Drill Rapper Meaning: What Does Drill Rapper Mean?

Chief Keef, Fivio Foreign, and Central Cee are big figures in Chicago, New York, and UK Drill music
Chief Keef, Fivio Foreign, and Central Cee are big figures in Chicago, New York, and UK Drill music( Source : instagram )

Drill rapper meaning comes from the Hip-Hop subgenre of Drill music. Drill music first became popular in the early 2010s.

The genre started in the South Side of Chicago, most prominently in "Dro-City" in the neighborhood of Woodlawn. Rather than a genre of music, Drill is focused more on the culture of South Side Chicago, which is known for its gangs, violence, and homicide crisis.

According to AllHipHop, the proper slang meaning of drill is to fight or retaliate but it can mean other things like a woman putting on make-up to go fight in the streets. The first rapper to use the term as it applies to music, as per Complex Magazine, is stated to be local rapper Pac-Man. 

However, one rapper, Chief Keef, can be credited with Drill Music entering the expanses of mainstream media.

Through the success of Keef's singles, I Don't Like and Love Sosa, and Keef subsequently getting co-signed by artists like Kanye West and Jay-Z, Drill has entered the public lexicon and grown more and more in relevance through new artists.

What Does Drill Rapper Mean?

Drill Rapper meaning is a rapper whose music exists within the Drill genre. Drill rappers have characteristics unique from other forms of Hip-Hop.

Drill music itself is very distinct and is characterized by an amalgamation of the Southern style of the 808s with fast drums and hard synths. The producer, Young Chop, who has produced for Chief Keef and other Chicago Drill rappers, is seen as a prominent example of the music.

Chief Keef - I Don't Like f/ Lil Reese | Shot by DGainz ( Source : youtube )

However, it is the lyrics in Drill music that separates the genre from other forms of Rap. The lyrics are very violent and intensely gritty, and though rap music is known for having violent lyrics, Drill music takes it even further.

Most Drill rappers are gang-affiliated, and as such, their lyrics come from real-life events, and they are known to have committed the acts they rap about. There have even been many cases in recent years where the police have used rap lyrics as evidence in order to charge and then convict many Drill rappers.

5 Drill Rappers From New York

Drill rappers from New York have recently overtaken Chicago rappers in terms of popularity. The rappers come from a subgenre called Brooklyn Drill.

Though Chief Keef and other Chicago rappers like Lil Reese helped Drill reach the mainstream in the early 2010s, due to various problems, they couldn't capitalize on their success and push it further. So, Drill saw a decline in the mid-2010s as other subgenres like Soundcloud Rap took over.

However, New York, and most prominently Brooklyn rappers, started producing their own style of Drill music that helped the genre rise to prominence again. Though stylistically similar to Chicago Drill, Brooklyn Drill, and Drill rappers have distinctly separated themselves from their midwest peers.

1. Bobby Shmurda

Bobby Shmurda wearing a pair of black leather pants and a black and white jacket
Bobby Shmurda wearing a pair of black leather pants and a black and white jacket( Source : instagram )

Bobby Shmurda is the stage name of prominent Drill rapper Ackquille Jean Pollard. Bobby is 28 years old and was born on August 4, 1994.

Though born in Miami, Florida, his mother moved the family to East Flatbush in Brooklyn after his father's incarceration. While there, Bobby followed in his father's footsteps and became entrenched in gang activities and street violence.

Lil Tjay - Clutchin My Strap (Official Video) ( Source : youtube )

However, Bobby also started making music, and it is through the release of his debut single, Hot N*gga, that the rapper kicked off the Brooklyn Drill subgenre of Drill music that would take over Hip-Hop for much of the late 2010s.

The five-times multiplatinum song not only topped the Hip-Hop and Rap/R&B charts but even reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sadly, Bobby would be arrested by the police in December of that year for various charges, and be sentenced to seven years in prison, though he managed to make it out in 2021.

2. Pop Smoke

Pop Smoke during a photoshoot wearing his iconic gold spectacles and chains
Pop Smoke during a photoshoot wearing his iconic gold spectacles and chains( Source : facebook )

Pop Smoke was the stage name of the late Bashar Barakah Jackson. Pop was born on July 20, 1999, and passed away at age 20.

While Bobby Shmurda may have first made Brooklyn Drill popular in the mainstream, it was Pop and his many hits and co-signs that turned Brooklyn Drill into a viable genre rather than a novelty hit. Through songs like "Welcome to the Party" and "Dior," Pop rules the Hip-Hop and eventually mainstream charts for much of 2019.

POP SMOKE - DIOR (OFFICIAL VIDEO) ( Source : youtube )

Pop's use of samples against the classic Drill beats helped make Brooklyn Drill stand out from Chicago Drill. In fact, the samples he used became famous for being different than what one might expect in a Drill song, and that juxtaposition has since been used by almost every single Brooklyn Drill artist after Pop.

Sadly, the rapper would pass away on February 19, 2020, in a home invasion perpetrated by rival gang members. The tragedy of his passing and the fact that he was just on the cusp of taking over the world, has made Pop a mythic and tragic figure in Drill and Hip-Hop.

