Rapper spurns Sac show, bridges get burned
A Keef beef: Rapper Chief Keef burst onto the rap scene in the summer of 2012 with the rough, unsophisticated video for his song “I Don’t Like.” The lyrics are a simplistic list of “shit” that Keef “don’t like,” such as snitches and “sneak dissers.” The video, which has more than 7 million hits, features Keef and his crew in the room of a janky house, smoking copious amounts of weed and getting progressively drunker.
A majority of his posse sport short, face-obscuring dreads like their leader, sagging True Religion jeans, and about half the guys are shirtless. Keef was only 16 when it was shot, and in the video he dances shoulder to shoulder with other scrawny, tattooed adolescents. The aggression and youthful exuberance bursting from the screen is mesmerizing, with an undeniably dark edge.
Keef is part of the Chicago drill scene, which creates music that’s characterized by sounding repetitive, raw and grim. Many of the songs are produced by Young Chop, who is only 19. His production uses skittish trap-influenced beats and keyboard refrains that recall horror-movie scores. The dark tone of drill reflects the ongoing violence on the South Side of Chicago, and perhaps fuels it.
Not long after the release of “I Don’t Like,” Kanye West released a remix version, which currently has more than 32 million hits on YouTube, and even tapped Keef to appear on a track of his new album Yeezus. In a characteristic move, Keef later burned his bridges by tweeting, “Kanye West ain’t do shit for me.” He also rejected 50 Cent’s offer of mentorship. He’s also tangled with the law numerous times recently for nonpayment of child support, ditching out on a show and more.
This is all leads up to the fact that at the last minute, Keef canceled his show, which was slated for September 8, at Ace of Spades. He can now count Sacramento as a city where his bridges are burned. It’s not the first city he’s treated this way; in August, Keef was ordered to pay $230,000 for skipping out on a London show.
As a disgruntled crowd gathered for refunds, many of those waiting called him an “idiot.” Quite a few ticket buyers had come to watch local rapper Clyde Moore’s opening set, which meant that the beloved local skater from the Lurk Hard crew missed out on a chance to perform his biggest show to date.
I was in Los Angeles for the weekend, and when I heard about the late-announced show, I changed my plane ticket so that I could make the set. I know that everything I’ve written so far probably has you scratching your head as to why I would do that, but I actually am (or was) a Chief Keef fan. He’s undeniably charismatic, and his songs are earworms. Plus, he’s the first drill artist I’d heard. Still, now that I’m more acquainted with the sound and Young Chop’s production, other artists have eclipsed him on my playlist.
Specifically, there are three female artists releasing music within this typically misogynistic rap scene who I’ve been listening to: Sasha Go Hard, Tink and Katie Got Bandz. All three have released numerous mix-tapes but don’t have any official releases yet. Sasha Go Hard’s “Nutty World” and Katie Got Bandz’s wittily titled “Drillary Clinton” dropped within the last several weeks. Each of these artists has more talent and spark than the humorless Chief Keef. And all of them have a fraction of the visibility that Chief Keef has—although Sasha and Katie have gotten some buzz lately.
A few predictions: Keef will continue to skip out on obligations and alienate other famous rappers and producers, squander his money on Bedazzled jeans, and end up in prison for at least a short term at some point.
Keef disappointed his Sacramento fans and screwed over a local rapper.
That’s that shit I don’t like, nah.