In a matter of a few months, 17-year-old rapper Chief Keef went from being largely unknown outside his native Chicago to being remixed by Kanye West and racking up millions of YouTube views. As testimony to how effective the internet and word of mouth can be when it comes to jumpstarting an artists career, Keef did the above without the help of a record label of any kind. However, with his just-announced signing to Interscope Records via negotiations with Jimmy Iovine, Keef will be flying solo no longer.
According to MTV’s RapFix blog, much of Keef’s decision to sign had to do with Interscope’s alumni. “I’ve been talkin’ to a lot of labels, but I just noticed that Interscope got people like 50, Eminem,” Keef said after appearing alongside Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, and Usher at T.I.’s Atlanta Birthday Bash.
Additionally, Keef also cited friendly relations as a factor in the deal. “They was talkin’ good to me,” he said of Interscope. “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.”
According to RapFix’s report, Keef has also signed a publishing deal with Dr. Dre, though the specifics of the deal are currently unknown.