Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Jamila Woods And Chance The Rapper Counter Chicago's Narrative With 'LSD'

Jamila Woods and Chance The Rapper have a new video to counter Chicago's image as a hotbed of guns and gang violence. The two homegrown artists challenge this one-dimensional caricature of the city with innocent scenes of children, families and loving communities.

"LSD," from Woods' newly re-released debut LP HEAVN, distills summertime into backyard barbecues and colorful, reflective moods. An equal amount of love went into the making of the video, which was directed in conjunction with students of Chicago Public Schools. An accompanying making-of-the-video documentary details how students — from the same school system that Chance the Rapper donated $1 million to earlier this year — submitted treatments and worked alongside VAM Studio filmmakers to envision a Chicago of their own telling. The resulting contrast, full of plastic-cup parties, walks by the beach, dreamy selfies and selfless neighbors - and Chance manning the grill - exemplifies what happens when marginalized communities get to shape their own story.

They fill in all the blanks.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Rodney Carmichael is NPR Music's hip-hop staff writer. An Atlanta-bred cultural critic, he helped document the city's rise as rap's reigning capital for a decade while serving on staff as music editor, culture writer and senior writer for the defunct alt-weekly Creative Loafing.