Hip-Hop Wake Up Call: North vs South

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Chicago tends to split views once you take into question how certain issues affect specific areas. As it relates to Chicago crime, there is a huge gap in perspectives between the North Side and the South Side.

Where I live in Uptown, there are always police officers, very little instances of crime, and when there are incidents, there is usually a quick response from the police department. A similar perspective can be felt in the Wicker Park area–at least before you walk into Humboldt Park territory. A lot of my friends argue this is due to the amount of white people who live in the area. No matter the reasoning though, the crime rate is still noticeably better.

Then there are areas like the Wild 100s and Washington Park, where police officers are scarce, resources are few and far between, and the death tolls are increasing daily–most of which are Black and Latino. It’s only Wednesday and the area has already reported five homicides according to the Redeye Homicide Tracker. All were African American males.

As I delve deep into my research about hip-hop’s relationship with Chicago crime, I notice the same split perspective–that is, rappers on the North Side (including Wicker Park/Logan  Square) have different experiences than rappers on the South Side.

While rappers on the North Side seem, collectively, more free aesthetically, politically, and socially, rappers on the South Side are a lot more limited in their accessibility, creativity, and artistic freedom.

Take for instance a Redeye article I came across today about a young rapper, 21-year-old Kendall Dushaun Cruse, from Calumet City who was arrested for unlawful weapon possession while filming a music video. Although the weapon was not loaded and he did not appear threatening to anyone, Cruse was charged with aggravated, unlawful use of a weapon and was held on $50,000 bail.

Definitely different from experiences Aerias & The Clyde Project mentioned earlier this month, right?

Well, the purpose of my next article will be to expand on these differed perspectives and how this affects the country’s view of hip-hop as it relates to crime in general.

Follow Me @AllieLyke

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