The national spotlight on Chicago’s controversial drill scene has predominantly centered around several generations of dominant and influential men like Chief Keef, Lil Durk, the late King Von, and G Herbo. 

The women of drill, despite being influential in their own right, historically haven’t gotten the same shine collectively because of poor management and record contracts, and not having the same level of investment from the music industry as their male counterparts. 

Then came rising rapper Mello Buckzz with her biggest song to date, Boom (Mouskatool)” featuring Kashh Mirr, Amari Blaze, and Moni Da G, an unexpected hit that brought the spotlight back on the ladies of the drill movement. 

Its four punishing verses of fire and brimstone highlight their unique rap styles and natural chemistry over the dark, menacing piano keys and pulsing bass produced by Chew Chew Beats. 

“All of our energy was top tier, so I knew the song was gon’ go up,” Kashh Mirr, who hails from the south suburbs, told The TRiiBE.

Since “Boom (Mouskatool)” dropped in February, it’s become one of the hottest songs in Chicago, garnering consistent play on Chicago radio. The chaotically hilarious music video has nearly two million views on YouTube.

Despite how much success “Boom (Mouskatool),” and its sequel “Boom, Pt. 2” featuring Big Latto, has gotten, some drill enthusiasts have said that women should only rap about sex and having fun — essentially, leave drill music to the men.

“Us real niggas don’t want ya’ll females having to live like us, dealing wit [sic] & worrying bout [the shit] dat come wit that type of lifestyle. Ya’ll should want to live peaceful,” Chicago rapper 10K Kobe wrote in the comments of The Chicago Wave’s Instagram page.

But for Mello Buckzz, the stories behind her music are just as real as the men in drill.

“Boom (Mouskatool)” is a result of a neighborhood beef between Mello, who grew up on 78th Street and Essex Avenue in the South Shore neighborhood, and Low End native Blasian Doll that got aired out on the notorious social app, Clubhouse. Moni told The TRiiBE that neither she, Kashh, nor Amari knew of any of the women Mello was alluding to when they joined “Boom (Mouskatool).”

“Niggas tell me all the time, ‘niggas ain’t ‘gon listen to my shit because I rap about guns, and mothaf— want some sex appeal.’ Nigga I don’t give a f—,” Mello told The TRiiBE. “Aye, I’ma say it just like this. I ain’t tryna be cute. I’m trying to live my life. I ain’t trying to be girly. I’m trying to live my mothaf— life.”

Once “Boom (Mouskatool)” started approaching one million views on YouTube, big-name rappers such as Glorilla and Latto took notice, co-signing them on social media and bringing the ladies out to perform during Chicago stops on their respective tours.

Mello, who identifies as bisexual, connected with her collaborators after they were listed on The Chicago Wave’s “Top Female Chicago Rappers Next To Blow In 2023.” Fans of the local scene encouraged them to work together. 

“The whole thing was about unity and getting exposure together. Like, even though we’re not a group, we still trying to help each other,” said Moni, who is from the Wild 100s and identifies as bisexual. “Everybody says [there’s] so much hate in Chicago but how would you be where you at without the support?”

In March, platinum-selling rapper Latto joined Mello’s remix, “Boom, Pt. 2,” and even made a visit to Mello’s 78th and Essex stomping ground for the music video. 

As hip-hop started to notice Mello’s track, however, so did corporate America. In order for Latto to land on the remix, and avoid a lawsuit from Disney who owns the name “Mousekatool,” Mello said she had to change the song’s original name, and change its original hook from “I got my meeska, mooska, mouseka-tool” to “I got my blicka, booya, pop out, boom.”

Disney didn’t contact us directly,” Mello told The TRiiBE, when asked if she received a cease-and-desist warning from the company. 

“Once Latto got on the song, [RCA Records] had to make sure everything is cleared before they drop anything with her on it. So, we took it down and changed the verse,” Mello said.

Thankfully that didn’t stop her momentum, as Latto brought her out during her set at the 2023 Coachella Music Festival to perform “Boom, Pt. 2,” which currently has more than four million views on YouTube. 

