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Is Chief Keef Worth an Interscope Signing? No, But F**k ItPosted by Nathan S. on 06/23/12 | Filed under Top Stories, Features, Opinion, Chief Keef
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I know you've all been holding your breath waiting to find out what label Chicago rapper turned internet sensation Chief Keef was going to sign to. Well, feel free to exhale...the dude's now the latest addition to the Interscope roster. Oh shit! That's a big deal...kind of.
First, the details. While exact figures haven't been releases, reports place the value of the signing in the millions. In addition to an artist deal, Keef also gets his own vanity label, GBE, a publishing deal with Dr. Dre, and just to really rub it in, his own line of Beats By Dre headphones, “Beats By Keef.”
So what's Interscope thinking? Does Keef deserve a deal like this? Well..."deserve" is a funny word.
We've been through this before. Keef has an intense local following, that's indisputable. But there are literally 100 rappers with bigger proven fan bases than Keef in their own markets, national and internationally. That's not why Interscope gives a fuck about Keef. Interscope is not in the business of selling albums from local sensations - just ask any of the rappers the labels tell everyday to "get their buzz up" and then they'll talk.
No, Interscope and Dr. Dre are involved because Keef became an internet sensation, an internet sensation that Kanye smartly capitalized on. I know it's easy to get all riled up about the labels funding hype over proven talent, but relax, at least a little bit. I obviously haven't seen the actual deal, but I'd bet my left testicle (or right, take your pick) that it's a 360 deal with a decent advance and some serious recoupment.
In other words, Interscope is thinking "fuck it." If this kid flops than whatever, we invested some spending money and gave him some meaningless perks. Enjoy your "label" Keef. 50 Cent can't even get us to put his album out, you think you're going to be able to put out shit without our approval? And if he defies the odds and manages to flip some hype into legit income, than we just tripled our money overnight. Either way we got the kid on lock for a few years until we see what he's really made of, and more importantly none of our rivals have him.
So yeah, really nothing to get overly worked up about. Let's just sit back and see what happens - the odds say that Keef won't be able to translate his local, YouTube buzz into an actual national fanbase. Either way he's already won and done more with his life than anyone could have possible expected. Enjoy it while it lasts Keef, especially if I'm wrong and it lasts for years.
See Also: Chief Keef & The Making of The Internet’s Latest False Idol