Evan Nabavian is familiar.
Whatever the circumstances, Chief Keef’s dismissal from Interscope signals the end of Chicago drill rap’s dalliance with the mainstream. The scene failed to capture America’s imagination the way trap did. Local legends will likely stay local and talent unearthed by DJ Bandz will have limited appeal outside of Chicago and astute rap blogs. It’s a shame, because Chicago deserves better representatives than Lupe Fiasco and Rahm Emanuel.
Where does this leave SD, the Chicago rapper who shares Keef’s dreadlocks and drawl and even belongs to Keef’s GBE crew? SD’s comfort zone is the kill-or-be-killed urban dystopia, but he has a propensity for Auto-Tune party anthems. “Circles” leans toward the former with SD schooling the uninitiated on his crew and his guns, ‘circles’ being the catchall euphemism. The menacing, grandiose beat and the catchy hook are the main attractions on a song about a world-weary gangster. As ever, the perennial street rapper can fall back on the familiar.