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The Pitbull encounter that changed the rap game permanently.

When you come to think of the empire Chicago has built around its very own drill music, it is almost impossible to believe a Pitbull dog was behind it all. Right on the corner of 63rd and Indiana, out of sheer coincidence, the course of music history was changed forever.

It was the day 20-year-old Djkenn was walking his Pitbull out south shortly after moving to Chicago from Japan (having stayed in New York City for 9 months prior to his move) not knowing he was about to birth a new era of hip-hop. DjKenn’s only plan for his big move was a no plan; he was certain of his pursuit of music and a big city atmosphere and chance just fell right into his lap.

This is where the Pitbull comes into play, because on that same street Djkenn was wandering with his Pitbull, Big Keef, Chief Keef’s uncle was also there that day, wandering with his Pitbull, and it was an immediate Pitbull bond. From there, Big Keef offered the newcomer a place to stay, which just happened to be right across the street from Chief keef’s home. I would introduce Chief Keef, but this man needs no introduction, it’s not just that everybody Knows Sosa, but we all love Sosa (released in 2012). Back then, however, Chief Keef was only a 12-year-old young boy, who was also, conscious of it or not, in pursuit of music. Djkenn working at the time at a job he secured at a Japanese restaurant, was able to save some money for equipment and a studio space and the rest was history. Djkenn started producing beats for Chief Keef and bang, it was that, bang (released in 2011) was the banger. It’s what placed Chicago’s drill on the map.

The music continued and continues and expands now to be a whole culture by itself, a whole lifestyle with specific flows and lingo, and you would understand it all when you witness Djkenn speak, this newcomer with a token background of the English language, now a pioneer of the Chicago drill movement and a true Chicago legend speaking BD lingo. And he stays true to it, DjKenn still resides in Chicago, and amid this mass-production era we live in, he prints and embroiders by hand all the creations he puts out for his brand Shibuya Tyson, referencing both Japan and his Pitbull, Tyson, who we all owe it to really.

This is the story of pure fate and pure significant success, and I think the moral of it is: be kind to your neighbors because they just might be talented as fuck.

-Salma Lee 2022-


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