Photography by ACJ Photos
Chicago is a rough city. Since the advent of “drill”, GBE and Chief Keef, the stories of the city’s streets have been told primarily by artists that painted pictures of death and destruction and little else. Enter: Giftz, the gritty hip-hop artist from Chicago’s south side that has woven poetic lyricism and a cognitive thought process into a burgeoning career that has his hometown and all its good and bad wrapped up in it. Since releasing his 2013 mixtape Position of Power Giftz has gone about, well, establishing a position of power for himself amongst an increasingly populated sea of artists elevating from the Second City. Despite his self-described affection for gangsta rap aesthetics, Giftz is able to seamlessly move around the city, spending time at Leaders with Save Money or Treated Crew at Jugrnaut. Giftz made a leap in 2013 which has allowed him to make the leap of establishing a following outside the 312 area code. With his eye on a headlining show before the end of the year to hit 2014 running, he says all he’s trying to do now is stay out of trouble. I had the chance to catch up with Giftz a couple week ago to talk about his recent rise in the hip-hop game and what he has coming next. Check out his latest song, “Statement,” on the next page, and our conversation over the following pages.