In “Kills” by Chief Keef, we’re diving deep into a narrative laced with the motifs of street entrepreneurship and indulgent luxury lifestyle, all framed by the harsh realities of the life Keef narrates. The song is a flex, through and through, exhibiting Keef’s hustle in the drug game, his taste for high fashion, and the lethal potential beneath the designer garb—a metaphorical and perhaps literal reference to keeping a firearm close.
The track kicks off with Chief Keef, aka Sosa, paying homage to his crew, GBE (Glory Boyz Entertainment), and his block, O’Block. The intro is like a roll call before getting down to business. Keef jumps straight into detailing his grind with lines like “I sell, I ship, I bag, I seal,” which is a straightforward rundown of his dope game operations. The mention of swagging out in Gucci and Louie isn’t just about fashion—it reflects the rewards of his hustle and the high life he now enjoys. When Keef says “big knots in my Balmain’s, it is,” he’s talking about carrying a fat stack of cash in the pockets of his expensive Balmain jeans. But underneath that luxe exterior, “the thing under this Louie, it kills,” is a heavy hint that he’s armed and dangerous, keeping a weapon tucked under his Louis Vuitton attire. The repetition of “I sell” followed by the associated actions reinforces the cycle and rhythm of his street business.
The next verse takes the listener higher, literally and figuratively, as Keef talks about being “so high up off this dope, I need a parachute.” There’s a dichotomy at play—Keef’s intoxicating success in the game and the drug-induced high. He’s riding in a Bentley, signaling his rise in status, but it’s “filled with residue,” an allusion to the remnants of his work and possibly drug use. The lines “I got my dawgs with me and now I let them loose / Tell the cops lies ’cause I can’t tell the truth” hint at his loyalty to his homies who are ready to unleash havoc, and his need to stay one step ahead of law enforcement. The cops won’t get the real story from him. And then we hit the flex: from “Louie sandals” to his son rocking “Louie pampers” and his crib smelling like “Gucci candles.” Keef is living in a world drenched in designer, an emblem of his success. The phrase “thoinky oinky” is slang for high-quality weed, and the repetition emphasizes the constant presence of both the drug and a firearm in Keef’s life.
The hook reiterates Keef’s drug-dealing process and the money he’s pulling in, but then he pivots to the change in perception from others—”You can’t hate me now, I’m in foreign cars.” The juxtaposition of his past struggles with his current status is stark. He’s ascended from the bottom and now women, who previously disregarded him, are drawn to his newfound prestige. Keef talks about carrying “the dope” in his “Louie backpack,” another nod to the mingling of street life and luxury brands. His sportscar “racing to the racks” speaks to his pursuit of wealth, moving as fast as the foreign cars he drives.
Even as Keef wraps up, the song’s closing lines maintain that blend of hustling and luxury, a reminder that his environment has evolved but the game remains the same. The repeated “bang” at the end of each chorus is like the punctuation mark on his life’s sentence—it’s aggressive, definitive, and resonates with the potential for violence that underscores his experiences.
“Kills” is a track that paints contrasting visuals of opulent excess and gritty street life, with Chief Keef weaving the threads of his reality through luxury brand name-dropping and the relentlessness of the hustle. It’s a vivid tableau of the life he knows, filtered through the braggadocio and defiance that’s become synonymous with his brand of hip-hop.