Chief Keef is a name Ive heard thrown around from time to time, often lumped into the category of "garbage rappers" who don't have the same lyrical principals of the generations before them. The young Chicago artist was in school and on house arrest when his popularity blew up online, leading him to a record deal with Interscope Records. His first full length dropped at the age of seventeen in 2014 and catching wind of this new release (an album? mixtape? or freebie, I'm not sure), I figured It was time to check out Keef and see what he's about.
After five or six spins Ive been shocked, Ive laughed, grooved and cringed but mostly felt utterly dismayed by the sheer ludicrous demeanor of Keef's record persona. His attitude embellishes self gratification, shallow materialism, bigoted sexism and drug addiction portrayed as a desirable lifestyle, at least to Keef who seems to relish in the excess he paints with his words. The record is littered with mind blowing lines. I always though of a "trophy wife" as a symptom of objectification and seeing measurable value in beauty, yet with a line on "Can You Be My Friend" Keef literally says "hold you slowly, treat you like a trophy". He also wears his addiction like a badge of honor, proclaiming "You trying to smoke what I smoke, you take a hit and die". I could go on but the point is Ive come up against an entirely different perspective and attitude towards life, people and morals that just shocks me, mostly because the music is an glorification of this world view and lifestyle.
Whats been so strange with this record is how much I dig the instrumentals, even the vocal delivery. Keef sing raps with a velvety auto-tune that sinks into the glossy, reverberated synthetic sounds that conjure a sleek, indulgent modern, night life atmosphere. Tight trap beats shuffle and rattle away sharp hi-hats and quick kick snares that hold a tempo for Keef and his synths to jive over. The chemistry is strong, the auto tune vocals often harmonizing, coming together with an organic feel. Its a great record to listen to when not paying attention to the lyrics but that aspect really spoiled my enjoyment of otherwise solid instruments with a lot of style and atmosphere.
Its loaded with swagger and braggadocio that plays into the compositions, its subject matter however just isn't right for my taste and as a result it sound rather goofy and soon to be dated, especially the trendy hype mans whispery shouts that back up the lyrics, saying "bang bang" in excessive auto tune, sometimes stating "bitch" over and over. I'm not sure who hes talking to but its kind of ridiculous... Checking out Keef on youtube it sounds like his older material might be more interesting but for now I need a break from this self centered madness.