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Review: Chief Keef's 'Finally Rich' lands with force

Other album reviews: 'Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head' by T.I.

December 18, 2012|By Randall Roberts
  • Chief Keef's latest album is "Finally Rich."
Chief Keef's latest album is "Finally Rich." (Interscope Records )

This year Interscope Records has a little surprise for us under the tree: Arriving amid the good cheer, the caroling and the mistletoe comes gangsta rapper Chief Keef's studio debut, "Finally Rich."

Landing a week before the big day, the 17-year-old Chicago thug offers infectious odes to nihilism and tirades against haters that are as simple-minded and catchy as they are brutal. Musically, however, the album shimmers with power, which makes the dozen songs feel even more dangerous.

Apparently unintentional is Keef's placement of a song called "Hallelujah" near the beginning of his album in the week leading up to Christmas. The track's not an interpretation of Leonard Cohen's gem; rather, Keef's track, produced by fellow Chicago artist Young Chop, is an offering filled with venom. Supported by bass-heavy exclamation points and the crunk-suggestive skittering high-hat runs, the track features an opening couplet — "Bitch I'm cooler than a cooler/Bitch shouts out to my jeweler" — that suggests about as much effort as he probably put into freshman biology. Rather it's about how, at 17, he's "finally" rich.

Chief Keef

"Finally Rich"

(Glory Boys/Interscope)

2 1/2 stars

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