XO Gallivanting Boy

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Category: keys

MUSIC: Keys "Hello, Goodmorning" Freestyle

WARNING: Tracks in this post do contain profanity


“Yes I am general, I stay in attack mode!” Color me surprised when I log into Twitter to find a new track out for the Spartans. A freestyle released yesterday, female emcee, Keys, Baltimore native addresses… well just about everything over Hello, Goodmorning. And the funny thing is, I was mapping in my head how I was going to address somethings that loosely dealt with her, so I’m pretty ecstatic she gave me an excuse to do so.
Follow our coverage of Keys below the clip including information about upcoming projects and industry beef.
The first thing to address is Shy Lady Heroin. Self proclaimed Queen of the Baltimore rap game, Shy Lady Heroin has taken issue with Keys and what seems to be her instant success. What seems to some to be an argument saying that Keys has dues to pay, sounds to me like a cry for attention. Entitled “Where Keys at?” the diss goes as far as calling out Keys by her entire name, while pointing out a point that has been stated long before this diss, Keys didn’t have any dealings with the rap game before her dissing of Nicki Minaj. While I’m not against beef in the industry, I’m not looking for publicity stunts and this seems to be exactly that, and with both rappers residing in the same city, I was sure something would pop off.


To say that everytime I watch this video I start to laugh… is the least of it. I DIE everytime I watch this video. Coming in at just under 20 minutes, it was a long video but one of her shorter UStreams. Beginning with a parody of Nicki Minaj’s response to her own diss, Keys addresses the entire Shy Lady Heroin diss as well as any other outstanding disses that have yet to recieve her attention. Disappointed because she’s receiving fire instead of love from her own city, Keys promises to persevere and “make an example” of Shy, who has requested two weeks for the battle Keys proposed. I liken it to a public hanging, or if we’re back at the campfire, putting Shy on the stake. Many people have forgotten that these type punishments were not only for the ones punished but also as a reminder to all those who observed, the consequences of their actions.
With hopefully a pending battle, Keys has also addressed future endeavors. Of the things she discussed were
  1. Keys the Problem T-Shirts that the Spartans have been requesting.
  2. A Mixtape
  3. An EP using all original beats
  4. A Music Video for every song on The Infiltration mixtape.

VIDEO: Keys "Go Off"

“Pause, somebody better #TellemBoutMe” Baltimore artist on the rise Keys almost yells in her new single, “Go Off,” and apparently everyone has been doing exactly that. With over 19,000 views only hours after the release of the accompanying video, there is more than just a buzz that now surrounds the artist. Being managed by Violator West Management, Keys seems to be making all of the right movies in her career, from performing on stage with the one who most view as Queen of the Rap Game, Lil Kim, to limiting just who she gets on a track with.

See screen shots from the video as well as our coverage.
Keys makes sure it’s not about people in the industry that she’s collaborating with as she harnessed the power of her fans for this video. Very much like the official video for the now infamous “Nicki Diss” this video features alot of screenshots of her fans and surprisingly, she takes the time to show their talents as well as her own as some of them have dancing cameos. In addition to collaborating with her fans and the industry she even goes so far as to bringing in up and coming designers. SBShades, which are no stranger to 803, are featured in the video. From what I count there are definitely 2, maybe even 3 different pairs.
The concept of the video is very much in the vein of the image Keys is procuring and has created for herself. It’s very raw and there’s something about the black and white that speaks deeply into what she represents. It seems, atleast to 803, that Keys views the rap game in a very definite and distinct way, very defined. This relates to the color palette of the video and the rawness that it evokes. Whereas I was ready for the camp fire roast, I was happy to be able to rock out by it. I don’t really expect to ever expect to sit around and sing kumbaya though, and neither do any of the rest of the Spartans.
What Keys has in store for us next, I’m not sure but we’re ready for the ride. Although I haven’t heard much about it lately, earlier this quarter there was talk of a “Keys to Your City” tour. Also this single is available for purchase so maybe, just maybe that means that there’s an album in the works. No matter what she does, I’m almost positive that she’ll atleast keep us sustained with a couple of singles or features in the meanwhile, like this one off of Ron Shulant’s mixtape entitled Set it Off.

