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Chief Keef
Chief Keef 2019.jpg
Chief Keef performing in 2019
Background information
Birth name Keith Farrelle Cozart
Also known as Sosa, BigGucci Sosa
Born (1995-08-15) August 15, 1995 (age 28)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active 2008–present

Keith Farrelle Cozart (born August 15, 1995), better known by his stage name Chief Keef, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer. His music first became popular during his teen years in the early 2010s among high school students from Chicago's South Side. In 2012, his popular local single "I Don't Like" was remixed by American rapper Kanye West and reached the Billboard Rap Top 20, further raising Cozart's profile. A bidding war between major labels resulted in Keef signing with Interscope. His debut album Finally Rich was released in December 2012, and featured the singles "I Don't Like" and "Love Sosa", which would popularize the Chicago rap subgenre drill.

Chief Keef has faced ongoing legal issues during his career, including weapons possession charges, house arrest sentences, and a performance ban imposed by Chicago authorities. Though he was dropped from Interscope in late 2014 and later signed to 1017 Records, he continued self-releasing projects through his own Glo Gang label.

As of the late 2010s, critics have pointed to Chief Keef as the progenitor of the drill subgenre, noting the impact of his music on other artists.

Life and career

Early life (1995–2010)

Chief Keef was born Keith Farrelle Cozart in Chicago, Illinois, on August 15, 1995, to Lolita Carter who was 15 and unwed. He is named after his deceased uncle, Keith Carter, who was known as "Big Keef". He lived at the Parkway Garden Homes located in the Washington Park neighborhood on the city's South Side, a stronghold for the Black Disciples street gang of which Chief Keef is a member.

Chief Keef has been estranged from his biological father, Alfonso Cozart, since he was a minor. His legal guardian was his grandmother with whom he lived in Chicago. He began rapping as a five-year-old using his mother's karaoke machine and tapes to record his music. During his childhood, Chief Keef attended Dulles Elementary School and the Banner School, a therapeutic day school. He dropped out of Dyett High School at age 15.

Early years, Finally Rich, and subsequent mixtapes (2011–2013)

Kanye West At the Big Chill 2011
Kanye West (pictured), a fellow Chicagoan, remixed Keef's single "I Don't Like", raising his profile.

In 2011, Chief Keef first attracted local attention from Chicago's South Side community with his mixtapes, The Glory Road and Bang.

In the summer of 2012, Chief Keef was the subject of a bidding war among record labels wishing to sign him, including Young Jeezy's CTE World. While 2012 proved to be a relatively quiet year in terms of his musical output, Chief Keef began the year by signing with Interscope Records. In a separate deal, he was promised his own label imprint, Glory Boyz Entertainment (GBE). The deal was worth $6,000,000 over a three album layout, with an additional $440,000 advance to establish GBE.

The deal gave Interscope the right to pull out of the contract if Chief Keef's debut album Finally Rich, released on December 18, 2012, had failed to sell 250,000 copies by December 2013. Featured guests on the album include rappers: 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross and his fellow Glory Boyz member Lil Reese. In May 2013 he signed with 1017 Brick Squad Records.

Chief Keef is featured on "Hold My Liquor", the fifth track on Kanye West's album, Yeezus, released on June 18, 2013. Keef's contributions to the track were praised by musician Lou Reed who said, "'Hold My Liquor' is just heartbreaking, and particularly coming from where it's coming from – listen to that incredibly poignant hook from a tough guy like Chief Keef, wow."

On his 18th birthday, August 15, 2013, Chief Keef celebrated by releasing the mixtape Bang, Pt. 2. It was highly anticipated as the first project following his debut album, but received a mixed to negative critical response. On October 12, 2013, another mixtape, Almighty Sosa, was released. Like Bang, Pt. 2, Almighty So also received mixed to negative critical reviews. After serving his October 2013 jail term (see § Legal issues), he began working on his second studio album and a biopic.

Nobody and Bang 3 (2014–2016)

Chief Keef began experimenting with producing his music in 2014. Meaghan Garvey of The Fader noted this was fitting as the rapper has "always been more concerned with vibe than meaning, and production is his most efficient tool to create a mood without getting bogged down by pesky syntax." In January, Chief Keef announced he was working on a new mixtape entitled Bang 3. In February, he unveiled the cover art to his upcoming mixtape Back From The Dead 2 the sequel to his critically acclaimed mixtape, Back From The Dead. During February, Chief Keef said his former lean addiction and bad mixing contributed to the lack of quality music on his two mixtape projects Bang Pt. 2 and Almighty So and that he was disappointed in both projects.

Later in February 2014, he announced an EP before his second studio album Bang 3, entitled Bang 4, as a preview. The following day, Fredo Santana announced he and Chief Keef were going to release an album collaboration. Although Interscope executive Larry Jackson announced that Bang 3 would be released on June 10, it was delayed again.

In October 2014, Chief Keef was dropped by Interscope Records. He confirmed via Twitter that every project he had planned, including the release of the long-awaited Bang 3, would still be released. Despite being set for a December 2014 release, Bang 3 did not materialize. However, he was successful in releasing Big Gucci Sosa, a 12-track collaborative mixtape, with Gucci Mane, as well as Back From the Dead 2, which was made available for digital download from iTunes. Chief Keef self-produced 16 of the 20 songs on the mixtape.

In November, he announced Nobody, a "Glo Producer album" that featured guest vocals by Kanye West and Tadoe. It was set to be released on December 2, but appeared on December 16. The album's title track was noted for being one of Keef's more emotionally driven tracks. Chris Coplan of Consequence of Sound wrote "the track itself feels like the apex of a night spent binge-drinking." The album was awarded a 7.0/10 score by Pitchfork Media's Meaghan Garvey.