And on June 18, 1990s rap icon Lil Kim brought Mello out during her headlining performance at the 2023 Hyde Park Summer Fest. She performed her verse on “Boom (Mouskatool)” there. Then, Mello followed that up with an appearance at Lyrical Lemonade’s 2023 Summer Smash on June 24, where G Herbo brought her out to perform their single “Outside” from his new album, Strictly for My Fans II. 

At the 2023 BET Awards on June 25, Latto shouted Mello out during her acceptance speech for Best Female Hip Hop Artist. She was sitting alongside G Herbo in the crowd.

“Shout out to some women who I think should have been in the category, like Doechii… Maiya The Don, Flo Milli… Mello Buckzz, TiaCorine, shout out to all the women, we killin it,” Latto said.

In the beginnings of drill, ladies such as Dreezy, Shady, Tink, Sasha Go Hard, Chimeka and Katie Got Bandz pioneered a type of rawness that would influence adjacent and future waves of mainstream women rappers.

“I think that the influence that they’ve had was that they were amazing at what they did and it gave a different perspective for females,” said Beleshia “Lyrical” McCulley, owner of Lyrical Eyes Mgnt who formally managed Lil Durk in the beginning of his career.


But there’s a harmful perception by some that Chicago rap women are “too masculine” compared to their peers in cities such as New York and Atlanta, to name a few, in terms of their mannerism, marketability and aggressive approach to rapping.

“Chicago women, we just Chicago women. We just have a different style, a different flare. And you got to remember that everybody here doesn’t come up the same. Everybody doesn’t want to be the pretty princess from the hood,” Power 92. Radio personality Bree Specific said. “Some people had to really get it out the mud.”

This perception is also an extension of a stereotype about Black women from Chicago in general. But, just like the guys, Black women also live in neighborhoods that have experienced violence, regardless of whether they’re from the burbs or the city.

“I feel like a big misconception is, even though we do rap drill, we still are good people. A lot of their asses think we’re mean or whatever way they feel about us. The reality is we’re just real and we’re blunt and we’re gonna speak our mind,” Amari said. “We grew up in a situation where mothaf— gave it to us blunt. Society was not nice.”

Drea O, who is the owner and host of “The Drea O Show” on YouTube, has covered drill since 2012. She said women rappers are a reflection of the harsh circumstances they have to deal with in Chicago, often at the hands of men.

“Coming up in Chicago, you have to be strong. You have to be aware and have this guard up just because of all the things you have to go through. Whether you’re from the suburbs or the inner city, it’s a certain trickery that goes on,” Drea said.

Through their combined efforts, each of the women have found success in their own lanes. This summer, they’re constantly filming and dropping visuals for their new singles, collaborating with established Chicago and mainstream rappers, and working on their debut projects while navigating the industry with the help of some of the most esteemed veterans in Chicago hip hop. 

Mello is signed with Laka Film’s No More Heroes, which is in partnership with Todd Moskowitz’s Santa Ana Records. Moni is independent but works with CTC Duwop, who was part of the original team that managed Chief Keef in 2012. Amari, whose father was a local rapper named Sinista, is keeping everything in the family. She’s being managed by her mother Stacey Gill, owner of Breezy Films LLC.

And Kashh is being managed by veterans Mikkey Halsted and Dilla, who are known for managing G Herbo, Lil Durk (formally), and Jeremih, respectively.

On May 28, the four rappers dropped their latest collaboration,  “4800,” a more fun, twerkable, and energetic song for the summer. Each rapper spits their verses with just as much charisma, lyricism and attitude as “Boom (Mouskatool)”

For Mello, the new song is a testament to how they maintained their sisterhood despite online commenters and other internet instigators using her success to pit them against one another.

“I’m proud of me and the girls and we still came together to make another song. We still ended up strong. We’re rocking with one another. We love each other and support each other. We still came out on top. We a sisterhood.” Mello said.

is a freelance writer for The TRiiBE.