Anyone following drill has their eyes on Timo. With work dating back to 2016, rapper Timo is a Chicago native part of the post-Chief Keef era of drill. He has never stopped applying pressure from his beginnings and clearly has his sights set on real rap money. After amassing a collection of street anthems and millions of views, Timo is now signed to Lil Durk‘s record label OTF.
Timo is from “39th Murdatown” in Chicago, a community of apartments in the south side of the city (Wentworth Gardens). This section belongs mostly to Gangster Disciples but is known to be cliqued up with Black Disciple neighborhoods like Lamron, O’block, and Front$treet. These gangs are the most well known in the city due to drill’s popularity explosion in 2012 caused by Chief Keef.
The street politics in Chicago force divisiveness amongst local artist’s careers. Many rappers cannot work with others because of the gun violence, and almost everyone is involved in that drama. Luckily for Timo, his neighborhood has good history with every area in Chicago with huge listenership and financial success in music.
Timo’s Musical Effort
The quality of everything Timo is doing has been increasing over the years. From the quality of his videos, to his lyricism, flow and confidence- Timo is working hard for his 15 minutes of fame. He is methodical and consistent with how he depicts himself in his music, in order to build an image for the fans to look forward too.
There are some things we can assume about his lyrical content before listening, given that we are talking about drill music. Timo is deeply entrenched in the gang drama of Chicago. His rapping is an epic and sometimes emotional series of accounts pertaining to that lifestyle, far from unusual for drill.
“Put your ass in a blender, smoke who really want it? Private jet, smoking dead opps, Melly really smoking“Timo on “Kill Switch”
Drugs, Guns, and Glock Switches
In his videos, you will often see him sweating profusely and dancing in a robotic manner typical of MDMA. This is no speculation, however. Like with many modern Chicago rappers, ecstasy tablets are a huge part of the life and music for Timo. Many artists rap about their need for them, but for Timo they are just fun. Cough syrup and Oxycodone pills are also a common theme.
Timo’s videos are famous for containing dozens of guns, from pistols to assault rifles. You won’t go through two Timo videos without seeing a hand cannon and chopper multiple times, with accessories to boot. Most videos don’t contain disclaimers regarding prop guns, which has been a damning factor for artists in the past. Something somewhat unique to Timo’s music is his love for the Glock switch: This is a tiny accessory made for Glock brand pistols that is configured into the slide, turning it to a fully automatic machine pistol.
“Everytime I see an opp, get on my bully (woah woah), any Glock I get i’m turning that bitch to a fully (woah woah)”Timo on “Kill Switch 2”
Fame / OTF Signing
Timo’s hard work finally culminated to him being signed to OTF in 2020, making him the most recent artist on Lil Durk’s drill label (one of the most important outlets in the genre). Some of the rappers labelmates now include talents like King Von, Memo600, Jusblow, and Booka600. Timo capitalized on his fresh signing limelight and quickly released a video-accompanied single on OTF: “No Auto Timmy” happens to be his first WorldStar-hosted single, a huge milestone for any rapper.
The Timo Meme GIF
Timo became popular on Reddit’s /r/Chiraqology with the “Free Boss Luck” music video, shot in the heart of Murdatown. While rolling hard, Timo looks at the camera and carefully busts out the most sweat covered “robot” ever maneuvered. The GIF for this moment has since become a well shared meme in the community.
Timo’s body of work is dominated by solo records. Though he is seen constantly in music videos with armed comrades (and does have a collaboration or two), he built his sound while alone on beats over the years and was never carried by a larger artist. Now that he is associated with a label, we should hope to see Timo appear alongside other drill artists with traction (as well as release a mixtape).
The rawness of drill lyrics and those of Timo’s specifically is a glimpse into wartime. While the young rapper is fortunate enough to have opportunities with other established artists, there are buzzing names in Chicago trying desperately to make it clear that artists like Timo have a competition (and a lot more to worry about than music).
Murdatown vs. 051 Young Money
With somewhat of a rap career of his own, “Drilla” from the “051 Young Money” section of Chicago is a confidently asserted threat to many careers in Chicago. His set is publicly involved in bloodshed with almost every gang behind successful drill music. Drilla raps about already deceased individuals from rival gangs, and taunts their loved ones often. One of these people is Lil Curryio / “30 boy”, a young man that appeared constantly in Timo music videos and was shouted out often in his rap.
Curryio was a Murdatown native that was killed January 2, 2020. Shortly after, those that mentioned it first in their lyrics were 051 Young Money: Drilla and his collaborators make fun of Curryio’s death by a gunshot wound to head, and mention Timo’s name as well. In a career-favored response, all of Murdatown poses with a Curryio cardboard cutout in the “Kill Switch 2” video and Timo raps simply that no opposition of theirs was responsible for his death.
“Curryio head was big, that’s why his shit got popped (big head ass)”Grayski on “F*ck the Opps”
“Ain’t no opp do shit to Curryio, they ass just be woofin'”Timo on “Kill Switch 2”
The craziest part? The word on the street in Chicago is that Drilla and Timo are cousins. Timo even seems to make mention of it lyrically:
“Might just back door my lil’ cousin, he ain’t one of us”Timo on the original “Kill Switch”
Thanks contributor YamaOgbunabali on Reddit
Recent reports state that Timo had relocated to Atlanta to focus on his career. Before the pandemic slowed things significantly in music, Timo barely got a chance to release “No Auto Timmy” on OTF. We should all expect to see bigger things over time from workaholic rapper Timo, especially as quarantine conditions begin to lift. Until then, check out his vast filmography on YouTube and follow him on Instagram!
TIMO YOUTUBE BREAKDOWN / May 2020
Timo’s accumulation of music videos on YouTube are responsible for more than 4 million views to date (2016-2020).
Timo – No Cap (1 million views)
Timo – No Cap pt. 2 (344,000 views)
Timo – Kill Switch (1.65 million views)
Timo – Kill Switch 2 (703,000 views)
Timo – How I’m Coming Remix (719,000 views)
Timo – Get Changed (947,000 views)
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