO GET XCLAN ON NGGAS.

      • What is good at now? You can reply to julius@julius.fi

  • Alf Capone

    so basically……….its the same shit………..under a different title…….thanx for the info

    • KingsCountyCrooklyn

      i said the same thing, that whole keef song sound like a chorus w/ no lerics involved could that be what the movement is about. Atleast gucci got basic lerics over hot beats. im glad for Chi-Town anything that can slow down that murder rate of my people is a good thing.

  • Playa_of_the_Year

    Really? so this doesn’t sound anything like trap music from down south?

  • Aaron Davis

    Basically, Trap muzik has a powerful influence & ppl dnt wanna copy their style so now they callin it trap. This is nothing new & sounds the same as everything else.

  • when you havea group of rappers who label a whole movement and sound it usually sucks, why would you want to label something and sound like everyone else from where you are from and do the same everyone else does, its all the same garabge music, i dont care if u label the shit crunk, hyphy , trap, or this bullshit its all the same shit a bunch of repeating hooks over and over cause u cant rap,, still sounds like typical southern music that is pop just another name for it, lets get real MC’s that can spit on these major labels

  • here is latest gimmick like crunk. nigga is broke anyway they will do anything to make a dollar

    • King Rickey

      I just gotta say ‘Crunk’ or ‘Buck’ is not a gimmick but a way of life. Way before Lil Jon or whoever, Memphis was living crunk, Three 6 were just the first ones to put crunk on wax. I see what you are getting at in saying most people are just copying each other for a dollar, and most of it is crap music but there are true stories behind many of these movements.

  • yawns

  • Mac Dre started a genre just like Lil Jon, so did T.I., Bone Thugs, Ice-T and Ice Cube, etc… these other clowns can’t claim that.

  • EQ

    lol this is southern trap music…kanye west & no id make real chicago music..chicago needs more conscious rappers like lupe & common not this crap..

    • drill and trap are different, not very different but still diff. The movement happening in Chicago now has its own style of sound

  • Bumpy Johnson

    chicago muder rate is not at an all time high you lying ass h0m0 …the city in the 80s and early 90s was waaaaaaay worse than how it is now. even back in the early 2000s lying ass …dont lie while trying to promote and give juice to your weak ass MCs.

    • disqus_CDlbQiAmGY

      obviously you don’t live here

      • Bumpy Johnson

        Yes, i dont. I just read the murder rate and murder numbers. and No i have never been to chicago neither.

      • TheBoxcarHobo

        He’s right its not at an all time high. I’m from Chicago born and raised and I can tell u that in the early 90s the body count for a year was double what it is now. The Sun Times had the number killed on the front page every day, and it was like +800 in 92 or 93. Still the numbers now are terrible, but not like the early 90s.

  • Tony_Moderate

    This is just a re-hash of Crunk Music which actually comes from PUNK MUSIC. Lil’ Jon is a noted Bad Brains (look them up) fan. Its a representation of Punk Attitude and Ethos from African Americans and Urban Youth. So much energy right now, people are out of work struggling and everything is DYI. I love the energy, I hate when people are trying to over-analyze the lyrics and try to compare it to other forms of Hip-Hop. I think fans forget that the music itself is a representation of a multifaceted culture. There is a lane for this music. Whether or not it stands the test of time is something different. If this music is forgotten in a year by AllHipHop and Pitchfork it will still be a snapshot of a culture at this point in time for all those involved.

    • Pierre Elliott

      UH THATS ALL THIS IS…..THE THING IS..NONE I MEAN NONE AND ALL MUSIC THAT GETS PROMOTED IN THE MAINSTREAM IS GARBAGE.

      MAINSTREAM MUSIC IS TRASH. THIS MUSIC IS TRASH MUSIC FOR TRASH PEOPLE WHO DONT WANT TO THINK….AND THATS ABOUT 90% PEOPLE EVERYDAY

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  • disqus_9aY3z6agZT

    This is horrible. I respect the next man’s hustle but c’mon this just wack. Its funny all of these dudes would probably claim to be “hard” but a bunch of half naked dudes huddled up ain’t nothing but a big group hug. Labels making a literal killing off black misery and young stupidity. The brothers need some therapy and shirts.

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  • Nuggzy

    whoever wrote this is a moron, chief keef & the rest of GBE make TRAP MUSIC, not “drill”

  • First of all Chicago’s murder rate has not climbed to an all time high in fact it is some what less than half to 60% of what it was in the early 90;s and the mid 70’s. But math it beyond you.

    • that doesn’t even have anything to do with math idiot, just wrong information

  • > Unlike other Hip-Hop “movements” that start from the top-down, Chicago’s
    drill scene began from streets and will always stay confined to the
    ‘hood.

    WTTF??!? Name one hip-hop movement that this has ever been true for?? As big and as mainstream as hip-hop is today, the new trends, styles and movements all still originate from some variation of the underground, grassroots or streets.

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  • SallyinChicago

    Now I see where these young black ghetto boyz get their dress style from.

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