Chief Keef Finally Rich

Chief Keef Finally Rich
5
Some of the best, and most successful, hip-hop records have been built on sensationalized retellings of the black experience in America. Yet, the debut album by the drill scene's poster boy, Chief Keef, doesn't quite feel like it's part of a success story. Finally Rich was recorded and released with the brash 17-year-old on probation, which he's violated, on gun-related charges. With violence rising in his hometown of Chicago, Keef and his raucous music carry an immediacy that's at once fascinating and discomforting. Finally Rich thrives on Keef's energy and Glory Boys affiliate Young Chop's deep, thundering beats. The chemistry between the two, displayed on established bangers like summer smash "I Don't Like" and the gangsta-themed "Love Sosa," places their collaborations in a higher tier when sequenced alongside a handful of flat-out misses. Cuts like the cringe-worthy "Laughing to the Bank" and rookie, softer-side-of-Keef mistakes "Kay Kay" and "Ballin" bog down what might have been better served as a tight EP. It doesn't help that Chief Keef's subject matter is rehashed, for the most part, even though his unique, throaty voice, delivered in an old school-referencing, start-and-stop cadence, puts a refreshing spin on everything. It's promising that Chief Keef has his own voice and an audience that wants to hear it. Hopefully, he stays out of trouble and gets the chance to develop, because he has a long way to go. (Interscope)