T.I. Says Chief Keef Gives A Voice To 'Youth In America'

T.I. admits to courting the 16-year-old Chicago MC, but supports his decision to sign with Interscope.

Chief Keef has had a hell of a weekend. Not only did the 16-year-old Chicago MC sign a record deal with Interscope, he also got a chance to perform at Birthday Bash in front of 20,000 ATL rap fans. Keef was one of T.I.'s many special guests, which included Usher, Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy.

Backstage, Tip gave the youngster the ultimate co-sign. "Chief Keef, I feel like he represents a part of America," T.I. told MTV News. "He represents a part of the youth in America that ain't really got a voice right now. We looking at 'em, and we're seeing the results of their actions, but we ain't really listening to 'em, and I think you gotta have a representative of each generation in order to understand what they dealing with."

Because of his power in the rap game, Tip feels it's his responsibility to try to understand and help young rappers. Keef garnered a ton of attention thanks to underground standout tracks "I Don't Like" and "3 Hunna." The former is a gritty street track that denounces snitching and fake True Religion jeans. The song's video has already amassed more than 6 million views on YouTube and caught the attention of Kanye West, who, along with Keef, Pusha T, Big Sean and Jadakiss, remixed the track.

A number of industry executives have expressed interest in signing the young rapper. Birdman was vocal about courting the young spitter, but it was Interscope that presented the best offer. "They was talking good to me," he told RapFix. "They was talking like I was talking, and I liked that. All these other labels, I was talking to 'em, but it's time anyway for me, and I'm going with Interscope."

T.I. said there was an opportunity for Keef to join his Grand Hustle family, but he respects the young rapper's decision. Tip is just happy that the go-getter was able to make a way for himself. "The opportunity existed, but I never put my own personal wishes before the best interest of the next person," T.I. said. "I'm just happy that he's able to do whatever's best for him and his family and to move forward as a person and to progress in life. As long as he's doing that, I'm happy."

What do you think Chief Keef's signing to Interscope? Tell us in the comments!