Why Was Chief Keef Banned From BET Awards?


The term “blackballed” gets thrown a lot these days. Rappers fail to land on the Billboard charts, and all of a sudden, there’s a massive conspiracy to take them down. In many cases, this simply isn’t true. However, for Chief Keef, there’s validity behind these claims regarding his relationship with BET. 

The Chicago rapper will perform at the 2023 BET Awards – the first time in his illustrious career – this Sunday, June 25th. He will be joining an all-star generation-spanning roster of talent for their celebration of Hip-Hop’s 50th anniversary. Given Chief Keef’s impact and influence, it only makes sense that he joins the likes of Fat Joe, E-40, Tyga, Big Daddy Kane, and more to celebrate the milestone. 

Still, At one point, it felt like a far-fetched concept to see Chief Keef appear at the BET Awards or any other programs on the network. The network banned him from the 2013 iteration, and he unleashed a fiery rant on social media in response. Although the reason for the ban wasn’t clear at the time, many chalked it up to his controversial nature, whether due to the violent nature of his music, his feuds with other rappers, or his NSFW social media posts. Keef would later claim that he was effectively banned from BET. As fans anticipate his performance this Sunday, we’re diving into the reason why he was blackballed in the first place. 

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The Genesis Of Chief Keef Vs. BET

SAN BERNADINO, CA – SEPTEMBER 7: Chief Keef performs as part of the Rock the Bells Tenth Anniversary at San Manuel Amphitheatre on September 7, 2013 in San Bernadino, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

As fans inquired why the hottest rapper at the time wouldn’t appear at the BET Awards, Chief Keef explained in 2014 that it was because he failed to show up at 106 & Park. “BET banned me a long time ago becuz I didn’t attend 106 & Park cuz I ain’t f**ckin’ feel like it,” he tweeted to a fan. It’s an explanation that doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given that this is the same rapper that flaked on a video shoot with 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa for the lead single of his debut album.

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Keef Bashes The Network

At the height of Chief Keef’s popularity, he took social media where he declared, “F*ck BET Awards.” Shortly after revealing the mishap at 106 & Park, he went off on the network and the annual event with promises to stir up problems. “I’mma let y’all know right now. If we go to the BET Awards, chains gettin’ took, b*tches gettin’ f*cked. Baby mama’s gettin’ f*cked, still pregnant. All of that,” he said.

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BET Blackballed Chief Keef

In 2016, Bow Wow finally confirmed that the speculation surrounding Chief Keef’s relationship with BET was, in fact, true. On Twitter, Bow Wow confirmed that BET placed a ban on the Chicago rapper, which he hinted later played a role in Keef’s inability to break into the mainstream. “BET banned sosa. I was fighting to get sosa on 106 it was no go from the uppers. They really black balled him from mainstream its cr*zy,” he wrote. 

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BET Lifts Ban 

Chief Keef performs in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 05: Chief Keef performs at Brooklyn Bowl on December 5, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

This Sunday, Chief Keef will join an all-star roster of talent, which includes Big Daddy Kane, DJ Unk, Ja Rule, Kid N’ Play, Soulja Boy, Master P, MC Lyte, and plenty of others for the BET Awards Hip Hop 50 Medley. It’s unclear what song Chief Keef might perform but we could imagine he’ll be one of the highlights at the show. 

The BET Awards will take place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on June 25th, 2023. The show begins at 8 p.m. Will you be tuning in?


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