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Drill baby drill: Katie Got Bandz heads to the Blue Moose



Katie Got Bandz
Kiara Johnson, aka Katie Got Bandz, performs in the music video for “I Need a Hitta.”

Katie Got Bandz

Blue Moose Tap House — Friday, June 27 at 7 p.m.

Fans of the drill genre (a relatively new strain of hip hop from Southside Chicago marked by explicit lyrics, deadpan deliveries, and heavy, hard-hitting beats) haven’t had many chances to see many drill artists play live in Iowa.

Fortunately, one of the bigger names in the genre, Katie Got Bandz, is set to play at the Blue Moose Tap House this Friday, for a show hosted by Iowa City comedian Darius Bowie. Kokki, Arig, Animosity, AWTHNTKTS and DJ Commando are set to open.

Katie Got Bandz, the project of Chicago native Kiara Johnson, has been quietly making a name for herself since she was in high school. In 2011, Kiara began releasing the sort of grainy, ad hoc music videos that we’ve come to know and love from Chicago’s drill rappers.

Kiara’s videos became a viral hit in her hometown, and her rise came just in time to see the local scene explode into the national spotlight. Since then, she’s signed with Lawless Inc. and released two mixtapes — 2012’s Bandz and Hittaz and 2013’s Drillary Clinton.

Kiara’s career began in earnest after a month long stay in Cook County Jail, during which, her music video for “I Need a Hitta” off the album Bandz and Hittaz gained a fair amount of acclaim. The album, recorded with assistance from her cousin, producer BlockOnDaTrack, was a standout success, with tracks like “I Need A Hitta” featuring the machine gun drum trills and imposing bass lines characteristic of the trap-inspired drill genre.

The follow up, Drillary Clinton, saw support from the likes of Chicago’s own Lil Bibby and King L, among others. While not exactly an evolutionary change in her sound, the project included notable tracks “Y U Mad” and the Biggie Smalls-sampling “Dreams”.

With the follow-up to Drillary Clinton dropping in less than a week (dubbed Drillary Clinton 2), this is the perfect time to catch up with Katie Got Bandz. See the Secretary of State Street herself Friday at the Blue Moose.

 


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