Young Chop has been in the news for all the wrong things recently. First he hopped on Instagram and threw shots at Kanye West, and then he got into it with security at a release party for his mixtape. You can go to his Instagram right now and hear his side of these stories. Chop is all about transparency.
But what he’s really known for are his monstrous beats. In 2011, a buzzing local Chicago artist named Chief Keef released a mixtape called Bang, and though Young Chop only produced one song (“Smash”) their chemistry led to a full-length collaboration called Back From The Dead. That tape had a little song called “Don’t Like.” You may have heard of it.
Back From The Dead put Keef on the nation’s map with Chop as the main architect of his sound. By 2012 Keef landed a deal with Interscope and dropped his debut album Finally Rich, where Chop produced six more songs like “Love Sosa” and “Hate Bein’ Sober.” They were by far the hottest duo in hip-hop.
And then things got weird. Keef was dropped from the label, Chop started vaguely criticizing Keef, and the two seemed to drift apart. In 2013 Chop released his debut solo project Precious and started cultivating other artists (like Johnny May Cash and King James 100) and producers (like Chopsquad DJ) for his own ChopSquad Records. Chicago artists often rib each other and bicker in public, so Chop and Keef have reconciled their differences, but as you’ll read, they aren’t making music together right now.
During our exclusive sit down with Young Chop, he talked about his relationship with Chief Keef, his honest feelings on Kanye West, and why he feels like he’s been screwed a couple times in the industry.
WatchLOUD: How’s life?
Young Chop: Life right now… it comes with bumps. But I’m getting over it. Just doing me.
You’ve got a new project on the way, right?
Yeah I’m working on the ChopSquad album. It’s gonna be a mixtape but you know I call it an album because that’s what it’s gonna sound like. And I’m working on my EP right now. Gonna drop my EP first then drop that ChopSquad thang and fuck the industry up.
Who’re you working with for the EP?
All my producers and my people. My own engineers, my own mastering people. Graphics, everything. We got all that over here.
I saw you on Instagram saying you’re trying to put the GLOTF album together. How’s that going?
For real. It’s just one person though – Chief Keef. That’s the only person we gotta get on board. Durk ready. Everybody ready, we just gotta get Keef motherfuckin’ ass in tune with the shit, make him see the bigger picture. That shit’s gonna be big. Trust and believe me. I’m talking ‘bout…huge. Tours, everything. I put that “Decline” record together.
I love that record.
Come on, now…tell me I don’t know how to do this shit! I released it. That’s my record, though. I’m the baby Khaled.
What’s your relationship with Keef these days?
He doing him right now, I’m doing me. It’s still love though. We ain’t working on no music right now, I can’t lie about that, but what I can say, we got one of the hottest lil’ songs out right now. The “Earned It” joint. Did the beat go off? That goin’ crazy right now. They sure be hittin’ my line. That motherfucker got 13, 14 million views already.
You were also on Instagram saying your squad helped put Chief Keef on. What did you mean?
Well I said we put each other on, “we” meaning the whole squad. If it wasn’t a team effort, it wouldn’t have been like that. You can’t just count on one person to put somebody on. No. We focused on [Keef]. Everybody stopped rapping and we were like, “Aight, we gon’ focus on shorty.” Because Fredo and all these other people weren’t rapping at the time, so we focused on [Keef]. We knew what was going on.
Why’d you feel the need to say that?
Because I be reading comments and shit like “Keef put you on” and all this. I be like nah…you got it fucked up. I was the first one signed. How someone put me on? It just helped…you ain’t put me on. If you put me on, you going to the labels and telling them about me. That’s what putting a nigga on is. But no, you did not. You feel me? It is what it is. We still brothers though.
You said you got drugged once too.
Yeah man. I can’t talk about that right now, but it was some fucked up shit. And that was recently. I’m learning from it. That’s the worst shit I’ve ever been through because I ain’t know I was on them drugs until I went to the hospital.
What drug was it? Do you know?
Yes I know exactly what drugs I was on. They was telling me these drugs and I’m like, “I’ve never taken these drugs in my life. Ever.” Like I would never ever plan on taking these drugs. And this some shit that will make you schizophrenic, that’s what they say. I was losing my mind at the same time. For real, I was wondering like it was something wrong with me and I ain’t figuring the shit out. Like why am I thinking motherfuckers out to get me and everything? I’m thinking these things and I know it’s not me.
