By Ezra Marcus
Their warped voices float over a sample that XXL identifies as “Brothas Gonna Work It Out,” a Willie Hutch song from the 1973 soundtrack of the Blaxploitation film The Mack. Keef’s caption listed the song title as “‘Nobody’ Almigh x Yee.”
Chief Keef and Kanye’s working relationship started off on an awkward note when Kanye remixed “I Don’t Like” back in 2011. ‘Ye’s mildly paternalistic guest verse irritated Keef and the song’s producer Young Chop, who stated: “I ain’t know the song was changed over like that.” And Keef explained in another interview [that] “We didn’t hear the song… it don’t even sound like the real beat. It sounded like a rock star beat.”
But the two patched things up in time for Keef to make an appearance on Yeezus, and thank god because “Hold My Liquor” is a transcendent piece of pop. Keef’s half-mumbled chorus—“I can’t control my n***as, and my n***as can’t control me”—elegizes the chaotic environment in Chicago that Keef comes from.
And Kanye and Keef are actually pretty similar at heart—both are idiosyncratic hard-heads who’ve pushed rap forward through an uncompromising approach to their own vision. For example, Kanye’s initially misunderstood 808s and Heartbreak has proved itself one of the decade’s most influential albums, and its lovelorn sci-fi balladry paved the way for artists like Drake and Future.
Keef, meanwhile, has consistently incorporated AutoTune into dead-eyed street posturing, developing a whole new type of isolation. So while nothing is ever certain in Keef-world we can tentatively expect to see “Nobody” on Bang 3, currently set to appear on September 30th.