Guest Star: "I Ain't Dissing Chief Keef, I'm Dissing Jimmy Iovine"
Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 2:10PM
[With Chief Keef, Chicago violence and Spike Lee all making headlines as of late, outspoken rapper/activist Rhymefest weighs in on a slew of hot topics.]
Are we saying it's bad now because [Chief Keef] didn't sell no records [with Finally Rich?]? So if he would have sold records, I would have been wrong and everything would have been OK? We cannot qualify what is right and what is wrong by how many a**es you put in the seat or how many records you sell.
Right or wrong has to be qualified by right or wrong. If you're right, in a city where 506 people died in one year which is really double the amount of Afghanistan and Iraq put together, for murder, is it right to put out music that encourages that behavior? A major label is going to give a million dollars to an artist to encourage that behavior with no sense of social responsibility.
It's not right. So no matter how many records he sells or didn't sell, in fact, Chief Keef, this is not about Chief Keef. I always say this and people seem to get it lost when I speak. I don't care who it is. Put "Rapper" here. These dudes are old enough to by my shorties. I'm not hating on my shorties. I'm comfortable in life. I've got everything I want, all amenities I want, I have. I'm helping to write songs that are on the radio currently.
So it ain't like I'm missing out on something. It's like, these guys weren't even designed to sell records. When people give these guys money, they know they're not gonna sell no records. What they're selling, and we all seem to get it lost, in the media and the fans, they're selling ideas. They're selling ideas to be replicated to send your a** to prison.
Prison is a $55 billion a year industry. Prison makes more money than rap music makes, every year. Private prisons are being traded on the stock market. If they're going to advertise, how are they going to do it? How are they going to put more people in prison and advertise? It's through the record labels that they own.
Look at Interscope Records. Interscope Records is owned by General Electric. General Electric has a huge stock and share in private prisons. It's so basic for people to say I'm dissing Chief Keef. I ain't dissing Chief Keef, I'm dissing [Interscope CEO] Jimmy Iovine.
Think about it. The East Coast, West Coast beef, who was behind it all? Interscope Records. Death Row. Now, violence in Chicago is the new hot sh*t. Who gave the biggest deal? Interscope Records. At what point are we going to say, "D*mn. We're letting this motherf*cker mess up my hood."
It's not hating. Like, I think Spike Lee was hating about Tyler Perry, I think he's a hater because maybe you got a point but when you start calling out everybody from Clint Eastwood to [Quentin] Tarantino -- but that's not even the point. In his movies, his characters are just as much like "coony" than everybody he talks about.
Look at School Daze. Nobody in college acted like that. Look at Jungle Fever. When you go out with your White girl or whatever, sisters might not like it but ain't nobody cussing you out in public. It ain't like that. Even when I look at [Lee's] Red Hook Summer. That even had some stereotypical characters in it and it wasn't a great movie.
So if you're making movies with these overused characters, how can you talk about somebody else? When you look at Rhymefest's track record, I ain't even came out with no music. So I ain't like, "Yo I'm hot, so I'm gonna get my sh*t out here by criticizing everybody else."
When you see what I'm doing, I'm working with shorties in the hood, I'm working with single moms, I'm doing political work, so I'm not saying "This dude is messed up" and then not doing my part to correct the wrong in the community.
People have to be able to see when it's real critique and when it's hating.
The Chicago, IL-based Rhymefest first gained national attention as the co-songwriter of Kanye West's Grammy-winning "Jesus Walks." His association withWest actually went back several years prior; the MC's independently released Raw Dawg, issued in 2001, was produced entirely by a pre-fame West. Later signed to Mark Ronson's J-distributed Allido label, Rhymefest put together Blue Collar for a March 2006 release date. Its first single, "Brand New," also featured production work from West, as well as extensive assistance from No I.D.(Common, G-Unit).