The media tendency to draw contrasts between Chief Keef and fellow Chicago MC Chance the Rapper can be reductive and regrettable, it’s true, but the latest public utterances from the two have made their differences tough to ignore.
The man born Keith Cozart has been hinting at a third installment of his Bang mixtape series, along with a possible album titled Gloyalty, and last night two previously unheard tracks hit the Web. Both are characteristically woozy and laconic, with Young Chop-produced “Killer” boasting that “I hang with killers” and 12 Hunna-helmed “Make It Count” promising to “spray some shit” with guns old and new.
The tracks come about a month after Chief Keef wrote of Bang 3 on Instagram, “No Lie Y’all Really Don’t know How crazy Im goin #ImFinnaRaiseTheMurderRateUp.” He has since backtracked on Twitter, writing that he “was playing,” but the mixtape is going to send “the Club rates up.” The latest tracks suggest that for all of Chief Keef’s legal troubles, the rapper behind 2012’s Essential Finally Rich would rather stare into the nihilistic void than steer away from it. Meanwhile, on The Arsenio Hall Show last night, Chance — SPIN’s rapper of the year — went out of his way to call for an end to the gun violence in Chicago.
Art often favors the amoral, sure, especially among audiences privileged enough not to be affected by what it portrays, but when you think about the actual human lives lost violently ever year in one of America’s greatest cities, it may be only natural — if futile — to wish Chief Keef would lessen this tragic juxtaposition.