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Chicago Drill Stars Talk Music, Violence

Zae, Katie Got Bandz and King L

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videos wherever we were at. It wasn’t a theme or nothin like that.

EBONY: In certain drill videos, we see young people showing and playing with guns. What is your honest opinion of this type of behavior?

Zae: Before everyone got record deals, that was just what everybody used to do. But now we’ve cooled out on all of that. You probably won’t see that in any of the recent videos.

EBONY: Do you think that Lil' Jojo's "300K" video played a significant role in his death?

Zae: I’ve seen the video but I really don’t know what happened in-depth. It could have played a role but I don’t know what happened before that video, so I can’t say too much about it.

EBONY: Do you believe that drill videos make existing beefs between different gangs worse?

Zae: I wouldn’t say that. I wouldn’t say shoot a video for this because they’re (rival gangs) going to get mad if you put a song out for fans to watch. It’s just visuals for Worldstar and stuff like that to further their fan base. 

EBONY: Would you like to see young Chicago artists moving away from the drill sound and more toward art that focuses on solutions that help the 'hood? 

Zae: People rap about what they know about. If you grew up in the 'hood, you can’t rap about the suburbs. So it’s really hard to say ‘rap about this’ if you don’t know nothing about it.

EBONY: Do you think these artists have the potential to change their voice and have a more positive influence on youngsters coming up?

Zae: Yeah. A lot of young kids look up to the rappers these days. They often say in their songs to do one thing but they’ll have an interview telling you its entertainment. It’s just music and they’re rapping about what the people love to hear, but not necessarily telling you to go out and do it.

EBONY: Do you feel there are any misconceptions about drill videos?

Zae: If you were looking at the videos, you would think "Oh, it was just the worst time," but it’s really not like that. We really just be chillin’. We shoot videos in the streets, at the park or whatever. I shot a video with Keef—"Macaroni Time"—and it was in his back yard. We’re just doin what we do in our everyday lives and putting it to a video. We don’t have to necessarily get the big sets, it’s just stuff we do on an everyday basis put into a video.