With his breakthrough mixtape Acid Rap in 2013, Chance the Rapper offered an intricately written account of being a teen on his city’s South Side, cataloguing everything from sneaking out to smoke cigarettes to the ripple effects of gun violence in the black community. Then, a floodgate opened of introspective, self-aware lyricists like Noname, Saba, and Joey Purp. Along with Chicago’s already established drill scene, which has birthed stars like Chief Keef and Lil Durk, the city has become one of the most crucial and consistently exciting hubs for hip-hop for the last half-decade.

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