Chiraq

or Chi Raq or Chi-Raq

[shi-rahk]

What does Chiraq mean?

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Chiraq is a nickname for Chicago, Illinois. It combines Chicago with Iraq, and is used to refer to certain violent areas in Chicago, likening them to a warzone.

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Examples of Chiraq

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Examples of Chiraq
@JuddLegum Can we get geographic information? Chances are these killings are occuring in liberal hellholes like #Baltimore #Cleveland and #Chiraq
@JRevanchist, March 13, 2017
Cab: Where you from? Me: Already knowing what he's going to say once I tell him. Me: Chicago. Cab: Omg, Chiraq?!
@Borntodiethiswy, Mar 22, 2017
The retired chiraq savage @ChiefKeef just got a PLAQUE for is hit song #lovesosa .
@Coldestheat, March 23, 2017

Where does Chiraq come from?

Chiraq

Chicago rapper King Louie is credited with coining the term Chiraq in 2009. Louie released a mixtape in 2011 titled Chiraq, Drillinois. Drillinois combines Illinois with drill, the subgenre of hip-hop that King Louie performs.

The term Chiraq gained traction in the press as violence in Chicago worsened. In 2012, the Daily Mail reported the misleading headline that more people were being murdered in Chicago than United States service members killed in Afghanistan–an erroneous claim that Mother Jones would later point out to be false.

The term continued gaining traction through 2013, when Will Robson-Scott released a documentary titled Chi Raq about violence in Chicago. The following year, another Chicago rapper, Chief Keef, put out an album titled Chiraq Villain.

In 2015, Spike Lee released a movie about violence in Chicago titled Chi-Raq. The movie is a retelling of Aristophanes’s Lysistrata, a story in which a community of women withholds sex to discourage their significant others from fighting. The film’s title proved controversial, drawing criticism from Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

Later that year, a TV pilot titled This is Not Chiraq screened at the Black Harvest Film Festival in Chicago. The team behind This is Not Chiraq set out to “to portray a more complex human reality than [Spike Lee’s] controversial Chi-Raq.”

Who uses Chiraq?

While some Chicago rappers and their fans call the city Chiraq with a sense of tough-guy pride, other Chicagoans may object to the name and the way it characterizes poor black neighborhoods. Chiraq is also sometimes used demeaningly by those who want to characterize urban areas and their inhabitants as violent.

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