Chiraq is a slang term meaning Chicago. Chiraq is a combination of Chicago(Chi) and Iraq(raq). The reason Chicago is often to refer to as Chiraq is due to its high number of homicides and violent crimes. Many observers compare Chicago to a battlefield, hence its comparison to Iraq, a country currently at war. Chiraq is not an offensive term, but merely one that tries to shine light on the violence plaguing Chicago. Between 2003 and 2011 Chicago had 4,265 murders, which is about 200 shy of the number of American forces that have died in Iraq during that same time period. Chicago had the highest rate of homicide in 2012 in the United States. Some individuals have criticized Chicago’s comparison to Iraq due to the fact that only American soldier deaths are counted from Iraq, if civilian and enemy combatant death were counted, that number would be in the 100s of thousands.
Many rap artists have embraced the name in their songs, especially those that are considered gangsta rappers. King Louie, one of Chicago’s most prominent gangsta rappers released a mixtape titled “Chiraq Drillinois”. Kanye West used chiraq in his ‘Black Skinhead’ song from the album ‘Yeezus’ where he says “If I don't get ran out by Catholics - Here come some conservative Baptists - Claiming I'm overreacting - Like them black kids in Chiraq b*tch”