Chicago drill figurehead Chief Keef’s third album arrives on the five-year anniversary of his landmark debut, Finally Rich - a half-decade that’s been barren in terms of hits and marked by diminishing returns artistically. That changed with the excellent Thot Breaker mixtape in June - and Dedication builds on its playful, outward-looking aesthetic, resulting in Keef’s most varied and satisfying album to date. Noirish drama is paired with sleek melodies and streamlined beats on Bad, with its deeply satisfying brass fanfares, and piano-driven highlight Keke Palmer; staccato strings give forward momentum to Mailbox and Get It. For a rapper who has often thumbed his nose at technical virtuosity, Keef’s craft is increasingly complex and intriguing.
Alex Macpherson is a freelance journalist who writes for The Guardian, New Statesman, Metro, Fact and Attitude. He distracts himself by checking tennis results, attending street dance classes and trawling for new music in the name of research