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Chief Keef Doesn’t Give a F**k About Kanye & Lil Wayne, I Like Chief Keef More & MorePosted by Nathan S. on 08/21/12 | Filed under Top Stories, Opinion, Chief Keef
Keef the actual person is another story, but I was worries about Chief Keef the symbol. In many ways, Keef's instant rise from obscurity to fame embodied everything that troubles me about hip-hop in 2012. Just like a thousand people, rappers and living memes before him, I thought the internet would grab Keef, generate every last pageview possible out of him, then dump him as soon as he inevitably stopped trending on Twitter.
What's more, I could see the sharks already start circling. As cliched as it may sound, there really are old white guys sitting in major label offices who pay for their vacation homes by finding new "hot" artists [Note: "Hot" equals YouTube views], signing them to shitty deals while they're still too inexperienced to know better and leverage better terms, squeezing every penny out of them, then ceasing to give even a shadow of a fuck once they fall off.
It's a vampire-like approach to music that established artists also follow by constantly grabbing fresh young blood to revive and sustain their careers. Case in point, head vampiress Madonna - you think she actually gives a fuck about Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.? She just wants some of Nicki's young fans who were born after her 30th birthday to know who she is.
And then my prophecy seemed to come true when Universal/Interscope signed him - I'd love to think that Keef hired a team of great lawyers to ensure he didn't get completely fucked in that deal, but I think it's safe to say the odds are low - and Kanye blew up "I Don't Like" to global proportions. It was a win-win for Kanye: he generates some headlines, and if Keef went on the larger success, Ye could always say "I'm the reason he's popular.
So while some have recoiled in "how dare you?!?" horror when Keef refused to give any praise to Kanye, I was secretly applauding. I can't believe I'm saying this, but Keef's completely right. He didn't even receive so much as a text or call from Kanye, let alone time in the studio with him. Ye clearly just used his song for some quick buzz, without any input from him, and that entitled him to a lifetime of Keef's gratitude?
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Or rather, his seeming ignorance makes him honest enough to tell it like it is. A "smarter" artist would think about their long term career, think about all the money they could make if Kanye liked them, think about their "brand" , and kiss Ye's ass. Not Keef.
I'm still not a particular fan of the music, but I get what his fans see in him. Yes he sometimes goes too far, and it's got to be infuriating for other artist to watch him throw away the opportunities they'd kill their own grandmothers to get, but it seems like he really doesn't give a fuck.
He doesn't give a fuck about Childish Gambino and promo interviews. He doesn't give a fuck about working with Kanye again, and he doesn't give a fuck about ever working with Lil Wayne.
Frankly I think the chances that he'll have faded into obscurity in five-years are still pretty high, but at least he'll have faded into obscurity on his own terms, and for the moment I'm enjoying watching him burn every bridge in sight. Against all the odds he may just end up playing the game more than it plays him.
See Also: Is Chief Keef Worth an Interscope Signing? No, But F**k It