Chief Keef

Rising from Chicago's underground hip-hop scene in the 2010s, Chief Keef was a young rap protege telling brutal tales of his inner city, street life, when he started being championed as a pioneering voice of drill music and landed a multi-million dollar record deal while still a teenager. Raised in the tough South Side, Washington Park neighbourhood by a single mother and his grandmother, Keith Cozart first started rapping at the age of five on a karaoke machine after hearing Beanie Sigel and Lil Wayne; he began recording properly with family friend DJ Ken when he turned 12. Despite being involved with the notorious Black Disciples gang and charged with the manufacture and distribution of heroin in 2011, his reputation grew quickly with local high school fans, and he was under house arrest for the unlawful use of a gun when his early mix-tapes 'The Glory Road', 'Bang' and 'Back from the Dead' started gaining popularity. The videos made by amateur film-maker D Gains also helped propel his name beyond Chicago, and as his views on MySpace reached millions, his track 'I Don't Like' was remixed by Kanye West, sparking a record company bidding war. Signing a $6 million deal with Interscope when he was just 16, he went on to release debut 'Finally Rich' in 2012 and was billed as the main face of the hip-hop subgenre drill which took the woozy, Southern trap sound and the raw, gangsta rap aesthetic, to create a violent, ominous new soundtrack of contemporary, urban culture. He also collaborated with Gucci Mane, Wacka Flocka Flame and Young Chop and appeared on Kanye's track 'Hold My Liquor', while creating his own platinum-selling anthems 'Love Sosa' and 'Hate Bein' Sober', which featured 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa. The mix-tapes continued to be released at a rapid rate too, and his following albums 'Bang 3' and 'Bang 3, Part 2' in 2015 captured his phenomenal rise from a troubled, nihilistic street kid to one of the most controversial and influential rap stars of his generation.

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