On February 18, 2015, Chief Keef released Sorry 4 the Weight, a 20-track mixtape. The mixtape was largely a solo effort, featuring only Andy Milonakis and Glo Gang labelmate, Benji Glo. In 2015, his track "Faneto" was slowly building momentum since its October 2014 release. On April 24, 2015, Chief Keef announced his next album, titled The Cozart, saying it would be released soon. He signed with FilmOn Music, a division of media tycoon Alki David, in May 2015.

Dedication, Glotoven and Almighty So 2 (2016–present)

In March 2016, Chief Keef tweeted that he was retiring from rapping. The announcement came as his recorded output was slowing down. However, later in the year he was featured on MGK's song, "Young Man". He also released a 17-track mixtape Two Zero One Seven in January 2017. Chief Keef joined a long line of rappers, including Jay Z, Lupe Fiasco, Nicki Minaj and others, who claimed to have retired only to return to making music.

Chief Keef released four mixtapes in the lead up to releasing his third album, Dedication, on December 1, 2017. The Guardian called Dedication his "most satisfying album to date".

In 2018, Chief Keef was able to drop more mixtapes, such as Mansion Musick and Back from the Dead 3 and more mixtapes in The Leek series. He also did more features for musicians such as Playboi Carti, Soulja Boy, and G Herbo.

In early 2019, Chief Keef and Zaytoven worked together in the studio. Chief Keef later confirmed they were making a collaborative mixtape called Glotoven. It was released on March 15, 2019, and was supported by the single "Spy Kid". On April 20, 2019, Chief Keef revealed he had another mixtape planned, dubbed Almighty So 2. He then released a song with Youngboy Never Broke Again called "Fireman". The mixtape is also scheduled to have features from Lil Uzi Vert, Soulja Boy and Lil Reese, among others. Chief Keef also released another single titled "Boost".

In March 2020, Chief Keef earned his first major production credit on Lil Uzi Vert's second studio album, Eternal Atake, with the song "Chrome Heart Tags". Chief Keef was later featured on Uzi's album Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World 2 with a vocal performance on the song "Bean (Kobe)", which became his highest-charting song on the Hot 100 at number 19.

Other ventures

Glo Gang

Glo Gang
Parent company Entertainment One
Founded 2014
Founder Chief Keef
Status Dormant
Distributor(s) E1 Music
Genre Hip hop, midwest hip hop, drill
Country of origin United States
Location Chicago, Illinois
Los Angeles, California

As part of his contract with Interscope Records, Chief Keef's label imprint, Glory Boyz Entertainment (GBE), was established. He and his manager, Rovan Manuel, each owned 40% of GBE's shares. Chief Keef's cousin and fellow rapper, Fredo Santana, his uncle Alonzo Carter, and Anthony H. Dade, owned the remaining 20% of GBE. Various associates would be signed with the label, such as rappers Lil Reese, Fredo Santana and producer Young Chop.

The label had been active since 2011 but had only released mixtapes and was not a fully functioning record company. After releasing Chief Keef's Finally Rich in December 2012, the label was set to release an album by Lil Reese in the following months, along with various mixtapes. However, on January 3, 2014, Chief Keef said that Glory Boyz Entertainment was "no more", and he was starting a new record label named Glo Gang. Prior to his death, Blood Money revealed in an interview the members of Glo Gang were Chief Keef, Tray Savage, Ballout, Capo, Tadoe, JusGlo, and himself.

Current artists

  • Chief Keef
  • Tadoe
  • Ballout
  • Lil Flash
  • Benji Flo
  • Terintino
  • JusGlo

Former artists

  • Lil Reese
  • Tray Savage (deceased)
  • Fredo Santana (deceased)
  • Gino Marley
  • Capo (deceased)
  • Blood Money (deceased)
  • SD
  • Snap Dogg


Parent company BMG, RBC
Founded 2022
Founder Chief Keef
Status Active
Distributor(s) BMG
Genre Hip hop, midwest hip hop, drill
Country of origin United States
Location Chicago, Illinois
Los Angeles, California

Announced on June 6, 2022, through a partnership with RBC Records and BMG Rights Management, Chief Keef announced the founding of 43B, otherwise known as Forget Everybody, and its first signee, Lil Gnar.

"43B has been a passion project of mine for over a year and I’m ready to give artists that are changing the game a label where they can really succeed, I’ve been independent for almost 10 years, so I want to pass on my knowledge of the industry to artists who are shifting the culture so they can make it to the top."

Personal life

Chief Keef has three children, two daughters and a son, from different women. His son's name is Krüe Karter Cozart.

After moving to Los Angeles, Chief Keef began indulging in his new-found hobby of art collecting.


Many publications have referred to Chief Keef as a highly influential figure in contemporary hip-hop, for both his musical style and gangster image. His melodic style of rapping and his characteristically slurred delivery of lyrics has been called the catalyst for the success of Chicago drill and Mumble rap, and an influence on a large number of modern artists especially such as: 21 Savage, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Pump, XXXTentacion, Ski Mask The Slump God, Trippie Redd, Juice Wrld, Polo G and Tay-K among the others. Additionally, Chief Keef's heavy use of adlibs, specifically the word "aye" as a large part of a song was a major influence on the Soundcloud rap subgenre and the artists that emerged from it.


  • Finally Rich (2012)
  • Bang 3 (2015)
  • Dedication (2017)
  • 4NEM (2021)
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