- Chief Keef
Salty hip-hop heads have been complaining about the declining quality of lyricism in rap music from just about the minute someone wrote something more complex than “Rapper’s Delight,” but over the past decade those concerns have seemed a bit easier to understand, pretty much ever since Cam’ron made it acceptable to rhyme a word with itself. But understanding those concerns isn’t necessarily the same as sharing them—I love Cam’ron, as well as Waka Flocka Flame, whose favored vocal technique is yelling non sequiturs over beats, and Future’s “Karate Chop,” where his raps are an incomprehensible blur of Auto-Tune and stoned slurring.
Fresh off of his stunning, gut-wrenchingly raw performance on Kanye’s Yeezus, Chicago rapper and cultural powder keg Chief Keef’s just released a new single, “Go to Jail,” on YouTube that’s likely to piss off many of the same people who hate Keef for his skills as an MC (or perceived lack thereof) rather than for his gun-toting ways. Keeping with his usual MO, his presence transforms a rather unexceptional beat into a fascinating song, but he’s one-upped Future’s turn on “Karate Chop” by tweaking out his vocal performance to the point where only one line in every five or so contains what is recognizably a word in the English language.
But as with Future, Keef’s strange anti-charisma turns a computerized, mush-mouthed performance into something massively listenable. Check it out after the jump.