"I like the idea of Chief Keef."
From Lupe Fiasco to Rhymefest to Chicago police, Chicago rookie Chief Keef has been a major target of critical eyes and voices recently. Whether it’s violence-filled songs and videos, his real-life criminal backstory, or his reaction — and even possible connection — to the murder of fellow Windy City teen MC Lil JoJo, there’s plenty to vilify. But at least one person isn’t joining the pile-on: 50 Cent.
In an interview this week with V103’s Ryan Cameron, Fif congratulated Chief Keef for his success. It makes a lot of sense in some ways: 50 and the "I Don’t Like" rapper share a troubled past, a penchant for tough talk, alleged connections to real-life crimes, and, above all, a rags-to-riches story. "I like the idea of Chief Keef," 50 said. "The same way I like the idea of Soulja Boy 'cause I like the idea of someone having a hit at 16. He's actually my son's age. So without the success that I've had, my son could have potentially been Chief Keef… I look at their situations and I go, 'Wow, that's what hip hop culture [does]: It allows people to come from completely nothing to make it.'"
50 also addressed the ongoing flap between Lupe Fiasco and Keef, who threatened to "smack" Lu after he criticized the violent "culture" he said the young MC "represents." "The things that Lupe said about Chief Keef I don’t think he said that about him. I think he said it about the actual element, the environment," said 50. "There’s no way that you don’t personalize it when a person is saying you, talking about you. So when he responded by saying he's gonna smack him or whatever, it’s just ’cause you keep attacking me. And I’m sitting here, you attacking me, and what am I supposed to do?"
50 downplayed Keef’s connection to the murder of Lil JoJo, who was murdered last week. JoJo had a public feud with Keef and his crewmate Lil Reese; Keef scoffed at the death on his Twitter page, though he later said he was hacked. 50 said that in a city as violent as Chicago, it’s premature to blame Keef or Reese.
"Chicago had 158 homicides this summer; 38 of them was teens," 50 explained. "So they gotta go through an investigation to make sure that that’s actually someone affiliated with Chief Keef; you can’t just put that on ’em because [JoJo] made a diss song and he out there. If he's out there and he’s active, and you saw all those guns the boys had in that video, it shows that it’s an actual part of their culture."
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(Photos from left: Mark Davis/Getty Images, Johnny Nunez/WireImage)