Then they take me to the hospital. They say you on these types of drugs. I say…”What!?” Never taken them a day in my life. And that’s fucked up that a motherfucker did that.
Did that fuck your relationship up with people?
Yup. Tremendously. I do all my own shit now. I’m not fucking with niggas. Like…nobody.
And you were out somewhere when this happened?
I was in L.A. I lived in L.A.
I was reading your Reddit AMA from about two weeks ago and you said Kanye is a genius and a cool dude.
He is…BUT it comes with a BUT on that. He’s a fucking user. Because if you so big on Chicago music right now, you would sign these guys. Because you got a label deal, I don’t have a label deal. I can’t sign nobody. I cannot help them. You have the power to help these people. You been in it for a long time. You can come and really build a fucking label. You can build your G.O.O.D. Music label there!
I’m not saying sign every last person that’s in Chicago, but nigga you had the chance to sign Chief Keef. He didn’t even have a deal at the time! You missed out, like…what the fuck? I’m lost right now.
People love when Keef and Kanye work together.
They do…but you know, that wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t make them songs. Because the nigga came to get beats from me first. And then he’s like, “Oh…I wanna get on the ‘Don’t Like.’” I was like cool. Because I’m the only one with the session, the masters, I got everything. Still do. I knew that would be a good look. Why not?
Then afterwards, I start peeping the little slick shit. Like why would you not send us the song? Keef didn’t even know the fucking song was on the G.O.O.D. Music album [Cruel Summer] until I told him. On my grandmother’s grave.
So how did Kanye get the song?
They remixed it. I gave him the MP3. This off a two track. This not even tracked out or nothing, so they put the album out without even tracking it out. But I’m still trying to figure out how the fuck did [Keef] not know his song was on a nigga album! The beat sounded different a little bit, but that was a sample they added in there. I’m not finna keep talking about this motherfucking song, this was years ago, but it was fishy anyway.
It took them a long time to register the song to ASCAP and shit. I was confused, like hold on…I never said nothing about it but I always thought about it. And then when I go back recently and look at my ASCAP and shit, it’s there. What are the odds of this? I haven’t signed off on this. Or did I? I don’t know.
There were people shitting on you for what you said…
Yeah because they don’t fucking know. They think Kanye is a fucking god. That nigga ain’t no fucking god. He might say he’s a god, but he’s not a fucking god. We’re all fucking gods, but he think he beyond a god, though. He’s not that god he wanna be. The higher power. Listen to his songs, “One man should not have all that power.” Listen to him. He saying these things. He wanna be God.
There were people saying he’s used people his whole career.
Man…I’m cutting this shit off because this shit will really go deep. And niggas ain’t ducking shit.
Did anyone from Chicago hit you up about your comments?
No. I’m the king of Chicago. They not gonna go against my word. Niggas ain’t out there. I’m out there. I’m in the streets of Chicago. I’m still on the south side of Chicago where I been at. Nothing’s gonna change that because I haven’t done anything wrong to anybody. When niggas see me, it’s love. And it would probably be the same way if [Kanye] would come there and do that. It’d probably be a better fucking thing in Chicago. Like, bro…bring your ass back to the city. Walk around that bitch. Stop these niggas from killing each other. That’s what I’m on. It should not be that. Why all rappers getting into it with each other? And we gotta see these niggas in our city. But when I go to Atlanta, if they do got beef with a nigga, they not gonna show it. It’s weird to me.
Chicago niggas, we different from them. If we got beef with a nigga, we got beef with a nigga. It’s way different. Same with New York. If niggas got beef in New York, they got beef with the nigga. They gonna come see you. I know that. Atlanta, they different, it’s different down there. But if [Kanye] would just show his face in the city, that’s all I want him to do. Instead of just doing a big ass concert. Walk around that motherfucker. Nobody is gonna touch you, trust and believe me. Just go to the hood. If the nigga would come through there and politic with niggas, this shit would be crazy! That’s all I want from niggas.
Talk about Johnny May Cash. He’s too slept on.
