Who is Chief Keef?
If you are a fan of rap and you remember the late 2011’s and early 2012’s then you are probably familiar with the Chiraq demon known as Sosa, Chief So, Almighty So, or simply Chief Keef. Keith Farrelle Cozart, born in the toughest parts of America’s most wanted city Chicago, specifically the South Side, the side that nobody dares to enter. Keef was only 16 years old when he started making his buzz coming out of “Lamron” street which is one of his slogans spelling “Normal” backward, representing that everything is backward and nothing is normal in the area he grew up in.
Unfortunately known for the highest murder rate in the United States, out of the roof crime, Chicago was knick named “Chiraq”. Combining the term Chicago and Iraq, as Chicago had a higher murder rate than Iraq when Keef was living in these dangerous streets. Sosa embraced this, he introduced the term to us early on in his career when he released his breakthrough mixtape called “Bang” in 2011.
The project took Sosa from a 16-year-old street hustler to a hood star. The name Chief Keef began ringing bells in Chicago with a sound that has never been heard before at the time, known today as “Drill Music” or “Drill Rap”. Hit singles like “Bang” and “Glory Boyz” featuring his cousin Fredo Santana and SD started spreading like wildfire, and the term drill slowly became associated with Chief Keef.
The success of “Bang” motivated Sosa to keep going, and in 2012 he gave the world a mixtape that will never be forgotten known as “Back From The Dead”. The mixtape absolutely skyrocketed with hit singles like “I Don’t Like” featuring Lil Reese which peaked at number 73 on Billboard 100 and went platinum selling over 1,000,000 copies, “3 Hunna” remix featuring Soulja Boy, and “Winning” featuring King Louie. From top to bottom, this is one of rap’s all-time drill classics, if not the biggest drill classic.
Back From The Dead had absolutely turned Sosa into a superstar all this with no label at the age of 16, the sky was the limit at this point. The amount of attention Sosa gained from his sound, music, and personality, it was clear he was born to be a rap star. This caused a bidding war in the industry for record labels, everyone was out to get a piece of Sosa, but only the highest bidder was getting that signature on a contract.
The Record Deal
Millions after millions, each label came prepared with a check for young Sosa, but in the end legend Jimmy Iovine, co-founder of Interscope Records managed to land the Chicago savage for a $6,000,000 dollar deal. Interscope and Chief Keef agreed to three albums, equivalent to $6,000,000 dollars, plus countless amounts of money going to Sosa for royalties. The 16-year-old was laughing to the bank.
The first album came in 2012, titled “Finally Rich” and reasonably so Sosa chose this as the album title. Having come from nothing to sitting in a boardroom with Jimmy Iovine, the least you can do is brag a little bit. Finally Rich did fantastic numbers for his first album, peaking at 29 on Billboard 200, and eventually going gold on RIAA selling over 500,000 copies. Pretty amazing for anyone let alone a teenager.
On the same album, we have “Love Sosa” which became Keef’s biggest global hit thus far, having caught the attention of every star in the industry from Lady Gaga to 50 Cent. Love Sosa was his second platinum record, over 1,000,000 copies sold, and having been considered the most influential single in drill music history. Other notable songs from Finally Rich that did numbers are “Kobe”, “Ballin” and “Hate Being Sober” which 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa were featured on.
Sosa was packing his bags and taking his millions to the beautiful city of angels, Los Angeles. Sadly, Sosa’s troubled behavior never came to an end. Despite the fact that he was “Finally RIch” he was still that same troubled kid growing up in South Side Chicago. He landed multiple arrests and violations, cour appearances, and juvenile time, which Interscope did not take lightly. Interscope warned Sosa if he doesn’t get his act together as a star, he will be dropped from the label.
You can’t control Chief Keef, so to help Interscope drop him, he continued his degenerate behavior and took it as far as releasing music on his own terms which absolutely drew the line for Interscope. In 2014 Interscope pulled the plug on Keef, but Sosa was happier than ever as now he can take control of his own music at his own will.
Post Record Deal
Since the Interscope deal never ended up really working out, Sosa took advantage and began flooding the industry with his own material every few months. Sosa was dropping singles and projects at an incredible pace, leading to endless amounts of features from big names like Gucci Mane, Tyga, and Machine Gun Kelly to name a few.
He created his own record label “Glory Boyz Entertainment” another slogan that came from early on in his childhood streets of Lamron, Sosa and his crew were the Glory Boyz or often “Glo Gang”. All his music was being released under his own label, and the freedom was limitless from marketing to sales, show money and management, all of it belonged to Chief Keef.
Later in 2015, he decided to sign a one-album deal with billionaire Alki David’s FilmonMusic. The album “Bang Pt 2” was really a two-album deal, one album split into two projects “Bang Pt 1” and Bang Pt 2”. Even though it didn’t do numbers like some of Sosa’s previous work, it certainly kept his loyal fans happy with the classic Sosa vocals, and great features from ASAP Rocky and Mac Miller.
Since the release of this album, Sosa has been incredibly quiet in the industry, out of trouble, and perhaps to quite leaving fans wondering if he is also out of the studio. Sosa had to take two steps back to take one step forward. He grew up, to say the least, and his music began to evolve in many ways we didn’t expect. This leads us to the question, is Sosa making a comeback with Mike Wills Bang Bang?
Legacy, The Drill God
Recently Sosa came out with an out of the blue single called “Bang Bang” produced by raps very own Mike Will Made It. The single was a friendly reminder so to say that Chief Keef is still the Drill God. He managed to get those aggressive, heavy drums, and authentic young Chicago Keef vocals back on the mic. Mike Will and Sosa have their history of hit-making together, as far back as Finally RIch. They did a collaboration called “No Tomorrow” which is another Sosa classic.
There should be no surprise to the release of these two getting together for “Bang Bang” but the surprise was real. Nobody expected these two legends to get together and more importantly to bring back that same Chief Keef we all fell in love with, the Chiraq Sosa. Chief Keef’s legacy and reputation are that he is the founding father of an entire genre of music, the drill sound. This is what put him on the map, and it is certainly the easiest sound that will keep him there.
Despite switching lanes and evolving his music, the drill sound he created will always be the fan-favorite. With that being said, we have a feeling we know what is next for Sosa. Other than multiple singles he has dropped recently, Bang Bang is telling us something much relevant. The comeback is real, and we have a good source telling us that the two are collaborating an entire album. As of right now, there is no date to when we can expect this. But knowing the work ethic of these two, we could be up for some heavy, drill Sosa coming by the end of the year. Stay on the lookout for more on Chief Keef.