A Decade of Drill Rap

In the early 2010s, a novel sound emerged from Chicago’s rap scene. Drill music was immediate and brash, relentlessly local and yet easily accessible. It became a template that would be borrowed from widely.

It has iterated several times in the years since. Lil Durk, one of the Chicago scene’s earliest stars, is having a career peak now with the recent release of his album “7220,” his first to top the Billboard album chart. New York drill, which found an sonic identity with the work of Pop Smoke, who was killed in 2020, is expanding as well, as heard in the music of Fivio Foreign, who on his debut album “B.I.B.L.E.” is seeking to translate the sound for a broader audience.

On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about drill’s origins, its many global permutations, its intermittent embrace by the hip-hop mainstream and the directions it may still head in.


  • Joe Coscarelli, New York Times pop music reporter

  • David Drake, longtime chronicler of Chicago hip-hop

Connect With Popcast. Become a part of the Popcast community: Join the show’s Facebook group and Discord channel. We want to hear from you! Tune in, and tell us what you think at [email protected]. Follow our host, Jon Caramanica, on Twitter: @joncaramanica.