Nominated by Dazed 100er Young Thug
Lil Keed was just 16 years old when he discovered what he was born to do: rap and sell records. At that age, Lil Keed, whose real name is Raqhid Jevon Render, was working shifts at Subway and McDonald’s in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. In his spare time, though, the hip hop prodigy was honing his artistic voice at a local recording studio with his younger brother, Semaja (now also a professional rapper known as Lil Gotit). Two years and a handful of increasingly acclaimed releases later, Lil Keed dropped Keed Talk to ‘Em, a breakthrough mixtape with the hit single “Nameless”.
Released in 2018, “Nameless” was certified Gold by the RIAA, its infectious, adlib-heavy flow attracting a new legion of Lil Keed superfans – among them Young Thug. In 2019, Young Thug’s record label, YSL Records, released Lil Keed’s debut album Long Live Mexico, a plethora of rap anthems showcasing guest vocals from Lil Uzi Vert, Nav and Young Thug himself. Since then, Lil Keed, who still resides in Atlanta, has continued his ascension with the mixtape A-Team, his second album Trapped on Cleveland 3 (featuring the likes of Travis Scott and Ty Dolla Sign) and being selected for the 2020 XXL Freshman Class.
With new music on its way, Lil Keed’s explosive rise continues to be a pure thrill to hear and witness. Don’t trust us? Just look at Drake’s many Instagram shoutouts to the rapper throughout the pandemic – while not confirmed yet, it’s the collaboration we’ve all been waiting for.
Text Nick Chen