Chief Keef Tweets I’m Running for Mayor of Chicago
By Kayenne Edward
Given what the, police, the Mayor, and Father Pfleger think about the Chief, it’s surprising that Chicagoan Rapper Chief Keef, who came to fame with his one song, “I Don’t Like” that garnered the attention of the Chicago Sun Times, would have behaved badly causing a violent scene since they shut down his recently scheduled concert. He did not.
Instead on Tuesday, rapper Chief Keef took to Twitter to announce his running for mayor of Chicago.
“I’m running for mayor of Chicago….. Vote for me!!!! It’ll be the best thing done yet!!!!! Yall gonna love me in the Office…..,” the rapper tweeted.
He also tweeted a picture of himself with the caption “Sosa 4 Mayor.”
This all comes following Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s intervention to prevent Chief Keef from performing a benefit concert in Chicago after the fatal shooting of his friend, and the death of a young child nearby who died as a result of the police auto chase. Emanuel cited public safety as the concern for not allowing the rapper’s concert.
About Chief Keef
Chief Keef was born Keith Cozart in Chicago, Illinois to a 16-year old who named him after his deceased uncle. The Chief grew up in the South Side neighborhood Englewood where gang activity is rampart. Keef grew up independent of his biological fatherland was raised by grandmother who was his legal guardian. As a child Chief practiced rapping on his mother’s karaoke machine recording his lyrics to record his music. He attended Dulles Elementary School and the Banner School, a therapeutic day school. Distracted Chief dropped out of Dyett High School at age 15.
In 2011, Keef first earned local attention from Chicago’s south side community with his mixtapes, The Glory Road and Bang. In December, Keef fired gunshots from a Pontiac Grand Prix outside Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood. Police showed up at the scene and the incident resulted in Keef being arrested and charged with unlawful use of a weapon. Keef was consequently placed under house arrest at his grandmother’s house for 30 days, followed by another 30 days of home confinement. It has been noted that by the time this incident occurred, Keef had already achieved local South Side popularity, and that much of his early fan base consisted of high school students in the area. While under house arrest, Keef posted several videos to his YouTube account. These videos were at the forefront of Chicago’s hip hop subgenre, drill. The attention he received increased during the short time between the release of his mixtapes, Bang and Back From the Dead, and music videos, including “Bang”, “3Hunna” and “I Don’t Like”.
Once his house arrest ended, WorldStarHipHop released a video of a child hysterically celebrating Keef’s release from house arrest, affording Keef further vitality. Early in his music career, Keef’s song “I Don’t Like” became a local hit in Chicago, which was described by a local party promoter, as “the perfect Chicago song because ‘niggas just hate everything out here.'” Fascinated by the young rapper the Chicago Sun Times newspaper began following Chief and reported every time he sneezed. It also caught fellow Chicago rapper Kanye West’s attention, and West created a remix of the song with rappers Pusha T, Jadakiss and Big Sean. In response to these events, David Drake of Spin writes that in 2012, Keef “suddenly shot up out of obscurity and the rest is history.
In the summer of 2012, Keef was the subject of a bidding war with many labels to sign him, including Young Jeezy’s CTE World. While 2013 proved to be a relatively quiet year, in terms of his music output, Keef began the year by signing with Interscope Records, as a separate deal promised his own label imprint, Glory Boyz Entertainment (GBE). The deal was worth $6,000,000 over a three album layout, as well as an additional $440,000 in advance, to establish GBE. The deal also set up rights for Interscope to pull out of the contract in the case that Keef’s debut album failed to sell 250,000 copies by December 2013. Chief Keef’s debut studio album Finally Rich, was released on December 18, 2012. Featured guests on the album included rappers 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross and his fellow Glory Boyz member Lil Reese.
On March 26, 2013, it was announced that Keef would be a part of XXL Magazine’s 2013 Freshman Class. On May 8, 2013, Gucci Mane announced via Twitter that Chief Keef was the newest member of 1017 Brick Squad Records.
Keef was featured on “Hold My Liquor,” the fifth track off Kanye West’s album, Yeezus, released on June 18, 2013. Keef’s contributions to the track were praised by musician Lou Reed, with Reed stating, “‘Hold My Liquor’ is just heartbreaking, and particularly coming from where it’s coming from – listen to that incredibly poignant hook from a tough guy like Chief Keef, wow.”
On his 18th birthday, August 15, 2013, Chief Keef celebrated by releasing the mixtape Bang, Pt. 2. Bang, Pt. 2 was highly anticipated as the first project following his debut album, but received a mixed to negative critical response. On October 12, 2013 a further mixtape, Almighty Sosa was released. Like Bang, Pt. 2, Almighty So also received mixed to negative critical responses. Following his October 2013 jail term , he began working on his second studio album and a biopic.
Fortunately for Chief he was able to escape the destiny of most young Black boys growing up in the hood who never make it to manhood. Like Jay-Z and Tupac he escaped the death trap of a square block radius and yet instead of abandoning the violence his reputation is that he carries it with him.
His songs are the stories of his life telling of his experiences and his interruption of what it all means. His storytelling resonates with the youth that experience the same and the rest are would-be bad boys and the girls that are drawn to them.
Under the age of 25 he’s still growing and maturing, we’re hoping that he lives long enough for his brain to mature and that he follows the path of Jay Z rather than Tupac or Biggy Smalls whose lives ended tragically too soon bringing an end to their brilliant careers. Hopefully his life will yield to the potholes of destruction and embrace the path of longevity.
Perhaps the position of mayor awaits his growth an maturity. In the meantime we look forward to a future where we witness his transformation from the wild and reckless to the smart and savvy. Why not?