Last week, Chief Keef was released from the Illinois Youth Center, where he was serving a 60-day sentence for violating his probation. In the video of his release, his Glory Boyz comrades looked really excited to have their leader back. But even though Keef’s output has obviously stalled in the last two months, GBE stars Lil Reese, SD, Lil Durk, and Fredo Santana have stayed busy, dropping new singles and mixtapes to keep drill music fanatics satiated in Sosa’s absence.
In a retrospective listening of the young crew’s best songs, it’s honestly hard to distinguish one track from the next, because the framework remains so consistent – woozy, menacing loops of keyboard or synth clinks over monstrous, rapid-fire drums. The subject matter does too, seldom straying from smoking blunts, having money, gang banging, and surprisingly, a preference for oral sex to actual sex. They’ve also (with help from frequent videographer D. Gainz) perfected the art of the day-in-the-life music video, most of which show the Glory Boyz rapping, holding guns, and rolling blunts. Oh, to be young.
Not all of GBE’s many songs are great, but a lot of things about the crew are – including their name, which is second only to Fat Trel’s Slutty Boyz squad. What’s most impressive about the crew, though, is their output (a combined 15 solo mixtapes released over the past two years) and the fact that each member has a burgeoning solo career. Unlike crews like the St. Lunatics or the original GOOD Music family (what’s up, Really Doe?), each of the GBE boys has a significant following.
As Chief Keef preps his anticipated Bang, Pt. 2 mixtape and the rest of the crew works on their solo debuts, click through to familiarize yourself with GBE’s best tracks to date. - Compiled by Dan Buyanovsky. Additional reporting by Sean Ryon, Jaeki Cho, and Eric Diep.
(images courtesy of Daniel Shea via The Fader)