Tag Archives: David Drake

On Chief Keef: Revisiting Gawker’s Nominee For Hip-Hop’s Next Big Thing

Chief Keef's latest mixtape

NOTE: I added a sentence to my initial post to reflect Drake’s assertion Keef had a strong following in among Chicago public high school students prior to his arrest. I also corrected an error I made about when he performed his first two Chicago shows.

From the moment Pusha T breathes fire into it, Kanye West’s remix of Chicago ROY candidate Chief Keef’s “Don’t Like” is appointment listening. The verses from Kanye, Pusha, Jadakiss, and Big Sean crackle with urgency, Young Chop’s beat thumps, and Keef’s hook has a middle finger in the air bravado that makes this song born out of teen angst electrifying.

The “Don’t Like” remix inspired me to seek out more Chief Keef material — he has two mixtapes — and read up on him. In doing so, I came across a Gawker article published in March that declared him “hip hop’s next big thing.” After reading the article and listening to a half dozen Chief Keef tracks, I can confidently write such a label being placed on him is not only undeserved but a bogus attempt by the web site to garner page views. For those counting, the article generated more than 59,000 clicks.

Through the magic of Twitter, I shared my opinion about the article’s headline with David Drake, author of the Gawker article in question. I refrained from expressing the latter opinion (about page views). To make a statement like that about Gawker would have been redundant.

Continue reading