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New York always seems to be trying to steal from Chicago. Everyone from the east coast will claim the city they dubbed “Second” as a wannabe for them to pick and choose what to appropriate on their own streets. For those of us from here, we’re aware of the constant influence exerted to both coasts. Since the advent of the internet and Soundcloud/YouTube rappers, that has only expanded and, per usual, another New Yorker has upset the city with his short-sighted views on Chicago. That person, A$AP Bari, set the streets on fire when he hosted a pop-op shop during Lollapalooza to sell his VLone brand of shirts with the word “Chiraq” emblazoned across the front set against guns, “Chiraq: My Kind of Town” with assault weapons underlining it and “I (heart) Chi” with a handgun behind it.

The release, sold in Chicago apparently to Chicagoans set off a firestorm on Twitter not seen between the two cities since Spike Lee also decided to jump on the Chiraq name for an ill-conceived movie. In between, we got Troy Ave trying to come at Chance The Rapper around their XXL cover shoot before he shot himself in the leg and more recently 6ix9ine has trolled with the CPD, insulted Vic Mensa and stole Valee’s flow for a Nicki Minaj song. Per usual, local weren’t having it at all, and it makes sense. The term Chiraq, coined by drill rappers at it’s advent to describe the state of the city as it approached startling murder numbers under current Mayoral candidate Gerry McCarthy, has largely been retired around here. Calling our city Chiraq will get you side-eyes and insults. Saba put a fan from Michigan in her place when she tried to characterize a photo taken with him as “when in Chiraq”-he quickly corrected her, informing her the photo was taken in the West Loop.

I honestly don’t understand the infatuation with the word from New Yorkers. Perhaps they just don’t have enough culture, can’t find enough edge in the lofty, mostly imported culture that the once-great city now possesses. In many ways, 6ix9ine is the perfect face for New York City these days: a dude who just pulls from everyone else’s work and ideas only to call them their own. Bari is trash for pandering to the lowest common denominator in a city that represents so much more. Check out some of the reactions from Chicagoans below.




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