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    The Way That Chief Keef Has Influenced A Generation Of Artists

    Recently, XXL spoke with 20 rappers of all generations about different things, and some of them spoke about influence. Wiz Khalifa said that Cam’Ron influenced him, while Migos said they want to be influential in changing the game.

    Lil Uzi Vert said that Chief Keef is one of the most influential artists of his generation. “’Definitely Mike Jones. Chief Keef. ‘I had got [a copy of XXL when he was a freshman], and on the front, it wasn’t even really like his picture with like everybody else. I remember that. He definitely influential,’ said Uzi. ‘It’s impossible to be a successful artist and not be influential. It just comes with it.’”
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    That response posed the question of how much of an impact has Chief Keef had on the current rap game.

    Chief Keef is easily one of the most influential rappers to have come about in this decade. Not only has his music been sonically influential, like what you hear in Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot N****” all the way up to Tay-K’s “The Race,” but it’s even the content and delivery of some newer rappers these days. According to the Chicago Tribune “Chief Keef’s use of social media to generate buzz for his music has made him a role model for young artists. Young listeners are also attracted to his gang ties — a sign of authenticity in the perception-conscious rap world.” His way of bringing light to the violent nature of Chicago can be traced back to the popularity that the NWA had brought light to the violence of Compton. While he and Chance the Rapper are definitely the two biggest artists to have come out of Chicago since Kanye, Chance has used more philanthropic methods to try and help out the inner city while Chief Keef has brought awareness and detailed it to its gritty core, along with other artists like King Yella, Lil Reese, Lil Bibby, G-Herbo, Montana of 300 and more.
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    Not only has that made Chief Keef influential, but the way that he made his music videos has also contributed. “Chief Keef showed that rappers didn’t need lots of money or the eyes of gatekeepers like MTV and BET to have a hit video. All they needed to do was press record,” according to Noisey, using videos like Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot N****” and SahBabii’s “Pull Up Wit Ah Stick” as direct examples. Rather than looking like a polished an well-financed video like most rappers make, Chief Keef’s rawness in the music videos is what gave it their appeal. Although he may not have originally been the one to come up with the style of video, Noisey agrees that “Chief Keef didn’t invent the models of documentary-style videos or of viral YouTube fame, but he brought them together more effectively than anyone before him, spawning an entirely new kind of artistic narrative and changing the look of rap in the process.”

    Chief Keef is not the most popular artist for hip hop purists to claim as one of the most important artists of this generation, but that doesn’t make it any less true. His authentic content and usage of what he had around him to promote himself makes him one of the most impactful artists in this generation since Soulja Boy, in a similar way. When discussing Chief Keef, Larry Jackson said “He’s not celebrated enough,” says Jackson. “Without Chief Keef, there would be no Lil Uzi Vert. Without Chief Keef, there would be no Young Dolph. Without Chief Keef, there would be no Lil Yachty or 21 Savage or [Playboi] Carti or Kodak Black. Keef was a real pioneer for this new wave of hip-hop right now.”

    He was even so big at one point that he could have been the first artist to collaborate with Apple Music, and is supposed to have a documentary on Apple Music highlighting his life. How impactful do you feel that Chief Keef has been in his career? List your thoughts in the comments below!

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