Chicago Drill has captivated the world. Artists from New York, London, and almost every city that embraces hip-hop have been trying to mimic the sound created over a decade ago by a group of angry, hungry teenagers. Although the music is transcendent, it is rooted in the city's gang culture which often erupts outside the booth. This moved some of the mothers behind Drill music's muses to speak out against the violence.
The mothers of slain rappers FBG Duck, Lil Mister, Ray Ray, and Tooka talked to Chicago's Drea O Show about their children. In the process, these parents humanized their children—namely Tooka's mother.
Throughout the rise of Drill, the idea of "smoking on" dead rivals when referring to weed entered the mainstream. Because Tooka was a rival of Drill's founding father, Chief Keef, the phrase "smoking on Tooka" became synonymous with getting high. Yet little did fans know, this was extremely disrespectful to Tooka and his loved ones. He's now been reduced from a 15-year-old boy who was murdered at a bus stop to a social media meme and weed slang.
"He got his nickname from the hospital," his mother Dominique Boyd said at the above clip's 3-minute mark. "They called him 'Attitude,' I shortened it up to 'Tooka.' ... I don't get how they could be intimidated by someone who was 15 years old and want to take a person and want to be making it into a strain of weed. Like how could you [say] 'smoking on Tooka?' Like where did that come from? Who smokes on a dead person? It makes me upset. ... Where does the level of disrespect stop? He's already dead."
Boyd went on to add, "People are just so cruel out here in this world. ... My son been dead for ten years. ... If it ain't the upcoming [rappers], it's the ones already in the industry—and they don't even know my son."
Because Chicago's culture has permeated outside of the Midwest, Boyd and the other artists' mothers are coming together to share their pain so parents around the world don't have the same experiences.
"What I'm trying to establish now is a round table to bring all the moms together who have lost their children due to the violence," said the mom of FBG Duck, LaSheena Weekly. "Due to the stigma that everybody has on Chicago with the smoking the dead people and disrespecting the dead. Hopefully, this movement will stop that and show people's real talent."
Watch the full episode of the Drea O Show above.