In general, Chicago drill music leaves a great deal to be desired. For one, the rapping is arrhythmic and often flatly unpleasant. Drillas like Chief Keef, Katie Got Bandz and Lil Durk are too sloppy to connect: they mumble their lyrics in an anesthetized, codeine-cloudy manner that makes it nigh impossible to parse what they’re saying. Drill is also minimalist to a fault, with beats that neglect musicality and overdo it on the bass.
Lil Bibby, 17, does not approve. “These niggas illiterate and ignorant/They not even finishing sentences,” the ascendant Chicago MC spits on his mixtape Free Crack. It makes sense that he would take offense to the bungling of language, since he’s a potent descriptive writer, eulogizing fallen friends on “Bibby Story” and breaking down how to prepare the purest batch of crack on “Water.”
Like Keef, Bibby grew up in Chicago’s war-torn Englewood neighborhood. But Sosa and his ilk rap about gunplay like they love nothing more. Bibby has the exhausted baritone of an aging hustler numb to disappointment. Even in his videos, he walks with a curiously defeated stride, bearing the stamp of painful, plentiful adult experience. His closest contemporary is probably 28-year-old Cabrini-Green rapper Tree, who jerked quite a few Internet tears last spring with the remorseful Sunday School II.
Bibby was stripped of his innocence much too young, but out of that shittiness came the novelistic suspense and beauty of Free Crack. Look for him to make moves and possibly supplant the more established acts in his city. Here are five reasons why Bibby will rule 2014. —M.T. Richards
Photo Credit: Instagram/lilbibby_