Cover Story

‘Ghetto Reporter’: Why Drill Rap Is a Form of Journalism

February 20, 2024

Drill rap is a form of hip-hop that started in Chicago in the 2000s before hitting the scene in New York. The music’s subject matter has drawn the attention of city officials, who have accused it of encouraging violence. But people in the drill community say it’s reportage: what drill really does is describe the violence that its creators already experience. The Columbia Journalism Review spoke with drill rappers and producers who said drill should be seen as a living document of life in parts of the city that don’t usually make front-page news.

Producer/director: Patricio Matos
Director of Photography: Cristal Jefferson
Editor: Patrick Mannion
Assistant Editor: Jonathan McCarthy
Senior Producer: Josh Hersh
Executive Producer: Ravi Somaiya

The Editors are the staffers of the Columbia Journalism Review.