In the last year, 16-year-old Chief Keef has gone from shooting music videos in his grandmother’s house while on house arrest to being a nationally known, Interscope signee with co-signs from 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa. With his legal problems behind him, the Chicago Oblock representative presented his highly anticipated debut album “Finally Rich,” to fans last week.
From the start, Keef makes it known that he is the rawest definition of Hip Hop’s current energy on the Young Chop produced banger “Love Sosa.” “Bitch I’m the trending topic,” he declares in a style and tone no veteran rapper could pull off. True to his age and upbringing, his crew, their guns, and his newfound wealth are the topic du jour on “Finally Rich.” He tells tales of totting pistols (“3Hunna”), spending racks on designer brands (“Got Them Bands”), and having love for his GBE 300 crew (damn near every track).
Keef’s ability to create catchy hooks is what drives most of the album’s standout tracks. His chemistry with go-to producer Chop allows his talents to shine brightest on tracks like “Hate Bein’ Sober,” “Finally Rich,” and “Kobe.”
As expected, the one-dimensional subject matter is what holds the tape back from reaching its full potential. Throughout the album, Keef recycles bars repeatedly, suggesting he’s run out of new ways to talk about the same old subjects. The result is a collection of duds like “Laughin to the Bank,” “Diamonds,” and “Hallelujah,” weakening an otherwise strong project.
Keef’s exhilarating debut showcases what Hip Hop was and still is to countless urban youth in America. It can provide a way for them to feed their family and escape the negativity that surrounds them. But it can also feed the negative energy if not molded and crafted with care and respect to the culture. Finally Rich has its positives and negatives, but any neutral party can see that Keef is not the foolish one-hit-wonder many mistook him for.