I remember when Chief Keef was the rapper with the most buzz in hip hop at one point. He was the face of the drill movement. I’m not from Chicago so I don’t know who started drill but it was a moment in time to me where it was blatantly shown what gang you’re in. Who the shooters are in that gang and who your enemies are. Mocking the dead even became a trend. The era of drill was so compelling that Dj Akademiks made a lucrative career of the beefs and casualties of the movement by fueling the threats of violence the rappers made to each other then when a rapper would die he would say “The situation is unfortunate” even though he instigated it to his large following and I don’t think he’s ever apologized for his role in the bullshit (Correct me if I’m wrong).
These rappers lives and violent ways were so compelling to people who didn’t grow up in that type of environment that they instigated the beefs and showed the rappers involved that they have an audience. So of course if you have an audience and you’re immature, you’re going to try and show out for the audience, prove yourself to strangers and put on a show. From Twitter to Youtube to Instagram. Thousands of spectators are instigating safely from their homes while these artists and the people associated with them have to go out and survive. It was literally like the Hunger Games. The fact that shooters were popular was alarming. They didn’t rap or do anything. They were just known for violence and they had a following for it and that was just insane to me.
In the end………… Niggas making no life changing money from the dumb shit. Only people that made money from it were label execs and Dj Akademiks. They were praised for being savages, gangstas, shooters, and all the majority of them have to show for it is drug addiction, death of their family, friends, or themselves or prison. They were used as pawns.
Chief Keef realistically should have the net worth of 20-30 million. No lie. He’s a very talented young man but that gang shit and the fact he doesn’t really give a fuck about professionalism is what prevents him from that net worth. All those guys should be multi millionaires. I’m talking about Durk, Fredo(R.I.P), Reese too. The fact that there wasn’t a world tour of all them together where they could’ve made millions is insane. Fredo being the oldest made a change in the right direction in terms of realizing that business is the game he’s in and the beef shit he needed to fallback from. I never heard him mock the dead. He started a family. A label. He just couldn’t beat drug addiction. Durk is consistent with shows and he has good management but sometimes he would jump in and out the beef shit. Reese just doesn’t give a fuck. I can’t tell the last song I’ve heard from Reese.
Those 4 guys were the zenith of that movement and they’ve underachieved in terms of what it could’ve been. Keef is a legend in his own right. Durk still doing his thing. But the history they could’ve made is one of the biggest “What if’s” in hip hop history.
I started off with all that to say this…. Beef and gang shit doesn’t make anybody no money. It just entertains the mentally ill. You can’t be a active gang member and be an artist at the same time. It doesn’t mix. So many try and it always fails. It’ll work for a little bit then a rude awakening happens.
I see all these rappers in the midwest (My city included) have millions of views on youtube but they don’t capitalize off it. They don’t do shows mainly because no one wants to book them because they’re a liability. I know the artists not scared to do the show. It’s the promoter and venues that are afraid to do the show. Even if the artist who bout that life is on their best behavior doesn’t mean their enemy or people they beefing with who’s gonna come to the show is going to be. They’re coming to start shit and then something unfortunate happens then the promoter and venue are getting sued and their reputation is fucked and the artist reputation is fucked too. Shows are basically the money maker for artists in the music business today along with endorsements. Active street niggas aren’t getting endorsements.
All you see of these artists is the same shit. Music videos with their homies in em with more guns than Rambo movies, them showing off 2 to 5 racks, and that’s it. It’ll get thousands and millions of views on youtube and that will be the end of it because they don’t capitalize off it. They won’t put it up on any streaming sites where they can get paid. Wont perform the songs anywhere. Majority of em just care about hoes, xans, and beef. That’s it. They do not give a fuck about starting a legitimate empire and what ends up happening is they either get exploited or they get a record deal and start doing even dumber shit and blow their opportunity. A lot of these artists could be killing it independently with their own tours and merchandise but they’re so focused on trying to get a record deal and think that’s it and think that’s gonna save them. The record deal wont mean shit if the person receiving it doesn’t change for the better and make the money given to them 2 to 3 times over. The label needs to recoup or they will drop you.
Fuck showing the stacks of money in the videos and buying more dumb shit and instead invest it in your career as an artist. Build your own studio. Buy a sprinter van. Buy some real estate. Something that will build your career. Actually work on your craft. Could you imagine if these trap rappers actually worked on their performances? More people would come to their shows because they would ACTUALLY BE PUTTING ON A SHOW!
In St.Louis its worse because we already don’t have a lot of resources so there’s not a lot of places to perform to begin with so the artists who are risky to book are gonna suffer and potentially the whole scene will suffer too. Beefing as an aspiring artist in St.Louis is not the smartest thing to do. It has nothing to do with how tough you are. From a business stand point it’s just dumb. If an artist about the money and growth like they claim then they will know beef not getting you to 7 figures. I’m sure you can bring up 50 Cent but you didn’t buy Get Rich Or Die Trying because of Beef. You bought it because the songs were hits. People here just dissing each other over jealousy and a local music scene that’s been stagnant for almost 2 decades. Yes we have great artists from here but that’s facts. This just some local shit. It’s nothing to beef over. Nobody cares about whose the hottest in the city. Only a small minded niggas are bout that. Go be the hottest in hip-hop period.
Nipsey Hussle is a great example of how to make a change. He’s not an ACTIVE gang member. Active meaning he’s out doing gang shit. He’s a member of the Crips but he’s not on the frontlines anymore. Why? Because he knows he can’t do both. He focused on legitimizing all his businesses. He’s always doing shows. He has endorsements. He’s a huge part of rebuilding his community. He’s doing it the right way. The fact he stopped drinking lean and stopped smoking to get his health in order and conduct his business better shows you his discipline and commitment to his grind. He wanted to grow and become more than just a street nigga.
Suge Knight literally threw away a 300 million dollar empire trying to be a active gang member and a mogul at the same time. He had the world and fucked it off over gang and beef shit. If you wanna go be a gangsta then go be one but if you’ve been blessed with an opportunity to go legit and get paid you’d be a fool to risk it over beef. Wars cost money and lives. It don’t matter how gangsta you are. If you don’t smarten up, It’s only a matter of time.