3. Fivio Foreign

Fivio Foreign wearing a blue jacket during a photoshoot
Fivio Foreign wearing a blue jacket during a photoshoot( Source : facebook )

Fivio Foreign is the stage name of popular rapper Maxie Lee Ryles III. Fivio is 32 and was born on March 29, 1990.

Like Shmurda, Fivio was raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and was born there too. The rapper started rapping at a young age, in 2011, and first went by Lite Fivio, changing it to Fivio Foreign, in 2013.

Bobby Shmurda - Hot N*gga (Official Music Video) ( Source : youtube )

Though he has been active since the early 2010s, the rapper only started seeing success in late 2019 after the rise of Bobby Shmurda and Pop Smoke. The rapper quickly made a name for himself alongside those and other Drill rappers by standing out for his lyrical skill.

The rapper became popular in the mainstream through features for Drake and Kanye West and has also appeared on the 2020 XXL Freshman list. Since then, the rapper has only increased his popularity and musical output, building a solid and loyal fanbase.

4. Lil Tjay

Lil Tjay posing with all of his jewelry and dreads
Lil Tjay posing with all of his jewelry and dreads( Source : facebook )

Lil TJay is the stage name of American rapper Tione Jayden Merritt. Tjay is 21 years old and was born on April 30, 2001.

Tjay rose in prominence around the same time as Pop Smoke and often made songs with him, with their collabs consisting of Pop rapping while Tjay would croon his lyrics. Aside from Pop Smoke, the rapper has made a name for himself chiefly by collaborating with New York Drill rappers.

Fivio Foreign - Sicc & Tired (Official Video) ( Source : youtube )

After Pop's passing, Tjay took the torch as New York's leading Drill rapper and helped others like Fivio and Kay Flock to grow their popularity and fanbase by featuring his songs. As stated above, this collaborative nature has not only benefited the artists but Tjay in terms of fame and respect.

Sadly, Tjay was subject to an attempted robbery, being shot seven times, on June 22, 2022. Thankfully, the rapper made it, and even made a song about the event some months later called "Beat the Odds."

5. Ice Spice

Ice Spice with her hair straightened wearing a black dress
Ice Spice with her hair straightened wearing a black dress( Source : instagram )

Ice Spice is the stage name of popular New York rapper Isis Gaston. Spice is 23 years old and was born on January 1, 2000.

Born and raised in the Bronx in New York, Spice is the most recent Drill rapper to gain mainstream recognition, though this has resulted in many fans and detractors. The rapper first gained prominence in late 2022 with the release of her song "Munch (Feelin' U)."

Ice Spice - in ha mood (Official Video) ( Source : youtube )

The rapper immediately attracted attention not only for the music, which used Drill beats but also for her looks and attractive physique. Spice, not afraid to own her sexuality, has since released many songs which are about female empowerment and taking charge of your sexuality.

Her most recent song, "Boy's a Liar Pt.2" with UK singer PinkPantheress has been lauded by fans and critics for showing her versatility. The song also ruled the charts as it broke into the top 3 of Billboard's Hot 100, with many calling Ice Spice the new princess of Rap.

Best UK Drill Songs

UK Drill music is another prominent subgenre of Drill music. Drill Music has not only traveled to New York from Chicago but also overseas.

As with Brooklyn Drill, UK Drill music first borrowed heavily from Chicago Drill until it eventually became its own sound. The lyrics too are specific to gang culture and criminal life as lived in the UK. 

V9 - No Hook [Music Video] | GRM Daily ( Source : youtube )

Many now see UK Drill as more of an offshoot of grime, UK's Hip-Hop music. Though some even see it as a mixture of the two.

Some of the best UK Drill Songs are:

  1. Die Hard by Knucks & Stormzy: This collaboration between Drill rapper Knucks and Grime artist Stormzy is a perfect melding of the two genres.
  2. Way2Charged by Sus: This song is a perfect showcase of UK Drill as it exists now.
  3. Ying Dat by Gully: This song showcases how violent UK Drill can be.
  4. Smoke by Headie One: Headie One is one of the most acclaimed UK Drill artists
  5. Doja by Central Cee: This song put UK Drill on the map, and started a dozen memes.

Drill Rap Names Ideas

Drill Rappers have become as famous for their names as for their music through the genre's rise in mainstream recognition.

Almost every Drill rapper, regardless of whether they come from Chicago, New York, or from the UK, has a distinct name that makes them stand out from the rest. Out of every genre in Hip-Hop and popular music, where stage names abound, Drill is the one genre where stage names matter the most.

Rap Name Generator/ untaken Rap Names ,100% No copyright Rap Names, finding you perfect Rap Name ( Source : youtube )

The main reason for that is due to their names being somehow tied to the gang activities. For example, Chief Keef's "chief" part of his name comes from his placement in the Black Disciples gang, where he is a leader.

Other rappers use some form of their real name in their Drill name, like Lil Durk's real name being Durk Derrick Banks. While others, like Pop Smoke, used nicknames they got from friends as their Drill Rap name.

So, if one wants to make their own Drill rap name, the answer is surprisingly easy, because anything can be a Drill rap name.

For example, someone who lives in Ontario, Canada, and enjoys French Fries, can call themselves Ontario Fry, and that would be perfectly acceptable as a Drill Rap name.

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