Written By: Jordan Smith
Originality: (5.0 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (4.0 / 5) Lyrics: (3.0 / 5) Production: (5.0 / 5) Average: (4.3 / 5)
Five years ago this week, marked a new era dawning upon hip-hop with the release of Chief Keef’s Finally Rich. Finally Rich introduced the sound that would usher in the next breed of internet-bred hip-hop artists a.k.a “the SoundCloud rapper”. Chief Keef’s full-length debut album goes into the category of hip-hop classics simply for the ability it had to take over the industry in its entirety, and set it on a new path.
The breakthrough single “I Don’t Like” rose to national prominence off of the strength of an infectiously catchy single carried by Young Chop’s trademark drill production. The YouTube video was a far cry from a feature production, but it was enough to earn well over 5 million views to this day. Take that and combine it with the fact that it got the attention of the biggest Chicago artist of all time, and was remixed with him, Pusha T and Jadakiss on a GOOD Music compilation mixtape and you suddenly have the best story Hip-Hop has seen in a really, really long time. It also displayed a small snapshot of what the future of hip-hop was in for regarding how many kids would go from releasing music on YouTube and SoundCloud to becoming superstars within the course of a few weeks or less.
What adds more mystique to this story is the fact that right around the time where the sheen of his first single wore off, he released tracks “3Hunna” which was an ode to the label he would eventually start that consisted of neighborhood friends Fredo Santana, Lil Reese and Lil Durk. What followed was roughly a two-year period where Chicago and the Midwestern city’s drill movement was the focal point of hip-hop. After the release of Finally Rich, the doors were blown off for whoever was capable of making good music with the tools in front of them finally ran out of excuses for not being able to live the dream.
Fast forward to present day, and it’s still a mystery as to what the terms of his Interscope deal were, but regardless he’s been able to take back artistic control of his music, and release projects on his own terms. On top of that he’s been able to enjoy the riches of the success of his friends that he’s been able to make successful in the music industry. All before turning 25. If you look around, you can still hear and see the influence of Chief Keef’s legendary storm onto the scene back in 2012.