`Chiraq:` What do Chicago residents think of the label? - Fox 2 News Headlines

`Chiraq:` What do Chicago residents think of the label?

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The guns, the gangs and the victims are all synonymous with one word: “Chiraq.”

It’s a word that has come to describe the place and time Chicagoans live in. And now there's a movement to reject the word that some say puts a negative image on our city.

Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Herb, and Chicago rapper King Louie all rap about “Chiraq.” It’s a word that has inundated social media, both praising and criticizing the violence in Chicago.

It means different things to different people.

“I don't want them to think of Chicago, our beautiful city as a war zone," Chicago resident Sarah Kendrick says. “All they think about are death and guns."

“It's a little violent, but then again it's Chicago,” resident Phillip Quinn says. “I mean it's one of the best places in the world."

It’s a reputation that plays a large role in rapper King Louie's songs. He says it's not a negative thing. It’s just art, a form of acting.

“I'm basically playing my bad role and just narrating the negativity and the violence that I grew up in in Chicago and you know what I’m saying, making it artistic," King Louie tells FOX 32.

Others like Phil Jackson, a proponent to stop the violence in Chicago, says the word doesn’t portray reality.

“They think they live in a war zone and I try to persuade them not to use that word,” Jackson explains. “And I try to get them to believe that it could be worse than what they're experiencing now, but they don't believe it."

Others like local fashion designer Alonzo Jackson are trying to take back another nickname: “Chitown,” instead of “Chiraq.”

“It's basically scratching out the word Chiraq and it says Chitown and it says we don't embrace that,” Fashion Geek Clothing’s Alonzo Jackson says of the shirts. “So don't even call it Chiraq because the power of the tongue and you speak that, it's like you're embracing it and we don't like that at all."

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