- Chief Keef (b. Keith Cozart) is an American rapper.
- He is best known for his songs “I Don’t Like” and “Love Sosa,” which helped popularize the drill subgenre.
- In 2023, he was listed as one of the BET Awards performers.
Time heals all wounds. Almost a decade after Chief Keef was banned from the BET Awards, the influential rapper will take part in the 2023 ceremony, taking place on June 25 at 8 pm ET. The ban reportedly began in 2013 when he released a video about the network. “Man, f–k BET!” Keef said in a social media clip, per XXL. “We out here, man. If we go to the BET Awards, chains getting took. B—hes getting f–ked. They mommas getting f–ked. Steal, pregnant, everything.”
Keef added fuel to the rumors in 2014, claiming he was banned from the network and the awards because he didn’t attend an edition of the network’s 106 & Park show. He said he skipped on the show “[because] I ain’t f—king feel like it,” per XXL. Bow Wow later confirmed the ban, saying he was “fighting to get [Keef] on 106. It was a no-go from the uppers. They really black-balled him from [the] mainstream. It’s crazy.”
However, Keef (born Keith Cozart) returns to the network after helping create the sound associated with drill rap. Keef, a Chicago native, began rapping as a youth, using his grandmother’s karaoke machine to record his early raps. He dropped out of high school to pursue his career, resulting in him being hailed as one of the most influential voices of his generation. Get the scoop about Keef below.
Chief Keef Loves True Religion.
In 2012, when Chief Keef was starting out, he declared himself a “True Religion Fein” on his critically-acclaimed mixtape, Back From The Dead. The song included lines like “We don’t want no witness / Move it like its fitness / My True section ridiculous,” and “I’m a True Religion fein / I got on True Religion jeans /Trick, what the f–k you mean? / Suck my True Religion jeans.”
Ten years later, Keef and True Religion teamed up for a collab that included jackets, jeans, shirts, and other True Religion pieces detailed with flames, cartoon skulls, hearts, and other designs.
“It’s always been a dream to work with True Religion since back when I made the song,” he told Complex about the collab. “I told them I started designing and wanted to do a collab and work on some stuff. And they was down to let me do it. They gave me full creativity to do it all. I just went to work.”
He’s Had Some Issues With The Law.
Chief Keef is no stranger to the police. One of his first incidents was when he was apprehended on charges of heroin manufacture and distribution in Jan. 2011. He was only 15 then, so he was considered a juvenile offender and labeled a “delinquent” instead of being guilty of the charges. Due to this, he was put on house arrest. At the end of that same year, he was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm on a police officer and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after he was approached by a police officer while holding a loaded gun. He ran away and allegedly pointed the gun at the officers chasing him before he was caught. He was also sentenced to home confinement at his grandmother’s house for the incident.
Other arrests a few years later included one for allegedly smoking cannabis in public and for disorderly conduct and another one for speeding while driving. He was released from prison on bond and was given months of probation and a set amount of hours for community service and regular drug testing. He returned to jail a few times months later for a probation violation when he tested positive for marijuana. Two different companies have also sued Chief for not showing up to two concerts he was supposed to perform at. For one of them, he was ordered to pay $230, 019 by default for ignoring the lawsuit.
His Career Took Off With Some Help From Kanye West.
Chief started making mixtapes which led to local popularity and success around 2011. His early song “I Don’t Like” became a hit in Chicago and caught Kanye’s attention, leading to Yeezy making a remix of the song with other rappers Pusha T, Jadakiss, and Big Sean. By 2012, his fame had increased on a bigger level. He eventually signed with Interscope Records shortly after and released his debut album, Finally Rich, in Dec. 2012. The album featured many prominent rappers such as 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa, Young Jeezy, and Rick Ross.
He Is Credited With Pioneering The Drill Subgenre.
“It’s no longer original to suggest that Chief Keef ended up being more influential than most expected when he burst from obscurity in 2012,” wrote David Drake for The Outline in 2018. Since his arrival, Keef has been credited with being one of the pioneers of the Drill subgenre of rap, mixing the sounds of trap music with gangsta rap lyrics. “Keef’s emergence was a paradigm shift that marked the arrival of a new generation, a sea change in the music’s sound, in how it was covered, where it came from, and how the industry marketed their artists,” writes Drake.
Keef “developed a complex, cohesive, evolving aesthetic language, a style of both music and marketing, which was readily emulated over the next five years at home and across the country,” per Drake. “Keef is, of course, influential, possibly the most influential hip-hop artist of his time. There’s a good case to be made he’s his generation’s foremost rap songwriter, spinning off more styles than any of his peers, which would put him at the forefront of his generation in popular music writ large — even if that creative success isn’t reflected by plaques on the walls.”
He Was Shot At In 2018.
Keef was shot outside the W Hotel in New York City’s Times Square in June 2018. Thankfully, his assailants had a lousy aim. ” Chief Keef, who was in New York for an event, along with his team and the other members of Glory Boyz Entertainment (GBE) that were traveling with him, are safe,” Keef’s representative, Portia Stamps, told Billboard.
A year later, Kintea McKenzie, a rapper known as Kooda B and an associate of controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, pled guilty to the shooting, per Pitchfork. In November 2018, TMZ published a video, ” what appeared to be 6ix9ine ordering a hit on Keef’s cousin, Tadoe,” per Pitchfork.