Chief Keef, whose real name is Keith Cozart, was born and raised in Englewood, Chicago, Illinois.
It appears that his grandmother, who apparently had a good deal to do with raising him, is at least a moderately devout Christian. After a judge ruled that Keef had violated probation in early 2013 and sent him back to juvenile detention, Keef’s grandmother was asked about how she thought the sentencing would go. She responded,
I don’t play Jesus Christ like y’all do. We don’t know what Thursday will bring us.
So he was clearly raised with some sort of Christian background. Maybe spending some time in jail will get him thinking about his Christian roots, but for now he appears to be non-religious.
Chief Keef isn’t a political man himself. He doesn’t even have anything to say about Obama, despite the fact that the president represented Keef’s neighborhood in the state senate. Granted, that was between the rapper’s second and eighth years of life. In fact, as of the writing of this article, Keef isn’t yet old enough to vote. And considering he’s already been charged with a felon and a murder investigation is underway, in which Keef is at least a person of interest, he may not be able to vote for a while.
But the interesting thing about Chief Keef is not what he says as much as what people say about him. He is the inadvertent representation of Chicago’s troubled, gang-affiliated, violent black youth–specifically those from the Englewood area.
Rather than list all the trouble Keef has gotten into, I’ll just say that during his rise to fame, he’s been in trouble with the law multiple times–one of which involved pointing a gun at police officers. So after this troubled kid became so popular, it started a national debate about what it means to have him as a potential role model for America’s youth.
And opinions are all over the place. One commentator called him a victim of his situation and a scapegoat of those looking for someone to blame. A blogger said he thinks Keef’s fame will have a positive effect on Chicago because it will bring attention to the epidemic of violence on Chicago’s south side that has been all but ignored by the national press. And another Chicago blogger encouraged the community to protest billboards promoting the rapper’s latest album, and urge radio stations to stop playing his music because of the negative effect he has on the city’s youth.
And then there was fellow rapper Wakka Flocka who said,
You can’t blame a kid for what they grow up in. Everybody ain’t grow up in Chicago in the murder capital. Everybody ain’t grow up where they cousin lost they life to a person two blocks down the street from them.
What do you think? Should we support Chief Keef’s music despite his rocky past? Is he really influencing children to resort to violence? Is he just an unlucky kid who’s not old enough to deserve our blame? Let us know in the comments.