GreenSllime in the studio Credit: Courtesy the artist

Rapper, producer, DJ, and talk-show host GreenSllime has built a cult following with his muddy, sample-heavy production and crass rhymes. In the past few years he’s made incredible strides toward establishing his voice as a solo rapper, but he’s already been an unsung hero in the local scene for more than a decade, operating mostly in the background. As a producer and DJ, he’s known primarily for his work with rappers Mick Jenkins and Qari, and he’s built an audience with the YouTube series Sllime’s Broke Ass Low Budget Show, where he interviews other talented creatives from his circle of friends, including Smino, Kari Faux, and Saba

For the first half of 2021, it seemed like Sllime was gaining enough momentum to break out. He released the EP Rerock, Vol. 1 to streaming services and dropped the new EP Monk. via Bandcamp. Both projects make strong impressions, despite their brevity, with Sllime channeling influences that include Wu-Tang Clan and soul music. When Sllime did reach a new level of notoriety, though, it was for something no one had expected: in July he woke up to find that YouTube had banned his channel for a song he’d made in 2020 called “Sell Coke to White Folks, Pt. 2.”

Saba guests on this 2017 episode of Sllime’s Broke Ass Low Budget Show.

“Basically they said my video was harmful and dangerous content and that I was selling illegal products over the Internet. They put it in the same category as bomb making,” Sllime explains. 

“It’s clearly a joke and a fake infomercial—I don’t even see how someone could be confused. I felt robbed and like there was nothing I could do. Out of all the shit on YouTube, why did I get censored? Vice has a video called ‘How to Sell Drugs’ with ten million views.”

The song repeats its title in a tongue-in-cheek call-and-response chorus, and the video is an absurd parody of TV ads—Sllime flies in space via green screen in one scene, and in another actors rub each other’s faces in white powder. For some reason, it took YouTube nearly a year and a half to decide the video was a problem, at which point the platform took it down without warning—along with the rest of Sllime’s channel, including all his interviews. 

Sllime spent three months appealing to YouTube to get his channel back, though even when it was finally restored, “Sell Coke to White Folks, Pt. 2” didn’t come with it. Despite the obvious setbacks the takedown caused him, Sllime has built up his underground legend by fighting a battle with an Internet giant—and he’s making the most of his second chance on YouTube’s platform. Last month he dropped a mesmerizing video for his song “Goodfellas,” and he plans to start recording new episodes of his talk show. With his channel back under his control, GreenSllime can continue feeding his fans visuals that match the creativity of his sound.

GreenSllime’s video for “Goodfellas” premiered on February 1, 2022.

Best of Chicago 2021 is
presented by

sponsored in part by

Refer to the closed final ballot to see all the categories and finalists that were voted on.