Ibn Inglor - "WAXXX"
Chicago has been embroiled in horrific violence for the last half decade, homicides rising yearly in a torrent of gang activity and gun violence. The atmosphere--one where murder and manslaughter have become tragically commonplace--has catalyzed one of the country's most fertile and diverse rap scenes, its public rulers Chance the Rapper and Chief Keef standing on opposite ends of a spectrum that encompasses nihilistic street music, playful party rap, social and personal reflection, and amalgams of all three.
Ibn Inglor may not be the city's most known name, but he does well to represent the dark pall hanging over Chicago in a way that only the bleak sounds of drill previously had, his music often a pitch black interpretation of a place in despair. Latest single "WAXXX" is intensely personal, detailing family issues, relationship problems, being kicked out of school, and drug addiction, never overtly addressing Chicago's homicide epidemic. When Inglor does approach the issue, he does it almost peripherally, as if drawing an outline: "Them suburb n*ggas know better than/To claim a city they never in," "I bare arms on sight, boy/Oh God, oh God that's right, boy/I been drill, no block, boy," and "Like I ain't got weapons and shit?" "WAXXX" is the sound of pervasive tension, its thumping, murky beat a signal of the dangers that lurk in the anxious portrait Inglor paints. Through his own experience, Inglor evokes the gloom of Chicago. - Jon Tanners