A few weeks back, you might have seen a map of the United States displaying "the most distinctive" music acts by state. Sufjan Stevens was the representative of Illinois. These were not the most popular bands in each state, rather the musicians that ranked abnormally high for streams in that state compared to the country as a whole.
So that got us thinking. A little more locally. Chance the Rapper, Kanye West and Chief Keef grab a bunch of headlines these days. (Lupe Fiasco not so much, but we threw him in there as a baseline.) Using Google Trends data, we looked at which neighborhoods and suburbs rank highest in search volume for our biggest local hip-hop stars.
According to the heat maps, Homewood reps hard for Lupe and Yeezus. And despite all the hype, Chance the Rapper is largely a phenomenon in the posh near suburbs.
Kanye makes the news for all sorts of reasons—his wife, hitting a photographer because of his wife, stupid things he says about his wife, yelling about the fashion industry. So you would expect one of the largest pop icons in the world to be evenly distributed across Chicagoland. And that is the case. Congrats, Homewood. Not only are you the birthplace of rising star Rockie Fresh, you Google hard for your rappers.
Chance the Rapper
We've always suspected Chance the Rapper is more a darling of rock critics and kids in the suburbs than idol of the city. In fact, his data line up with that of Childish Gambino. (Chance did do a song with Justin Bieber, after all.) It was surprising to see the interest focused squarely on Oak Park and Evanston—we're guessing Northwestern has a lot to do with that one.
Chief Keef now dwells in John Hughes Country on the North Shore, and he's made headlines there recently for a shooting near a residence in Northfield. However, he remains the king of the South Suburbs—and Northwest Indiana. Drill rap upstart Lil Durk is hot in Gary and Lansing, and continually going upward in volume, while Lil Reese seems isolated to Chicago—and 2012.
Huh. These are pretty much the same figures as Kanye's.