Earlier this week, Protein TV and Will Robson-Scott released Chi Raq, a documentary that forced the Internet, fans of hip-hop and socially aware people worldwide to pay attention to the reality of what's happening in the Chicago streets. Though the documentary was relatively short and only told the stories of a handful of locals—including rapper King Louie and brand consultant Hustle Simmons—Chi Raq was effective in painting a gruesome picture of a city in distress.

Though Robson-Scott's short film was the most artistic account of present day Chicago in recent memory, there have been plenty of documentaries that have chronicled the gang violence, rising murder rate and lack of oversight in the Midwest city. Here, XXL has compiled five choice documentaries on Chiraq, all of which are as artistic as they are informative. Click through to check them out.

Vice Visits Chiraq

Earlier this year, HBO's news program Vice traveled to Chicago for an brief profile on a city in turmoil. In the 13-minute segment, Vice speaks with senators, pastors, former gang members and local Chicago youth about the war zone that Chicago has become, and focuses on the economic and social constructs that has led to the city's current state.

Gangland: Gangster Disciples

For an episode of their critically-acclaimed series Gangland, the History Channel visits the Chi and films an in-depth documentary on the Gangster Disciples, an infamous Chicago gang. The 45-minute film touches upon drug trafficking, gang rivalries and the bitter relationship between the GD's and the Chicago police.

ABC's Nightline: Inside Chicago's Gang Wars

Late last year, in a more hard-hitting news story, ABC's Nightline aired a segment called "Hidden America: Inside Chicago's Gang War." Though the 7-minute piece didn't necessarily bring up any new evidence, it did well to touch upon the staggering number of crimes in Chicago and exposed them to a national audience. All in all, it's a touching segment that leaves viewers equally moved and terrified.


Chicago Fire: A Photo Essay

Originally commissioned for Fader Magazine's annual Photo Issue, Chicago Fire tells the story of the city through Daniel Shea's photo essay. In it, Shea closely examines the dilapidated housing projects throughout the city, victims of street violence and the day-to-day lives of young gang members.

Chi Raq

Released earlier this week, Chi Raq is an expose filmed by British filmmaker Will Robson-Scott, which paints a grim, black-and-white portrait of Chicago. For Chi Raq, Robson-Scott interviews a handful of the city's residents, all of whom have a bleak story to tell about someone they've lost or someone they fear they might lose soon. It's perhaps the most artistically touching work about Chicago yet.