Keef's loyal fanbase in Chicago was built on the support of local listeners and through a network of likeminded rappers like Keef's cousin Fredo Santana, SD, Lil Durk and Lil Reese, as well as producers like Young Chop and DJ Kenn. DJ Kenn, who was literally taken off the street by Chief Keef's uncle after coming to Chicago from Japan, explain's Keef's appeal this way: "First time I came to the studio, I didn't [work] with a lot of people. But when Keef came to my studio, I was like, this boy... He's different. [He] always comes with something new. Everybody is trying to [rap like] somebody [else] - no disrespect to anybody-but Keef, each song he comes with something new, just him."
But the moment that gave Keef the most exposure to the world outside of Chicago was, ironically, the result of another Chicago rapper: Kanye West. On March 12, Keef released his second mixtape, Back from the Dead, featuring the song "I Don't Like," a single so huge that it became Keef's calling card, and on May 1, Kanye West released a remix of "I Don't Like" featuring himself, Chief Keef, Pusha T, Jadakiss and Big Sean. Nobody in the rap world could ask, "Who the hell is Chief Keef?" after that. Rap fans waited eagerly for months until, fittingly, the biggest signing windfall came to Chief Keef on June 16, 2012. On that day, Keef told MTV that he'd signed to Interscope (and signed a publishing deal with Dr. Dre). Keef's historic deal included an Interscope imprint for his team (Glory Boyz Entertainment), his own line of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones called Beats by Keef, and a biopic about his life. Now, with the buzz surrounding his signing behind him, Keef is moving on to his next step: another mixtape and his debut album. The mixtape, Finally Rich, which comes out later this year, will find Keef accompanied by some of the biggest rappers in the business. His currently untitled debut album, is slated to drop by the end of 2012, and it will cap off one of the most amazing stories in hip hop.