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Drill Music and the Youth of Chicago

            In 2004, The Chicago Tribune, reported that Chicago "had the highest homicide rate (particularly gang related homicides) of any large city in the America"" (1). Despite the efforts of the government, law enforcement and concerned individuals, Chicago has continued to "struggle(s) with its highest homicide rate in years"" (2). These gangs, which contributed to over 400 murders in the year 2012, are comprised primarily of young males, often under the age of twenty (3). Violence has not been the only thing to make an uprising in Chicago, as one young man has made a name for himself. 18-year-old rapper Keith Cozart has taken charge of a new controversial musical revolution revolving around a new genre called "drill"." The controversy boils down to one primary question: does Cozart's drill movement provide high-risk youth in Chicago with long overdue attention, a nonviolent outlet, and possibility for a better future or does it amplify the gang violence? The issue is significant because according to a publication by the U.S. Department of Justice gang members, associates, and adolescents at high risk for gang involvement hold the second and third highest shares of illegal activity (4).
             Despite the terrible and dangerous conditions, especially in low-income areas such as the neighborhood of Englewood, a handful of these high-risk teens have overcome the disparity and prospered. One young Englewood native, Keith Cozart (better known as rapper Chief Keef), has spearheaded a movement in Chicago and across the nation focusing on the uprising of a new genre of music: "drill"" music. Keef grew up on the 6300 block of Chicago, deep in the territory of one of Chicago's two major gangs: the Black Disciples. Keef was dragged into involvement with the Black Disciples after dropping out of high school at age 15 and has faced more disparity and violence at age 18 than most people do in their entire life (5) (6).

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