I’m from Chicago, Not ‘Chiraq’

Posted on April 9th, 2014
Staff Editor


In the late hours of last night, Nicki Minaj released “Chi-Raq,” a gritty track featuring Chicago native Lil Herb. I enjoyed hearing an aggressive Nicki aiming straight for rappers’ heads and Lil Herb displaying his abilities in his true element. I even appreciated the YMCMB first lady’s attempt at bringing attention to my hometown, but I still can’t bring myself to refer to the song by its disheartening title.

After mainstream news outlets revealed that Chicago led the nation in murders and rivaled the death toll of Americans in Iraq, the city developed the disappointing nickname. And for a while, it was just a local term that was tossed around in conversation, songs and the occasional news piece. But it was local.

The heart-wrenching reality is that the nickname that was played up and sensationalized in the media is a reality that some have to live through on a daily basis – a devastating truth. Some of the city’s inhabitants wear this as a badge of honor to show their strength, both mental and physical, flexing their ability to survive in such a rough environment that is openly compared to a country riddled with war. But for me, it’s nothing to be proud of. It’s actually pretty embarrassing.


2 responses to “I’m from Chicago, Not ‘Chiraq’”

  1. Kim G. says:

    Thank you for expressing my exact sentiment about this song. Marketing your wares off the souls of those without a voice is disgusting and more artist should be aware of the messages they send to our youth. The efforts to build their brand is in my opinion a petty ploy for attention. I’m from Chicago as well and everyday my heart aches with parents and families of those effected by the affects of violent behavior and utter disregard of mankind all void self respect.
    Instead of lil herb rapping about the disgrace to his city and race perhaps he an Ms. Minaj could have flipped the script from negative to positive to give Chicago youth hope not hate. Just my old-school 2 cents. Thanks again for standing up for our great City of Chicago!

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