Ballad of the Bullet: Gangs, Drill Music, and the Power of Online Infamy, Forrest Stuart
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Ballad of the Bullet: Gangs, Drill Music, and the Power of Online Infamy

Author: Forrest Stuart

Narrator: Timothy Andres Pabon

Unabridged: 11 hr 8 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Published: 05/12/2020

Genre: Social Science - Sociology - Urban

Synopsis

Amid increasing hardship and limited employment options, poor urban youth are developing creative online strategies to make ends meet. Using such social media platforms as YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, they're capitalizing on the public's fascination with the ghetto and gang violence. But with what consequences? Ballad of the Bullet follows the Corner Boys, a group of thirty or so young men on Chicago's South Side who have hitched their dreams of success to the creation of 'drill music' (slang for 'shooting music'). Drillers disseminate this competitive genre of hyperviolent, hyperlocal, DIY-style gangsta rap digitally, hoping to amass millions of clicks, views, and followers-and a ticket out of poverty. But in this perverse system of benefits, where online popularity can convert into offline rewards, the risks can be too great. Drawing on extensive fieldwork and countless interviews compiled from daily, close interactions with the Corner Boys, as well as time spent with their families, friends, music producers, and followers, Forrest Stuart looks at the lives and motivations of these young men. While these virtual displays of ghetto authenticity can lead to online notoriety and actual resources, drillers frequently end up behind bars, seriously injured, or dead.

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