Johnny May Cash been slept on in the industry for a long time. When Durk and Reese got their deals, he was supposed to have a deal too. I donno what happened. Maybe it’s his attitude, his boss mentality, they didn’t like that. You can’t use him because that’s my blood. I had a boss mentality. I went and got my own deal. I decided what I wanted to do. I wanted to sign with Warner. I had meetings with Universal, all this shit. They called me personally.
You think what you’re doing is helping stop violence in Chicago?
Bro…I can’t do it by myself though. It takes all these big niggas too. Lupe Fiasco, Twista, all these niggas. They’re from the hood, but they’re from a different era. That’s what it is. They’re from the ‘90s era, so it’s different, but niggas would still listen to them. Boy if Kanye West walked through Chicago, do you know how motherfuckers would be looking, bro? Does he know how big that would be? Just to walk through that bitch. They don’t have respect for him! I’m telling you this!
[Someone mentions Waka Flocka coming to Chicago to help stop violence]
Yeah how you bringing these Southern niggas? It’s cool though. But if they bring Gucci through that bitch? Oh my god. Free Guwop. Gucci will forever live. That’s where niggas getting their lingo from, Gucci. Jeezy cool, we fuck with Jeezy, he invented the trap shit, cool, But when Gucci came, bro? He was speaking our language. Nigga I was in high school. Gucci putting out niggas – Flocka, OJ. Everybody know he brought them niggas out. Same as Nicki Minaj, French Montana – bro, come on now. Niggas really look up to Gucci.
And you got people like Chance The Rapper doing an entirely different kind of music.
We were in the studio with that nigga. For that Social Experiment album he dropped [Surf]. The one with Big Sean, “Wanna Be Cool.” I’m in that bitch, that nigga [sings like Chance]. When he brought them singers up in there and shit. He raw as hell bro, he got it. I fuck with Chance. I need him on my album. I been saying that shit. I gotta hit him up.
What’re you listening to these days?
Fetty Wap. I like K Camp. Jose Guapo. 21 Savage. He from Chi-lanta, that’s what I’ma say. I’m bringing him to Chicago. I fuck with 21. He on some straight other shit. I like that hard shit. Don’t get it twisted, when a nigga can do hard records, they can really go crazy on a lot of shit.
That’s what we saw with Keef, he got a whole range.
When the nigga did “Hold My Liquor” and all that shit, I was like aw….He’s got some songs that’s not released and he’s rapping over a fucking piano. Just a piano. I think K.E. On The Track did it. Shout out to K.E. I’m not a hater. I embrace this shit. I buy the albums so I can hear that shit. Yes, I bought the Travis Scott album. Yes, I wanted to hear that. I like that “Apple Pie” song. That bitch a fucking banger.
Why’d you feel the need to say Kanye is gonna make it look like he’s putting Vic Mensa on?
When I read [Vic Mensa’s] comments – oh yes I read everybody’s comments from Chicago – they’re saying, “Kanye put you on!” Why would you even say some shit like that? They say it to me too, “Kanye put you on!” Yeah, Kanye put me on…with some other shit! With the overseas shit! I went to Paris, they had [“Don’t Like”] blasting. Can’t speak a fuckin’ drop of English but they playing it on the radio with the cussing in it and the DJ Pharris part. That’s what I can say [Kanye] did. OK cool, that’s love. Now we overseas. Shit, thank you.
Vic is from the south side. He was in the Kids These Days band. They was fucking big. That’s why he’s big. And then when I see Kanye jumped on his song, I was like OK cool…but don’t make it seem like you put [Vic] on.
[Someone mentions how Young Chop produced Big Sean’s “10 2 10”]
Bro…I got fucked. I ain’t even gonna discuss that song. That was one song I really got fucked out of. I really felt hurt, and that’s really when I said, “Fuck niggas.” Because of that. When that nigga took that much publishing off that record. I ain’t gonna say his name, but once that nigga took that much publishing and left me and KeY Wane with that little ass shit. I was like fuck these niggas boy. We the young niggas, you supposed to split that. You got way more money than us.
I ain’t even talking about Big Sean, I’m talking about the other producer that was on the record. Read the fucking credits. But no, they went over the shit and put that sample in there. That beat wasn’t even supposed to sound like that. I’m telling you the truth. I ain’t never brought this shit up. I did the shit in a Yeezus session. My dumb ass, I gave them the track out to my drums and shit. I still got my credit but the percentage? I’m like…I’m not even gonna see a fucking dollar!