Hip-Hop Radar: Chuuwee, Tayyib Ali & Chief Keef
Lucy here – I’ve go 3 hot names in the rap game on my radar that y’all best be watching out for. One thing I love about the industry is its turnover – the rapid cycle of emerging talent. It seems that not long after an artist establishes himself, another is there to take his place and surpass him in everything from lyrical ability to personal style. In this post, I’ve given you the low-down on 3 such rappers and (in my opinion) their best tracks.
#1 – CHUUWEE
“Whats up with all this boredom? Fresh to death I’m post-mortem”
Chuuwee – an artist whose evident talent and hustle has just recently gained him notoriety in the rap game. Hailing from Sacramento, CA, the rapper has West Coast roots by birth – add frequent travels to San Antonio, TX and a love for NY hip-hop to the equation and you’ve got quite a unique mix culturally, stylistically, and of course musically.
You’re probably curious about the origin of Chuuwee‘s name (whose actual name is Chez Rivierra). Well, apparently his high school friends used to called him “Chewy Gomez” – a reference to the Bay-area radio personality and a punch at the fact that he could put away a lot of food – and it kind of just stuck.
Chuuwee‘s music is an absolute treat – uncomplicated, enjoyable and easy on the ears with enough lyrical punch to add interest and intrigue. I’ve actually had the privilege of meeting him through a friend, before I had heard his music. Luckily, I’ve since sampled his mixtapes So Far So Good, Be Cool, Watching the Throne (my favorite), and his most recent Crown Me King. The rapper has definitely pursued an artistic angle with his music, centralizing his past three release on the concept of kingdom, royalty and jurisdiction – an industry reference perhaps?
It’s like my prayers were answered after discovering that the rapper would be releasing an official debut album under independent hip-hop label Amalgam Digital on May 29th titled, Wild Style. Get on that.
Lucy’s Picks: “Post-Mortem,” “Reign (Crown Me King),” “October 28th,” “Absolute Monarchy (feat. ENG)”
#2 – TAYYIB ALI
“I’m a high school dropout hard with the flow, skateboards and this weed smoke is all that I know”
The now 20 year-old Philly native Tayyib Ali has made massive strides in these past few years considering the fact that he dubs himself a “high school dropout” in his single “Do It (High School Dropout).” If you haven’t heard of this kid, you can document his growth on the internet or simply take note of his lyrics. The kid’s wholesome sound and high energy make his music substantial, while equally smooth and catchy beats keep the fans coming back for more - you’ll see, his “feel-good” music makes it impossible NOT to love him.
After first appearing at the Kamikazz Music Festival in Greenwich, CT as an opening act for Shwayze, Sam Adams and Super Smash Bros at 18, Ali headlined the same festival one year later – a sell-out performance. Since then, the artist has released two mixtapes under Visionary Music Group - Eighteen and Keystone State of Mind – all-the-while developing a loyal fanbase of young East Coasters, a group which has started to grow cross-continentally and internationally at a rapid rate. There’s something very innocent and as I mentioned “wholesome” about Ali…he’s one of those rappers who chooses to spit about passion and struggle and a brighter future rather than money, hoes and drugs (well, most drugs…).
Lucy’s Picks: “Tomorrow,” “Dear Lord,” “Do It (High School Dropout),” “I’m Ready,” “High Definition”
**My fellow Los Angelians take note of the Cha-Cha Chicken shout-out in “Girlfriend.” One of my fave spots in Santa Monica!
Download Keystone State of Mind HERE. You can also follow Tayyib Ali on Twitter HERE, Facebook HERE. The dude is gearing up for a national tour starting early July, so definitely see if you can catch him live – I would love to myself!
#3 – CHIEF KEEF
“B*tch my name is Sosa, you can call me Sammy”
Hailing from Chicago, IL, Chief Keef, also known as SOSA, clocks in at the ripe age of 16. Since Keef’s viral emergence in the industry via Youtube and other prominent hip-hop blogs and forums, the rapper has received mixed reviews from the public, mostly due to his controversial lyrical content, only compromised by the fact that he was arrested for unlawful use of a weapon this past December. Nonetheless, Keef’s loyal fanbase of Chi-town Souther Siders, plus close ties to established industry names such as Soulja Boy and Waka Flocka have created enough buzz for the world to take note. Keef currently has released a 12-track mixtape titled Back From the Dead as well as a handful of singles with millions of views and downloads in a mere matter of months.
Unlike rappers 1 and 2, Keef’s music falls under a particular sub-category of hip-hop often criticized for it’s lack of lyrical quality and complexity (including drug and violence references) and heavy, repetitive sound – very much evocative of Waka Flocka and Lil B‘s persona “Based God,” as well as Yo Gotti and Gucci Mane, both of whom the young rapper cites as major influences.
Personally, this isn’t my preferred type of hip-hop – I prefer a much smoother sound. I do, however, think that Keef has potential as an artist – you can’t dispute the fact that he’s already found his swag, secured a growing fanbase and received support from big names industry names in an insanely short amount of time. The kid is still so young and really just starting out; I only hope he doesn’t live up to his critic’s expectations and backtrack his career by getting himself in trouble with the law. Luckily, it seems like some respectable mentors have taken him under their wings – rumor has it, the youngster has already signed to Waka Flocka‘s label, Brick Squad Monopoly. I’m looking forward to seeing what Keef puts out in the future, but for now, I’ll stick strictly to his features with other artists.
Lucy’s Faves: “I Don’t Like [Remix] (feat. Kanye West, Pusha T, Chief Keef, Jadakiss & Big Sean),” “Murda (feat. Chief Keef & Waka Flocka),” ”Understand Me (feat. Young Jeezy),” “3Hunna (feat. Soulja Boy)”
I’m curious to hear your opinions on these artists! Time to update that I-Tunes library.