Check out the rest of Ron Shulaunt’s mixtape, When It’s All Said & Done here.

VIDEO: "Sponsor" by Keys


She said it in the intro to her mixtape, and now it’s evident: “The Infiltration has begun Michelle, the infiltration has begun…” Yes, Keys is back with her first video from her mixtape The Infiltration to her version of the track “Sponsor” originally made by Teiarra Mari. Some of the over 14,000 that have seen the video already within hours of it’s dropping, may feel “what where is she going with this, why is she all done up?” And I’ll tell you my feelings and you can take it or leave it.

See the rest of our coverage below the clip

For her first video Keys tackles the issue of gold diggers basically. I liken it to a campfire. Keys calls all her Spartans around the fire for a story, and a lesson to learn. She explains how she was told to be really pretty and to act really sexy so that a “sponsor” will basically underwrite her. She does this, but finds that the relationship is shallow, and that he has no depth. She decides that she can’t settle for a relationship, dumps the guy, and makes a resolution that “Kei Kei looks for a King!”

The video, styled by Jet with make-up and hair by Jaya Jstar, Keys’ natural beauty becomes apparent. We see that she has a completely different side from the original “Nicki Diss era” and that she can truly market herself. Whereas some may watch the video and think, isn’t she doing everything she said she didn’t want to do in the industry, everything she is supposedly standing against, we understand that those people haven’t listened to the song close enough to find that she is flipping the song on it’s head. She’s saying she’s been there, done that, and it’s not what she needs.

My favorite part hands down is the small exiting clip of “Butterflies and Bellies,” also from the mixtape. After our campfire story, Keys brings out the stokes and puts a few artist over the fire, for a quick roast. Even through the hardness of the video, an all black backdrop, shades and a black cap, Keys shows a natural beauty. In one video she makes her versatility evident, as well as her passion for this industry. I for one, will be waiting for the next move by her camp, and I’ll be saluting all the way.

Note: All pictures courtesy of TeamKeysLA

REVIEW: "The Infiltration" by Keys

Cover Art for Keys mixtape, The Infiltration
So, there hasn’t been much posting going on but hopefully things have been put in place that will compensate for that. Anyway, while at first I was waiting for some questions to be answered by Keys, the artist of YouTube fame who has just recently dropped her debut mixtape, I’ve decided to go ahead and do my formal review of The Infiltration. And really in truly, after listening to the mixtape as many times as I have(I’ve even gone so far as to burn it onto a CD so I can listen in the truck) one can clearly see that “Keys is here, The Infiltration has begun Michelle… The Infiltration has begun…”


See our review below the clip

A mixtape of 17 tracks without any collaborations, besides the addition of the audio of three different YouTube videos, The Infiltration serves sort of like an announcement to the industry. With tracks like Four, I Am, and Radio, Keys makes it clear what she’s coming into the industry to do. Citing predecessors like KRS-One and Lauryn Hill Keys stays true to statements she’s made about going back to what she lauds as “real hip hop.” She even goes so far to tiptoe around the fact that her music won’t be for everyone; that it has a depth, and requires an intellect that those into the frivolous raps like “Bottle of Chris on that, Gucci this, Louis purse,” won’t be able to get into her rhymes but she’s not into the industry for them.
She also basically sends out a proclamation in tracks like Aint Over, Hit Em, Butterflies and Bellies, as well as Ether that some of the people in the industry will need to be ousted. Tracks like this make up the meat of the mixtape and hold within a confrontational tone. The difference is that it’s not because of their success but instead because they have “set us back.” She begins to reveal their faults in an attempt to cleanse the industry. For anything to get better there has to be a cleansing in of the old before bringing in the new.
Other tracks like Sponsor also hold life lessons and show that Keys is really and truthfully does have morals and that it’s not a front. In the song she shows how at first she was looking for a “sponsor” and after a while she sees that it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. She finds that her intelligence is detrimental in this situation and finally she finds that she should just sponsor herself and find the right man for herself.
All in all, the mixtape has a wonderful storyline and a very direct message. My only detraction is that I would have hoped that there would be little to no mention of Nicki Minaj(the actual Nicki Diss didn’t make the mixtape). I felt that there were a little to many allusions to her but other than that I really feel like it was a good project. While at the offset it was for purchase, you can now download the mixtape from here.

