Kanye West is the undisputed king of Chicago, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t give love to the up-and-coming princes. On his ballyhooed remix of Chief Keef’s Windy City anthem, Yeezy shouts out the new wave of local rookies, including Keef, LEP Bogus Boys, and lastly, “King Louie — this is Chi, right?” In the wake of his bubbling hit “Kush Too Strong” and a deal with Epic, the megastar shout-out capped off a massive spring for King Louie. The 24-year-old upstart recently sat down with BET.com to talk about the big-time name-drop and what he’s working on next.
King Louie says he first heard the song, and the shout-out, on a big day for him. He was leaving the dentist — his front teeth were badly damaged in a debilitating car accident a few years ago, and now his new employer, Epic, was paying to get them fixed. “I had just came from the dentist so I was kind of high off all that s--t they gave me,” he recalls, laughing. “It was just like, 'Wow.'”
The line was especially surprising because KL has never even met Kanye. “I haven't spoke to him — but I would love to work with him, though,” he says. “Next time f--k a shout-out — let’s do a song!”
Louie says the Kanye co-sign gave him a huge boost of confidence as he preps his upcoming major-label debut Dope & Shrimp. “[I] come from the city, man, and they always talking about [me] — 'You ain't rapping about this,' or 'you rap about this too much,'” he says. “So it kind of discouraged [me] a little bit. But we still go hard for us, and [the 'I Don't Like' remix] just let me know the hard work paid off — Kanye noticed me. Now when we go in the studio we just try to go harder. I'm just working hard for the city and for my team, and for me as a brand.”
Right now this hard work not only includes readying his debut — which has already produced one bouncy single, “Val Venis” — but also a new mixtape, Showtime. Louie says both will include collaborations with fellow members of Chicago’s new vanguard, including producer Young Chop and Chief Keef’s GBE crew, which also includes Def Jam signee Lil’ Reese. "We're trying to keep the Chicago family strong," he says.
Despite these big names, big moves and big things on the horizon, Louie insists he's taking things one step at a time. “I'm going to stay humble and work harder,” he says. “Next time maybe Jay-Z might say my name.”
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(Photo: Courtesy Island Def Jam Records)
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