The Real Gangsters of Gangsta Rap

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It would be easy this time to point the finger at Interscope’s rapper Chief Keef.

The 17-year-old from the mean streets of Chicago, raps about: gangs, guns, drugs and violence – all the typical ingredient’s for today’s rap songs.

But Chief Keef is really living what he’s rapping, last December he was under house arrest, charged with unlawful use of a weapon for pointing a gun at a police officer. His parents should probably be investigated by DCFS (Chicago’s Department of Children & Family Services) for his openly smoking weed and carrying guns in his videos at just 16.

When news of his 2011 arrest hit the streets his then unknown anthems “Bang” “3HUNNA” and “I Don’t Like” became the soundtrack of the city where the murder rate has increased 38 percent in the past six months. Since March, Chief Keef’s new video, “I Don’t Like” has had over 7.3 million YouTube views. He gained most of his popularity with a cult like following of teenagers around Chicago high schools.

The homemade videos are the same old storyboard of blunt smoking and gun toting are present. Chief Keef is a corporate dream, a young, raw, snitch killing rapper. But I’m not going to point the finger at a teenager who can’t hold a decent interview, don’t know what a soundcheck is and doesn’t have anything of substance in his music besides the Lex Luger beats.

This is about the real gangster of all this confusion, Interscope Records’ chairman Jimmy Iovine.

Gangsters like Iovine and Warner Music  Group’s Lyor Cohen are rarely mentioned or  talked about. They have been pushing raps buttons for over twenty years and have gone almost unnoticed.

It’s one thing for the kid to make his bad  music and it stays secluded just to Chicago. No one can stop someone from making music, but it wouldn’t go too far with out Iovine’s marketing/media money and power. Because there’s absolutely nothing special or star quality about Chief Keef. Now it’s going all over the country and Iovine’s continuing to pollute the black community.

When Interscope signed Keef, Iovine probably never even came down for the meeting. That’s because Iovine knows the boy is going to fail and be broke within a year. He didn’t want to waste his time. Jimmy has the power and pushed the button to sign him because he knows he can make money off of the kid’s newfound attention.

“They was talkin’ good to me,” he said of Interscope to MTV News. “I agreed to what they was talkin’ about. They was talkin’ like I was talkin’ and I liked that. All these other labels, I was talkin’ to ‘em, but it’s time anyway for me and I’m goin’ with Interscope.”

He can’t even form a complete sentence. Probably didn’t even read his contract.

But don’t expect urban youth’s most influential; Kanye, Diddy, Wayne, Baby or Jay-Z to rally or speak up against the culture killers like this because they are all too ready to collect big dirty corporate checks. Don’t expect sites like Russell Simmon’s Global Grind, or so called music journalists (radio, print or television) to point fingers at this mess because they too have exchanged freedom of speech for pay checks and perks.

The truth is that the same excuse these niggas are using is getting too old and just doesn’t add up. Short money is the mantra of Hip Hop. One hit wonders with a select chosen few that reach deep pocket status and influence stay at the top, but remain silent on issues that really matter. If you don’t buck the system the system keeps your palms greased.

Russell Simmons and rap critics will say that Hip Hop is merely art. And the violent portrayals and messages that are pumped into impressionable young brains have no affect. I say it’s all bullshit. The millions of dollars of advertising money that book end hellacious hip radio sets nationwide are there because they sell their product and image.

Gangsta Hip Hop is no different. So the next time you hear or see another gangsta-bitch-I’ma-kill-you anthem, it’s not a black, juvenile offender like Chief Keef – because he has no power in this country – remember that the real gangsters who truly profit are wealthy corporate executives named Jimmy Iovine and Lyor Cohen.

MrUniteUs says:

I understand the problem, what are the solutions?

ikenna says:

real n***a say word.. Lol j.k. Truu ..lol. Ha ha.. All im tryin to say is that you’re right, man. Lol

Kimya Norene says:

Thank GOD, I didnt see my nephew in that video…my eyes raced around the video…phew…what happens to his crew when he is swooped into 30k a year as the label makes 3 zillion and stimulate masses of death threat and murders….smh

Expose all of the true “rap gangsters” like Iovine & Cohen, as there are many more. True where’s child protective services when U need em? Oh I 4got they 2 r part of the systemic destruction of the Afrikan community!.So true the words of Del Jones ring loud & clear as the “Culture Bandits” continue 2 reign over our communities, body snatching our youth for entertainment profit. This…is madness :(

JayEncore says:

First let me say I love my people and I want young black men to succeed. But like this, it makes me shake my head. Our music used to be about getting out of the struggle and a soundtrack for change. Now it seems the music is used to manipulate our teens and keep them down. This interview really hit home, and this is speaking from a 26 year old aspiring Rapper/Producer. I love hip hop I breath it and eat it! But we have to do BETTER!!!!!!

Jazz says:

I’d like someone to introduce Chief Keefe to Soulja Boy and record the conversation about feeling oneself and bankruptcy.

Sircroon says:

In Appalaichia, Hill-billy’s crave twang music…Hi-brows crave classical, and thugs crave gangsta!
This shit won’t win a grammy, and I doubt it will recieve airplay after one quarter on the charts….As for the pot smoking, gun toting kid….He won’t know the error of his ways until a life altering incident opens his eyes to reality. Right now, he’s living a dream. A lil fame, a lil fortune, a lil notiriety….Whether it last, hell, I suppose its all relative to his condition…Nothing from nothing, leave nothing…He’s lucky he got the deal…He could be cold and sleep in his grave, living in his section of Chicago….I’d say, he’s ahead in the race right now. Who knows, life is funny thing…He could go on to become a world changer, inspite of the IOVINE’S of the world.

b1ward says:

I’m happy that he got a deal if that’s what he wanted but I hope he surrounds himself with people who want to help him improve his life and craft.

Been in this game for way to long and have seen too many kids like him end up broke and forgotten. Good luck…

Curious George says:

Is it safe to assume you don’t listen to any hip hop at all? Unless its KRS, PE, Common, Mos Def and the Roots? Just curious.