Chief Keef Talks ‘Bang 3′ Album, Playing Paintball Against Justin Bieber and Collaborating With Rihanna
Chief Keef is back. Not that he ever really left the music scene. After all, he is a viral sensation and has remained in contact with his fans via his various social media accounts and he did drop a mixtape recently, Sorry 4 the Weight. However, the 19-year-old Chicago native has returned to making albums.
Back in April, the “Glo Gang” rhymer announced he had signed a deal with Alki David’s FilmOn, a web streaming company. The new partnership meant the rapper was locked into a two-album deal and he'd be able to release his long-awaited sophomore effort, Bang 3.
“I never wanted to be on Interscope,” Keef reveals during a Bang 3 press conference held at the Hologram USA headquarters in Beverly Hills, Calif. “I knew what I was doing, getting in trouble, not showing up to any of their events was going to get me dropped.”
The rambunctious teen and former gang banger from the South Side of Chicago and the Greek billionaire Coca-Cola heir clicked due to their “nutty” outgoing personalities, which resulted in a business union. “I was in the studio while he recorded 'Ain't Missing You' [the song is] completely out of the scope of sound and he just laid into it and he did it effortlessly,” David recalls.
On the new album, the beats are still drill-heavy, yet cleverly seasoned with the kinds of melodies that get stuck in your head. Although Keef still offers his drawl behind the computerized effects of Auto-Tune, the rapper reveals the album features new sounds as he spent time wearing his production hat. “I produced almost all the songs on the album,” the “Love Sosa” rhymer explains.
He even flirts with R&B on "Ain't Missing You" by featuring an emotional hook from singer Jenn Em. Keef's looking to collaborate more with artists within the genre and he knows which singers he'll call on next.
“Well, I worked with Jeremih a lot but I want to work with CB [Chris Brown], Rihanna and Beyonce,” Keef tells The Boombox. When asked why it was more about Rihanna than Brown or even Beyonce, his answer makes sense considering Keef's own material. “I like Rihanna because she’s raw, I like listening to her music,” he admits.
Aside from a possible Rihanna collaboration, Keef already has A$AP Rocky's rhymes on "Superheroes," the only song that appears on Bang 3 from his previously recorded work. He chose to scrap prior songs he recorded in order to start fresh on the 14-track album. Fans can look forward to a new track titled "Yes" and a collaboration with Glo Gang rapper Tadoe on another song.
During the conversation, it's evident that Keef has evolved and matured from the weapon-toting artist most remember on social media. The 2014 death of his cousin Big Glo is what changed his life. “I know my cousin would want me to be a better person and do better,” Keef shares. “When that happened it was like he jumped in me… that was the biggest lesson like you have to grow up and make stuff happen. It really changed me a lot.”
When Keef first hit the rap scene he was clearly a product of the mean streets of Englewood, Ill. Several of his music videos featured him brandishing guns. But now he’s found a safer way to express himself.
“I’m with the stop the violence campaign, that’s why I paintball now,” Keef says. “I think it’s a big deal to do that but it's crazy back home. I’m glad to be someone that people listen to and look up to. I’m glad that I can help change the situations and the scenery in Chicago… and I love my city still but it is crazy."
Chief Keef wants kids to pick up paintball guns as opposed to AK-47s. The rhymer and his Glo Gang already have a solid paintball team but Keef would also like to play against some of his music industry peers. “I saw T.I and them and paintballing in their new video, they need to come holla at me,” Keef states. “Who else? [Professional poker player] Dan Bilzerian and Justin Bieber. I talked to him [Bieber] yesterday on FaceTime and we challenged each other.”
Keef’s sophomore album, Bang 3, arrives Aug. 18.
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