The 50 Greatest Chicago Rap Songs

20. E.C. Illa "What You Be About" (1995)

Producer: E.C. Illa
Album: E.C. Illa LP
Label: Wicked Entertainment

Fans who were used to hearing E.C. Illa kick traditional hip-hop rhymes may have been taken aback by this ode to Chicago street gangs, but on the other hand, some dudes are People and some dudes are Folks. Instead of glorifying gang culture, E.C. served as a street professor, chronicling how the gangs spread throughout the city and giving listeners a firsthand account of how it affected him and his peers. He even recruited gang members from across the city to shout out their various organizations at the end of the song.—Andrew Barber

Tags: ec_illa
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