By Carla St. Louis
Keith Cozart better known as Chief Keef is on a pivotal trajectory.
At 17 years old, he is next in line within hip-hop.
After emerging at what seems out of nowhere in 2011 on a series of singles and YouTube videos including “Bang”, “3Hunna” and “I Don’t Like”, the then 16 year old became an overnight sensation locally.
Who says being under house arrest (for a previous weapons charge) can’t foster creativity?
But what really propelled him into hip-hop’s conscious is when “I Don’t Like” caught the attention of another Chi-Town native–i.e., Kanye West.
West organized a remix of the song along with rappers Pusha T, Jadakiss and Big Sean.
The release of the remix and subsequent aftermath is–as they say–hip-hop history.
His rap persona has already proven to be powerful, so much in fact, it’s difficult to find the line of demarcation between it and Cozart. A product of Chicago’s violence ridden South Side, Chief Keef’s subject matter is reflective of it. He boasts about guns, killings, and violence.
He is in fact channeling Tupac, and to a lesser extent a prepubescent Hot Boys era Lil’ Wayne, that is, his bravado is on 100 and mentally he is impenetrable. So much in fact that he gloated about a fellow peer, Joseph ‘Lil JoJo’ Coleman’s murder on Twitter insensitively saying, “hahahahahhahahahahahahahaahhAAHAHAHAHA” and “Its Sad Cuz Dat Nigga Jojo Wanted To Be Jus Like Us #LMAO.”
In turn, on September 5, 2012, Chicago Police disclosed to the Sun Times that he is being investigated for a possible connection in the shooting death of the slain youth.
Other rappers–specifically, Lupe Fiasco and Rhymefest–have publicly expressed their concerns for him and his music’s aversive effect on his impressionable young listeners.
Rhymefest described Cozart as a “bomb” and a “spokesman for the Prison Industrial Complex”, while Lupe called him a ”hoodlum” and representative of Chicago’s “skyrocketing” murder rate.
Both men’s remarks were met with anger and allegations of hating from Cozart that demonstrated his lack of understanding of sociology, music, the Prison Industrial Complex, and overall immaturity.
Nonetheless his talent, beefs, and controversies have spawned him a major record deal with Interscope Records that includes a distribution deal for his own label, Glory Boys Entertainment.
His debut album, Finally Rich, is scheduled for release on December 18, 2012. Interscope Records is already predicting big sales with guest features by Waka Flocka, Young Jeezy, Yo Gotti and fellow members of Glory Boyz Entertainment.
Thus, making Cozart a rapper and CEO of his own label before he’s even legal to drink.
Not bad for a young’n whose inflicted with Asperger syndrome, right?