The DJ Kenn / Chief Keef story is one of those “Hollywood Needs to Make this into a Movie stories”. A Japanese teenager, originally from the Yamagata Prefecture of Japan comes to the US, ends up in Chicago speaking very little English and not knowing a single soul in the city, just knowing he wants to make rap music. A Good Samaritan who turns out to be 11 year old fledgling rapper Chief Keef’s uncle finds the Japanese tourist walking down the street in Woodlawn (a 98% black neighborhood) and immediately takes him in, gives him a place to stay. Kenn sets up a recording studio in the apartment and begins recording local rappers including Keef. Everyone is completely broke and struggling to survive (DJ Kenn claims to have worn the same pair of Jeans every day for a year). When their song and video for Bang goes viral Keef becomes an internet superstar nearly overnight and signs a major label deal worth 6 million dollars (followed immediately by much controversy as Chicago drowns in blood and homicide, the same shit he raps about without reservation).
It’s also a story with many gaps and unanswered questions. Why did DJ Kenn end up in the hood in Chicago, wandering around aimlessly? What happened in the 4 years between Kenn landing in Chicago and Keef blowing up? Where’s Kenn been since Keef’s rise to superstardom (Keef’s biggest hit “Don’t Like” and subsequent studio album was produced by Young Chop, who has become a star in his own right, while DJ Kenn has not been heard from in a year). It’s a story that has all the ingredients of a great film - a bizarre culture clash, overnight success from rags to riches, great music, controversy, and the immediacy of the internet. But let’s face it, movies like that dont get made anymore… or do they?