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College basketball standout Jabari Parker is denouncing the controversial term “Chiraq.”
Parker hails from the South Shore neighborhood and is a graduate of Simeon High School. Parker led the school to four straight state championships. He would later attend Duke University earning numerous awards for stellar playing, including, Consensus First-Team All-American, USBWA National Freshman of the Year and runner-up for the John R. Wooden College Player of the Year Award.
Parker, who is preparing the 2014 NBA Draft, took to Twitter, writing, “Never associate my name with this Chiraq nonsense. I will not support violence or ignorance within Hip-Hop culture. I reside from the Chi.”
Parker commented on the violence in his hometown in “Jabari Parker: The First 18 Years” documentary.
“Chicago is the best. It’s reason why I am the person I am now. Everybody gets along. Even though it’s a lot of adversity… it’s a lot of violence around my community… everybody is still together. It’s positive. I think that’s what the news doesn’t get a chance to see. That people thrive in an environment of adversity.
The debate on the “Chiraq” term continues to rage on.
Chella H, the First Lady of Chicago, recently sat down with BET to discuss the controversial term.
“My take on the “Chiraq” word, I think it’s a little different because I don’t feel like the word is the problem. I feel like the word is being embraced because it is a lot of sh*t going. It’s a lot of shootings,” Chella explained. “I don’t think that’s glorifying the killings. I think it’s like a aka… it’s youthful, that’s what younger people do. Peope like, ‘Oh, you’re saying the word Chiraq, you’re supporting the killings.’ No, b*tch. That don’t stop the killings. If you want to stop the killings, you gotta ride down on the youngins, holler at em… help em do what they gotta do. I think people tweaking like they over exaggerating… they missing the point.
“People be saying, ‘Chicago been having these killings.’ It’s way different now because it’s happening so often,” she continued. “Every week I’m losing someone I know. It’s different in Chicago. It’s happening.”
Others from Chicago’s Hip Hop community offered their take on the word.
King Louie defended his use of the word during an interview with Fox 32.
“I play my bad role and narrate the negativity and the violence I grew up in Chicago. I’m just making it artistic,” the “Drilluminati 2” rapper said.
Fashion designer Alonzo Jackson is making anti-Chiraq shirts. The shirts instead read “Chi Town.”
“Basically, its’ scratching out the word Chiraq and it’s saying ‘Chi Town’ and we saying we don’t embrace that,” he said. “We don’t even call it Chiraq because the power in the tongue you speak that.”
King L later compared his lyrics to a film with violence. The MUBU frontman went on to say he shouldn’t be criticized for rapping his life.
“…All you motherf*****s gotta say something about violence in our raps… stop going to promote and buy tickets to go see movies with violence in it with good actors,” he said.
“We just rapping our life b***h!” he added.
The movement called “Anti-Chiraq” drew a fiery response from East Side native Lil Herb.
Herb cited his hometown’s murder statistics as his reasoning for continuing the use of the word.
“MAN F*CK ALL DAT ANIT CHIRAQ WE DONT CONDONE IT BULLSH*T ITS CHIRAQ THE MURDER RATE IN CHICAGO WAS HIGHER THAN IRAQ FOR TWO YEARS IN A ROW ITS KILL OR BE KILLED IM FROM CHIRAQ NOLIMIT MB #150 ROCBLOCK N*GGAS KILLING N*GGAS AND B*TCHES SUCKIN ON D*CKS IS BOTH SINS,” the caption on his IG post read.
Gun violence has plagued the city of Chicago for decades. Many residents have renamed the Windy City “Chiraq” for its high rate of violence. Chicago, according to statistics, has a higher homicide rate than Kabul, Afghanistan.
Chicago has been under the national spotlight after ranking number one in the number of homicides recorded in 2012, according to a report released by the FBI.
There were 506 murder victims in the Windy City in 2012. There were 421 homicides recorded in 2013.
Chicago has long recorded devastating numbers over the past two decades.
Chicago recorded its highest peak of homicides in 1992 with 943 murders, according to statistics compiled by the Chicago Police Department.
Since 1991, there has been close to 15,000 murders in Chicago to date.
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