Lupe Fiasco says that fellow rapper and Chicago native Chief Keef “scares him.” No, this isn’t Lupe literally being afraid of the teenage rap neophyte, but rather an expression of Lupe’s feelings about what the recent Interscope signee stands for and the message he sends to the young people that listen to him.
“Chief Keef scares me. Not him specifically, but just the culture that he represents. Specifically in Chicago,” Lupe said during a recent appearance on Baltimore station 92Q’s Rap Attack.
Echoing recent sentiments from another MC/concerned Chicagoan, Rhymefest — who said that Keef is being used as a tool to destroy and that he “represents the senseless savagery” that outsiders see when the news speaks of Chicago’s terrifying levels of gun violence — Lupe is worried that the 16-year-old’s image is doing nothing but perpetuating the negativity already far too prevalent in the city.
He says Keef “could be any kid on the street” and that he’s frightened by that commonality and the fact that the things Keef raps about mirror the senseless crimes being reported daily in Chicago newspapers.
“The hoodlums and the gangstas and the ones you see killing each other — the murder rate in Chicago is skyrocketing and you see who’s doin’ it and perpetrating it, they all look like Chief Keef.”
He’s frightened even more by the fact that he understands where Keef comes from.
“The initial feeling of it scares me because I understand where he’s comin’ from and I understand his struggle,” Lupe explains. “And I’m not at him, I’m at where he came from. Places like that still exist and they incubate that mentality. … That incubator is workin’ overtime right now and sending these kids to slaughter.”
Lupe argues that taking someone who is potentially representative of millions of inner-city teens across the United States and celebrating the violent imagery he promotes is counterproductive.
“When you’re at high schools speaking to kids and tryin’ to tell them how to survive in the summer and then you turn on the radio and hear that? You’re like, ‘aww, naw,'” he said.
For full context of Lupe’s comments, watch the interview below.