From Drilla’s Instagram (source)

    It is safe to say that the prime years of Glory Boyz and OTF have been long left behind us. Fast forward to 2020 and new drill artists have emerged in Chicago that were merely inspired by the original boom. The lyrical themes and “lores” have morphed hugely over the years and the new era of Chicago drill rappers are hugely disconnected from their roots. Nevertheless, drill music continues to draw huge listener-ship to this day and it is easy to argue that drill music is bolder than ever. People that were “hood stars” in Keef’s time are now rising talents, and the confidence in their story telling is far from lacking. With that being said, if you are tapped in to Chicago drill then you are bound to know about 051 Drilla.

Who is Andre “Drilla” Hamilton

An interview with Andre “Drilla” Hamilton by Chicago journalist / interviewer 16ShotEmVisualz.

    With a fast-growing career of his own, Andre “Drilla” Hamilton (born 1997) from the “051 Young Money” section of Chicago is a career criminal and gang-banger rapper. In the times of Chief Keef, 051 Young Money was represented mostly by a young rapper called “Lil Marc” – but he was tragically killed as he was just taking off. After that, the “YM nation” became known for their slayings of rappers and a insatiable hunger for revenge. It is no secret that Young Money is a gang associated with the deaths of rappers like L’A Capone, Lil Durk associate Nuski, and more recently Twhy. Years later, various figures from 051 Young Money are attempting to take rap seriously like Marc did. Here are the musical highlights of 051 Young Money “front man” and main rapper, Drilla. 

“We don’t pay these goofies no attention, ya’ll know what we do to rappers”

Drilla in “F*ck the Opps” w/ GRayski
The many arrests of Drilla (from Chicago Police Department Arrest Record Search)

Drilla – “51 Dead Opps”

“51 Dead Opps” has amassed an impressive 4 million views since late 2018.

    “51 Dead Opps” is the first serious song and music video dropped by 051 Drilla (September 2018), and to ridiculous success overnight. Before he ever dropped, his face and name had an impressive eye count on him. Making things “better” is that “51 Dead Opps” is arguably the most objectively disrespectful and heinous track in hip-hop history. Drilla makes the point to specifically reference (taunt) fifty one names of the dead and gone: A vast majority of them lost to gun violence and involved in gangs 051 Young Money is known for tensions with.

A preview of what the lyrics to “51 Dead Opps” are like (source)

    Phrases from the track like “Fuck your homie, he dead” started to be heard yelled in the raps of 051 Young Money allies and fans across Chicago. Some memorable lyrics include:

Lil Boo got hit on the drive, was he fixin’ on the car? His head was on the tire”

Drilla in “51 Dead Opps”

    In one line, Drilla speaks on the death of Team 600 member / Chief Keef affiliate Jerome “Lil Boo” Anderson. After his shooting, A bystander had circulated a photo of his lifeless body resting against a car’s tire. Rival gangs began to refer to Lil Boo as “tire head” following this.

Jerome “Lil Boo” Anderson is also mentioned in: All Three Rappers in Chicago Classic “Tyquan Way” are Now Deceased

Big Moe picked a side so we gave him a store”

Drilla in “51 Dead Opps”. Drilla is referring to a local named “Big Moe” who had a small corner store named after him following his death.

    At one point, Drilla mentions the murder of beloved local Reginald “Big Moe” Sanson. Big Moe was the member of a gang known as Drexside, a gang sharing their turf with 051 Young Money. Drexside and 051 Young Money were allied closely from their inception until tensions sparked: The grape vine will tell you that older Drexside members like Big Moe had developed relationships with those responsible for the murders of beloved Young Money members. They were allegedly presented with an opportunity to break off their new acquaintance-ship with rival THF 46, and picked their new friends over the original members. 051 Young Money would end up claiming his body.

Drilla and company appear in front of the “Big Moe” store (source)

Drilla – Drill Wick (First Day Out)

Currently at 267,000 views.

    Drilla recently released a “First Day Out” music video called “Drill Wick” after a short jail term, putting him one step closer to a prison term as multiple convicted felon. Drilla continues to post music videos where he is clearly with known gang members and toting guns, and still addressing his gang’s back-and-forth murder drama. The names of the deceased in his lyrics have not gone anywhere. These artists are plagued heavily by legal troubles: Another talented Young Money rapper named Antonio “051 Montana” Brown recently got a seven year sentence after he was pulled over in a stolen car possessing a loaded pistol and two extended clips.

Drilla – Hard Body

“Hard Body” has 374,000 views since early 2019.

    The music video for “Hardbody” opens with local Chicago news footage describing a shooting incident in the 051 Young Money hood. Three people were said to be shot, including one young man shot in his head critically. When the footage fades into the song, Drilla promptly addresses it:

“You know we Glocked up, you know lil’ bro good though, Hardbody”

Further into the track:

“…And I still be on the same block, where lil’ bro just took a head shot”

    That man, 21 year old “051 Danny” survived the incident with little complication.

More from Drilla

Drilla has released two mixtapes to date, both packed with tracks:
1. “Drill Wick (Shake the City)” in late 2018
2. “Drill Wick 2 (County 2 County)” in 2019

    Besides the audio-only projects, Drilla tends to invest in relationships with the more seamless videographers in Chicago (like Rayy Moneyyy Visions). He has amassed a decent collection of music videos, all with continually growing viewership and a clear display of growth in flow, confidence, lyricism and ability overall since the beginning. Check out some more booming Drilla videos:

“Wick B*tch” was released a week ago and is sitting at 128,000 views.
“On Me” was filmed while Drilla was on house arrest, and is sitting at 882,000 views (making it one of his biggest tracks).

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