Saturday saw the launch of The Frank Book Chapter 58: FRANKSOSA, a zine curated by Chief Keef and put out by Frank 151. It was a madhouse.
Approaching the Seventh Letter Gallery located in the heart of the Arts District in Los Angeles, an iron gate fell half-mast before crowds scrambled to get in against a shield of bouncers and PR clipboards.
A wild assortment of art from fans, friends, and Keef himself adorned white walls. Highlights came in the biblical tapestry of Keef navigating an enchanted meadow, and a stuffed likeness of him passed out wasted in a corner full of money (“HATE BEIN’ SOBER” tagged above).
After being dropped by Interscope in late October for being “too hood,” (The last straw for the label was a shooting at Keef’s managers house), the Chiraq rapper has emerged as more of an underground icon than YouTube sensation. There’s something intrinsically genuine about Keef in relation to other rappers, something like punk to disco or Uncle Murda to Big Sean. After receiving the news from his label, Keef tweeted, “Ain’t shit gone stop Jus gets Better and bigger!” Saturday, this was evident.
Keef was late, mobbed by the HBA kids sardined into the space, before being ushered upstairs to a greenroom overlooking the gallery. When I asked about his new release called ‘Nobody’, he came back with a cryptic but promising answer. “‘Nobody’s’ not my album,” he said, putting the final touches on a blunt. “When my album drops, you’ll know it.”