Lil Keke Loved By Few, Hated By Many in Stores November 18th
Loved By Few, Hated By Many – In Stores November 18
About Lil Keke
Known as the innovator of Houston Texas’ world famous hip-hop style, Lil’ Keke is a bonafide living legend. In the mid ‘90s, the Southside native was the first artist to release an album from DJ Screw’s notorious collective of MCs. The first track he recorded, 1996’s “Pimp The Pen,” is one of the most celebrated songs to ever come out of H-Town. After selling hundreds of thousands of albums independently, Lil’ Keke (born Marcus Edwards) signed his first major label deal with Universal Records in March of 2007. Now Keke is gearing up to release his LP, Loved By Few, Hated By Many, which features the monster single, “I’m A G” with Cash Money’s Birdman. “I’m used to making albums real quick, but I took a lot of time on this ‘cause its my first mainstream album,” says Keke. “I took about a year and a half to make this. It’s not gonna be the same Texas rap, talking about bo’s and candy paint. I’m gonna paint pictures of every walk of this game.”
Lil’ Keke started rapping when he was just 16 years-old. His young talent was fostered by the late DJ Screw, who in the 1990s invented the chopped and screwed technique that still serves as the foundation for Houston’s unique brand of hip-hop. Keke used to freestyle in Screw’s makeshift studio with a group of teenagers who eventually become known as the Screwed Up Clik. “There wasn’t even a booth,” says Keke of his early sessions in DJ Screw’s studio. “The microphone was just out in the middle of the room. We wasn’t doing nothing but having fun and next thing we knew, people were calling us to come do these freestyles at their shows. I was 17 getting paid $2000 just to do one song.”
The first mixtape Keke was featured on was Screw’s 3 in Tha Mornin’. After the CD’s overwhelming popularity, Keke signed a $50,000 deal with independent label Jam Down Records. There he released two more albums including 1997’s Don’t Mess Wit’ Texas, which featured Keke’s legendary hood tribute, “Southside.” In 2002, Keke decided to break from Jam Down and creating his own imprint, Commission Records. Independent New York based distributor KOCH Entertainment then paired with the Houston MC to release Platinum in Da Ghetto. After dropping a series of mixtapes and independent albums in the following years, Keke’s overwhelming influence became evident in Texas’ newer generation of stars.
“The style that you hear Paul Wall, Mike Jones and Slim Thug doing was created from my style,” he says. “The slang that they’re using is a slang they got from me when they were coming up and riding around. I was the first one that put that slang out and made it sell. Now that the style he helped create has been embraced by mainstream America, Keke’s debut is poised to win over hip-hop fans nationwide. Loved By Few, Hated By Many represents all sides of Keke’s multi-faceted character. On his lead single, “I’m A G,” the Southside legend details his not-so-happy childhood and how in his father’s absense, Keke was left in charge of his household at 14 years-old.
Another song that portrays Keke’s personal drive and perseverance is “Chasing Paper” where Keke encourages his fans to follow his lead and pursue their dreams no matter what their financial situation. “I’m talking to the people working at McDonalds or people bagging groceries,” says Keke. “I don’t care if you’re making minimum wage, keep chasing your paper ‘cause you don’t know what God has planned for you.”
On “I Miss My Boys,” Keke pays respect to his Screwed Up Clik brethren, especially those who have passed, by letting them know their spirit will continue to live on through his music. With production work from Southern hit men Bangladesh and Mr. Lee, Loved By Few, Hated By Many is sure to add some much needed depth to the ringtone obsessed rap game. After all, if you’re going to listen, you might as well listen to a legend.