Ball Like I’m Kobe (BLIK)
The Chicago rap scene has grown in prominence year after year. From Chance the Rapper to Chief keef, Chicago has practically become the face of the rap scene. Recently, The style known as Drill, a form of gangster rap, boomed in Chicago. However, after recent violent summers, the mayor as well as community leaders, and parents has called on new artists to redefine the rap scene in Chicago. Some rappers, because of their style, are assumed to be part of the Drill scene and are discredited regardless of their real message.
Recent violence has taken a toll on everyone. Many rappers have chosen their own way to speak upon it. Lil Herb or G Herbo, who became popular in 2012, recently released “Ball Like I’m Kobe”, taking Chicago by storm. Ball Like I’m Kobe (BLIK) is an ode to Herb’s fallen friend Jacobi who was a victim of gun violence. The entire tape itself describes G Herbo’s struggle and pain while also highlighting his rise to fame. G Herbo has highlighted violence in Chicago with past projects such as Welcome to Fazoland and Pistol P Project, which were also odes to friends victimized by gun violence.
Although G Herbo raps about the violence in Chicago his own way, he receives criticism because he also glorifies the use of drugs. G Herbo released a statement on Twitter stating that he will continue to write about unfortunate realities that occur in his neighborhood regardless of what others want to hear. Rapping is a form of art. Whether it is good or bad rap is entirely subjective. However, as G Herbo knows, someone’s expression cannot be silenced.
From “L’s” to “Watch Me Ball”, G Herbo highlights the everyday struggle to stay alive and not become a part of a statistic. Herbo says he raps because it saved him from a life of crime that ultimately would have led to a jail or grave. He wants others to know the things he rap about are true, but not to be glorified but to be taken as a warning. Herbo says that he raps to make others aware there are countless other still trapped in a never ending cycle of underfunded schools, lack of police protection, and endless crime. BLIK was a beautifully crafted, controversial mixtape that bared nothing from its audience and allowed them to see what the Eastside of Chicago endures.