Any time you catch wind that a rapper is being transformed into a hologram, it's a must-see as a hip-hop head. Hologram USA resurrected 2Pac to perform at Coachella in 2012, which was a welcomed surprise for fans of the West Coast MC. So when The Boombox was invited to interview a hologram version of Chief Keef provided by the brand, we welcomed the opportunity.
In honor of the 19-year-old rapper’s new album, Bang 3, FilmOn hosted a listening session and press conference at the Hologram USA headquarters in the posh center of Beverly Hills, Calif. Journalists, bloggers and videographers were packed in a viewing room for more than an hour, eager to hear all Keef's long-awaited sophomore project and witness him in hologram form.
But much to the dismay of those in the room, Keef overslept and his Uber was delayed, which meant we had to settle for chatting it up with the live hologram version of Alki David, a billionaire heir to Coca-Cola bottling plants and founder of FilmOn and Hologram USA. When Keef finally arrived, he sat down and got right to business. This was clearly not the same rowdy 16-year-old from the Finally Rich album.
The road to Bang 3 has been a long one -- almost two-years to be exact. After hearing his first album, Finally Rich, released while he was on Interscope in 2012, fans could only anticipate how the Glo Gang leader would follow-up with a sophomore effort. The three years in between projects have allowed him to mature as both an artist and a man.
Bang 3 highlights Keef’s obsession with money and making it, as opposed to toting guns. Since relocating from Chicago to Los Angeles, he turned his life around in honor of his slain cousin Big Glo and the growing list of friends he continues to lose as a result of gun violence. Capo, a member of Keef's Glo Gang family, was shot and killed just last week in Chicago.
After chopping it up with Keef and getting the scoop at the press conference, check out 10 Things You Need to Know About Chief Keef's Bang 3 Album.
Summer Will End With a 'Bang'
Chief Keef fans have been waiting for Bang 3 for more than a year now. The album was originally announced in January of 2014, when Keef was still signed to Interscope. Back then, the Chicago native was as eager to sever ties with Interscope as the label was to drop him due to his frequent run-ins with the law. According to Keef, he knew his actions would get him the ax and as a result, Bang 3 would never be released under the imprint. But after meeting billionaire television producer and tech giant Alki David, a man Keef describes as “crazier” than him, Sosa signed a two-album deal with David’s FilmOn, an internet-based television provider. David revealed that Keef's Bang 3 will finally be released on Aug. 18.
East Coast Gets Some Love
If you’ve been following Keef’s career since he dropped Finally Rich, then you know that the rapper can hold his own on a track when paired with an artist with years in the game. He's even collaborated with Kanye West on songs like "Nobody." Rumors started to swirl that the two could even have something in the works for Bang 3. Although his debut LP had features from the likes of 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa and his former Glory Boyz affiliate Lil Reese, Keef’s sophomore album will only boast one big-name artist. A$AP Rocky, one of Sosa’s closer hip-hop peers, will be featured on the bouncy track “Superheroes.”
Starting Over Works to His Benefit
Chief Keef has faced many struggles both personally and professionally since the release of his first LP and he's hit the studio to address his troubles at times. However, when it came time to talk about releasing the project through FilmOn, Keef opted to scratch the older material he recorded and start fresh with Bang 3. The only previously recorded song that made the final cut is “Superheroes” featuring A$AP Rocky.
Money Is the Motive
Let’s be honest, Keef is known for brash and vulgar lyrics, in which he brags about his use of semi-automatic weapons. But this time around, the Chicago native chose to focus on another passion: money. “Like a lot of my fans they want the old me,” Keef tells The Boombox. “But they don’t know that I’ve grown up a lot on this album. S--- ain't all about guns and bang, bang. I talk about money actually, coming to get some mothaf---in’ money… That’s what I love to do.” He echoes those sentiments on the catchy club banger, “All I Came for Was the Money.”
Ladies Love Sosa
If you're looking for A Tribe Called Quest, of course Chief Keef is a different breed of rapper. His simple catchphrases and hooks reel you in and you're more likely to turn up to his tracks than learn a valuable hip-hop lesson. However, after listening to his new song "Yes," you learn a few things from Sosa. He's all about chilling, getting his money and letting his female acquaintances get a sample of his sex as he sings “Yes, yes, yes,” on the hook.
The Cook Is Still in the Kitchen
Making the perfect body of artistic work is no easy feat. With almost a month left until the release of Bang 3, you would think the album would be mastered and ready for the hackers to leak it to the masses, but that's not the case. Keef is still not done cooking up the main course. In fact, he was more than an hour late to the press conference because he was sleeping in after a late night in the studio, where he worked on completing the last four songs of the 14-track album.
According to Keef, You Can Overcome Anything
The first single off Bang 3 is the heartfelt song “Ain't Missing You,” which samples John Waite’s pop hit “Missing You." The rapper, who dedicates the track to his slain friend Big Glo, showcases his vulnerable side here. The song was recorded at the suggestion of Alki David. “It was important to [record 'Ain't Missing You'] because it shows [my fans] that you can overcome anything,” Keef tells The Boombox. “The situations I was in back in Chicago, the situations at Interscope... you gotta go up.” Fortunately, for die-hard Keef fans, “Ain't Missing You” is more of an experiment than an indication of where Keef is going with his sound. The rest of the album is saturated in his Chi-raq roots, detailing how to get money and the countless ways to spend it.
He's Following in Kanye West's Footsteps
“A lot of songs on Bang 3 are really produced by me,” Keef confirms. He assures fans that this album will be nothing like its predecessor because he will “bring a lot of new sounds to the production.” “I don’t think you've ever heard something like what I do when I am producing."
Family Comes First
“I’m not really big on features, it’s all me,” Keef reveals. Outside of A$AP Rocky, the only other feature on the album is Keef’s cousin, Glo Gang rhymer Tadoe.
Three Is a Magic Number
According to Keef, the release of Bang 3 has not changed his plans to drop The Cozart album, which will be his third solo effort. Furthermore The Cozart will not be an extension of Bang 3, but its own separate LP as part of his two-album deal with FilmOn. Sosa promises a different sonic approach and content compared to Bang 3 as he continues to evolve as a rapper and producer.