Ep. 50 - Chi DNA: Participatory Filmmaking & Gender Performance within Hip-Hop ft. Tweak’G
Play • 1 hr 20 min

This is the eighth Chicago Drill and Activism (AKA "Chi DNA") installment of Bourbon ’n BrownTown. Chi DNA is an ongoing documentary and multimedia project, which also features interviews, micro-documentaries, and editorial pieces on drill rap and the activist resurgence in Chicago.

Tweak’G is a rapper and activist who has been on the front lines of the two successful grassroots campaigns in Chicago--#ByeAnita and #TraumaCenterNow at the U of Chicago. Born and raised in Chicago, Tweak spent 6-years in the military and now simultaneously traverses Chicago’s activist and underground rap scene as an unapologetic Black Lesbian ready for her next project. Most recently, she is working on her newest music compilation Vulnerability, is a founding member of Dissenters, a youth-led anti-militarism grassroots organization, and is the primary subject in SoapBox's upcoming Chi DNA feature documentary.

BrownTown chills out with Tweak'G, Chicago rapper, activist, and Chi DNA feature documentary subject. In Tweak's two-year anniversary in BrownTown (see episode 15), the fam discusses ethics and relationship-building in documentary filmmaking and deconstructs gender roles and sexuality within contemporary hip-hop as well as their everyday lives. Tweak talks about new developments in her personal and professional life as BrownTown details their "on set" and behind-the-scenes experiences getting to know Tweak through creating the Chi DNA feature and beyond. Tweak deconstructs stereotypes about masculine-presenting Lesbians in hip-hop as well as the everyday, while critiquing heteronormative hierarchies within the Lesbian and queer community. Her and BrownTown continue to chop it up about everything from learned behavior in children playground games to the military-industrial complex.

The Chicago Drill and Activism project explores the creation, meaning, perspectives, and connections between drill rap and the resurgence of grassroots activism since the early 2010s through the eyes of the people involved. It focuses on contemporary Chicago as an intentional place for the resurgence of these two formations of cultural and political resistance during relatively the same time period. It examines how authenticity, community, and other important values to the subjects are impacted and promoted via technology, social media, and a rejection of traditional means of movement politics and corporate structures. As told by activists and drill rappers alike, the project situates the the subjects’ experiences and actions into a broader theoretical and empirical history of systemic inequality and resistance in Chicago. Follow the ongoing project at Chi-DNA.com for more.


Follow Tweak'G on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Listen to her on Soundcloud and YouTube.


CREDITS: Intro/outro song Gold by Tweak'G. Audio engineered by Genta Tamashiro. Episode photo by Sean Kelly.


Chicago Drill and Activism
Site | Twitter | Micro-Docs | Support

Bourbon ’n BrownTown
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Site | Patreon

SoapBox Productions and Organizing, 501(c)3
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Site | Support

More episodes
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu