“We Real Chicago” is TRiiBE TV’s weekly arts and entertainment show hosted by TRiiBE cultural correspondent Rome J. On Thursday (Aug. 6), two of FBG Duck’s friends joined the show to talk about the man behind the music. Check out their segment below.

FBG Duck was a complex figure in Chicago drill. While some critics argue that his death was the consequence of the gang-affiliated life he rapped about in his music, one of his close friends says the 26-year-old rapper was a product of his violence-torn environment. 

“He had a good heart.  He wasn’t all about gang banging or what the news was portraying him to be,” said Bo Deal, a rapper and violence prevention activist. “He was a good man, a good brother, and a great father.” 

Chicago King Dave is another friend of FBG Duck. Back in 2018, Chicago King Dave lost another of his friends to gun violence: Zack Stoner, the founder of  ZackTV1, a popular YouTube Channel where he interviewed up-and-coming Chicago rappers and discussed topics such as gun violence and other issues plaguing the streets. Stoner was shot and killed while driving his car in the South Loop after leaving a music event at a nearby lounge in 2018.

Chicago King Dave described FBG Duck as down to earth and a cool person to be around. 

“He was a gangster, but he was a big ole teddy bear,” said Chicago King Dave, who owns the Bronzeville clothing store, Kulture Chicago.

On Aug. 4, a drive-by shooting in the Gold Coast shopping district claimed the life of the South Side rapper. He was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital shortly after the shooting, and two others were taken to area hospital with injuries.

The rapper was widely known for his popular single, “Slide.” The 2017 song fits within drill, a Chicago-born rap subgenre that began in the early 2010s on the city’s South Side.

“Slide” was born out of freestyle. The song blew up to his surprise and though the song is three years old it still remains popular in bars and clubs.  As of today, “Slide” has 54 million views on YouTube.

FBG Duck, like many other drill artists, rapped about what he’d seen and experienced on the streets of Chicago.  

“His style of rap was reality,” said Bo Deal, who is affiliated with Waka Flocka’s label Brick Squad Monopoly and was a close friend of FBG Duck. 

Chicago King Dave added: “It’s violent music. Chicago’s a violent city. It’s gangster music.” 

Musically FBG Duck should be recognized as one of the pioneers of the drill movement, according to Mark Braboy, a Chicago journalist and TRiiBE contributor who covers music, entertainment and cannabis. 

“He was making real music. When a lot of other people were shifting into making more mainstream music or being more lyrical or being more melodic, he stuck with drill,” Braboy said.

Although drill music was his bread and butter, FBG Duck was ready to step outside of the genre, said his friends Bo Deal and Chicago King Dave. He wanted to show the full range of his artistic ability, Bo Deal added. 

FBG Duck didn’t want to only be known for diss tracks. He wanted to make peace too, according to Chicago King Dave. 

In December 2019, FBG Duck released Chicago Legends, a song paying homage to Chicago rappers including JoJo and North Side rapper Young Pappy that were shot and killed. Zack Tv is also one of the men FBG Duck speaks about in the video.

“He was working with Lil Chris from the West Side,” said Chicago King Dave. 

Lil Chris is a rapper, producer, and writer from Chicago’s West Side, known for bop-inspired singles like “Automatic” and “Bop Like Me.” Bop is a dance that originated on Chicago’s West Side. 

The pair began working together in 2018. FBG Duck appeared on a host of Lil Chris’ singles including, “Young & Living, “Survive,” “No Tylenol” and more.  The vibe in those songs is different from the usual uptempo drill beats that FBG was known for. 

“Chris was putting him on to something different. He saw something different in Duck,” Chicago King Dave added.  “So, if you pay attention, his music started changing. Chris was bringing out the other side that people didn’t know that he had.” 

Whether he wanted to be or not, FBG Duck was a role model for many young people. But the loss of his brother, other family members and friends weighed on him.

FBG Duck joined the 2020 Vision Campaign in March of this year, and recently spoke out against the recent shooting deaths of Chicago children. Bo Deal spearheads the violence prevention program, and it leverages credible messengers to reduce violence and provide COVID-19 education.

“He wanted to clean his act up for the kids,” said Bo Deal. “A few months ago, he was saying that he was going to stop putting guns in his videos. He was trying to change. It’s just hard when you grow up in this environment.”

Bo Deal, Chicago King Dave, and Braboy joined TRiiBE TV’s “We Real Chicago” show to discuss FBG Duck’s life and career during “The Chi-Light” panel segment. Watch the discussion below:

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