MUSIC: Keys Interview

So I’ve been keeping up with Keys, of course. I said that I was a Spartan so I must keep up with my commander lol. Anyways she’s done a few interviews, one of which I read a while back and then she’s done a couple radio spots. She was on The Deal on BET, and she’s now gearing up for her mixtape entitled “The Infiltration” to drop on May 22nd. Anyways, a new interview just came out on the BMore Fab blog, and I recently have had a discussion with Glory D Productions, an associate of Miss Hustle.

Excerpts from the interview and my issue about Glory D…
First up the Keys interview. Writing since the age of 12, Keys never intended on pursuing music as a career. Her present pursuit is because of a video on YouTube she found of present rapper, Nicki Minaj, a female rapper that hasn’t released an actual album yet but still finds herself on the tips of all of our tongues. Influenced by her father, Keys counts KRS-1 as inspiration. This is the reason that she has a raw old school vibe in her rhymes. This is also the reason she felt like she’d done no wrong in taking shots at Nicki. She says:

If this [rap beef] happened in the 80s, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Our generation is not used to people being up front when it comes to Hip Hop. It was nothing back in the day for someone to drop a diss track on someone else. Now it’s such a big deal when it really shouldn’t be.

She says that the diss wasn’t planned, that it “came out of a group of friends voicing our opinion on her.” She intends to hold that spontaneity throughout her career saying that she doesn’t plan things and that’s what makes her different from other artists. Because of this quality and the fact that she doesn’t sensor herself she has a different response when asked is she a role model:

As a person, yes, but as an artist no. I try not to think about stuff like that when I write. I said I’d never write for a particular person and I don’t consider my lyrics child-friendly. (source)

For this I applaud her. Now in addition to this interview I myself have been talking with Glory D from Glory D productions. There’s a few things that I want to ask Keys about involving Glory D, Miss Hustle, and an artist named Rah but up until now she won’t answer my tweets and she also hasn’t addressed the Miss Hustle diss to my knowledge. I will be looking for the time if and when she does.

VIDEO: Nicki Minaj Diss by Keys


YAS, Spartans, Barbies, and onlookers alike, the official Nicki Minaj Diss video by Keys has officially been dropped. And even though I said I would leave this word in the past decade, in special circumstances I must pull it out: this video has so much SWAG!! Like it’s nothing but realness. There’s no elaborate hair, no crazy wardrobe, hunni even the make-up is even done in a very bare essentials type manner. It immediately shows the difference between the artist Keys is and the one that Nicki has molded herself into. And the video can’t be too much o f a flop, as of 30 minutes ago it was at 221,000+ views.

Keys vs Nicki Minaj

I know I’m a little late with this but… tell me that Keys didn’t just rip NIcki and all of her barbie friends to pieces? A Baltimore native Keys is coming for Nicki, obviously and is setting herself up as a “real” artist. She represents real people and all that jazz… as you can tell on her other tracks that have leaked from her upcoming mixtape. Whereas I really and truly don’t think that the shot should be an effective one because Nicki came into the game from the jump stating that it was all about branding, I feel like Keys has that fire that Nicki had when I first heard those first couple of mixtapes. Oh and she imitated the flow to a T, added her own spin and SLAYED my favorite barbie. If you like what you heard above get the download link along with two other tracks that leaked from her mixtape below. I also discuss the pros and cons of the artists.

Nicki Diss by Keys(Studio Version)
I Am by Keys

A quick video I did about the artists.