By Dylan Deprey
Why did Lil Chicken cross the road? To go to the corner store for some Russian Creams and a Mountain Dew. As he was walking out, two fans shouted his name hanging out their car window rear end another car at the lights. If that isn’t an indicator of a famous local rapper, what is?
Lil Chicken is a household name for Milwaukee rap and hip-hop fans. Whether he is Lil Chicken, Big Chicken or Chicken P, he is an innovator for Milwaukee’s Slap Movement. He paints his street stories on a canvas of bustling hi-hats, haunting pianos and trunk-rattling bass.
After linking up with TeeGlazedIt, an up-andcoming video producer, in 2016, his goofy antics and hood anthems were interlaced with fiery editing and excellent camerawork.
“After TeeGlazedIt saw the reception from the first video, he told me he was shooting my videos from now on, and ever since then we’ve been locked in,” Lil Chicken said.
They’ve continued to work with established rappers, while creating a platform for newer artists. The Slap Movement had carved its own lane in Milwaukee’s mainstream.
“I make music for everybody, but my music is for the streets,” he said. “I rap about drug dealing and s*** like that because that’s what I’ve known for the majority of my life, it’s all I’ve been around.”
He continued: “We’re brutally honest. What do you expect me to rap about? I’m not driving around Ferraris and talking about s*** I don’t have. I’m talking about what I see on a daily basis.”
Most of Lil Chicken’s videos on TeeGlazedIt’s YouTube have amassed hundreds of thousands of views—likes on a song have even toppled into the millions.
As he began gaining fans across stateliness, artists from across the Midwest began reaching out. Detroit rappers, with a similar bass-thumping trap sound, wanted Chicken P’s slurred street stories and off-kilter melodies on their tracks.
As he finally began to push his reach outside of Milwaukee, he was stopped in his tracks. While he was very serious about living his raps, it had finally caught up with him. He spent seven months in jail.
Now, that he is out, he is more determined than ever.
“When you’re in there, you get to thinking, and I knew when I went home, I had to really make this happen for real. I couldn’t keep selling dope and doing dumb s*** ending up back in jail because I have a career ahead of me,” Lil Chicken said.
After dropping several singles since his release, he has been plotting on taking his music to the next level. Along with a stack of raps written in jail and the right beats, he is ready to elevate his sound to the next level.
“I helped build the Slap Movement and played a big part in it, but I really don’t rap like that,” he said. “That’s not really how I want to rap because I’d rather be making songs for everybody.”
Although he has tapped into Milwaukee, his goal is to extend his reach out to other artists buzzing with the same hometown notoriety, so they can build a fan base together. From artists in LA, Detroit, Houston and New Orleans, Lil Chicken strives to bring a little bit of Milwaukee across state lines.
“I’m about to go full throttle in the studio, and it’s going to be something serious when I get back in there,” Lil Chicken said. “It ain’t s*** to take over your city, conquering the world, that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Lil Chicken will be performing at the 4th Annual TDM Fest: Tone Da Man and Friends show at the Turner Hall Ballroom on Saturday Aug. 10, 2019. For more information visit https://pabsttheater.org/event/tdmfestival2019/