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South Side 16-Year-Old Gets Shot, Blows Up

"Before he was arrested last December, Chief Keef, a 16-year-old hip-hop star, was almost completely unknown outside of Chicago's South Side," local freelancer David Drake writes in a long, fascinating piece for Gawker. "He had a song called 'Bang,' which had more than 400,000 views on YouTube, and he had a mixtape, and a dedicated following amongst Chicago high school students. But he was not a rapper who was known outside of the local high schools. His Facebook profile indicated that he worked as a sales rep for 'Selling Dope.' He lived with his grandmother.

"But last year, on Dec. 4, Chief Keef's rap career changed. That afternoon, gunshots were fired from a Blue Pontiac Grand Prix in the Washington Park neighborhood of Chicago, just South of Hyde Park, and when police arrived at the scene, a suspect allegedly pointed a gun at them. The officers fired a shot back. Two young men, including Chief Keef, were apprehended; a third escaped. Rumors swirled that Keef had been killed in a shootout with police; in fact, he'd been arrested and charged with aggravated UUW, or unlawful use of a weapon. He was released sometime around New Year's Day to live at his grandmother's apartment for 30 days under house arrest, followed by another 30 days of home confinement.

"When his house arrest ended, on Jan. 2, WorldStarHipHop - a website that hosts hip-hop-related videos for an estimated two million unique viewers per day - posted a video of a young child in a hysterical fit of excitement. Keef had just been released, and the young boy was celebrating. He bounded around the room, rapping along to 'Aimed At You,' one of Chief Keef's biggest songs. The earliest comments from the site's largely hip-hop-oriented readership were marked by confusion: 'Chief who?' 'Who the fuck is cheif Keef?'

"Keef was an entirely unknown outside of certain corners of Chicago's South Side, but he had been thrust suddenly onto the national stage."

Click through to read the rest. We'll be here when you get back.


"Chief Keef has risen through the ranks to become Chicago's most polarizing hip-hop figure," Andrew Barber of Fake Shore Drive writes. "He now boasts millions of views on YouTube, and has been granted cosigns from the likes of Soulja Boy, Young L and Lil B."


"It all started with a music video, 'Bang,' that's essentially identical to the thousands of shaky YouTube videos of aspiring "rappers' that hit the interwebs everyday - the vast, vast majority of which will just as quickly fall into the depths of obscurity from whence they came," Nathan S. writes at Refined Hype.

"But 'Bang' managed to rack up a decent number of views, which prompted a small handful of blogs to post the video commenting on how many views it had, which in turned further racked up the views, which in turn prompted Gawker (that paragon of hip-hop journalism) to write a profile on Keef commenting on how many views it had, which in turn racked up the views further, which in turn prompted me and my brethren to write about how over-hyped Gawker's article was, which in turn racked up the views even further, which in turn legitimized the hype ('Holy shit, almost one million views! You can't make up those numbers, Keef's a legit force!')"

Among the comments, however:

"I heard of Keef through Chicago area PR people and producers. Apparently he had a solid regional buzz prior to the current 'meme' scenario. I can see him remain a fixture at some niche level if he doesn't go to jail, honestly."


"He's been buzzing on a local level from what I heard. I'm actually a fan lol; I heard about him last year."


"If you don't see a problem with all this, let me quickly elaborate," Beware writes for The Smoking Section.

"South Chicago is a damn war zone. Renowned for having the highest murder rate in the country, this is where young Keef calls home. It's also where he's recruiting legions of adolescent supporters, who seem to range anywhere from eight to 18-years-old and can be seen reciting their new favorite rapper's continual barrage of bullet-blasting lyrics in any one of the grainy videos currently working their way up YouTube's priority list. And, while encouraging these smiling kids to curl up their trigger-fingers for the camera before they're old enough to sit in the front seat of a car is working for the new Chief of Chi-Town, the examples he's setting along the way are flat-out disgusting."



"Chicago got that gunplay and Chief Keef aka SOSA is at the forefront of the Chi-city movement," OnSmash writes.

(Mixtape artwork seen on this post would not be acceptable for Chicago's city sticker.)

Aimed At You.


Chief Keef speaks. Sort of.


Comments welcome.


Posted on March 20, 2012

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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