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Beloit, Wisconsin, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Beloit, Wisconsin, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Solo Hip Hop R&B





There’s a long story leading up to this “Purple Helps” record (March 9, 2016). LilChief of Beloit, Wisconsin founded the 420KR3W with Tas Raww when they were younger. For the past several years, through thick and thin, the skaters have spread the love on both sides of the Wisconsin-Illinois border.

Tas got locked up when he was 17. “He and I moved to Madison after,” Chief told Basement Made in an interview. “I graduated from MMI, he didn’t”. Lil Chief explains how he took the mob from skating into business by way of music. He also brought his child into the world the year after he graduated (2013). Tas Raww gave birth to his first child around the same time.

“My first mixtape ever was Chief One,” he says. “I dropped it on 4/20, we called ourselves 420KR3W, it was a crew and we liked to smoke and everybody knew us for that.” He had his whole crew on there and no one else. Only skaters. From there, the emcee has connected with Chris Labella‘s band and Chris Classick – a well known Chicago engineer. “I’m trying to do full on production music,” he says. “It has to hit emotional chords, it has to hit home, it has to have bars, it has to have melody, it has to have breaks, it has to have moments”.

As far as Hip Hop in “The B”, Chief says “it was thriving a few years ago.” There was a spot called Pretty Boy Studios that closed down, putting a lot of artists out of a location. “He would let everybody come through and record for free or nothing,” Chief explains. “A lot of us just recording outta our houses and shit, and the basement”. There aren’t many opportunities. “There’s like one venue,” he says. “I started out doing keggers”. The artist also mentioned Rich Porter, an emcee who’s landed records with Snoop Dogg and Gucci Mane.

For the lack of city support, the 420KR3W founder started the SECRET SAUCE event in Madison with Labella. They held the event at The Vault, which is a an old bike house-warehouse sort of joint by The Dustbowl. There was griffiti on the walls, smoke in the air, even Ians pizza. Unfortunately, the last one was shut down on February 6, 2016 (photo below). “Some dumbass lit a Christmas tree on fire in front of the venue,” he explained.

There are a lot of problems facing the fine folks in Wisconsin, especially those from the Hip Hop culture. “Let’s face it, Madison is predominantly white,” he says. “It is of legislature, it’s also a college town. It all comes down to perception, we gotta get real with shit and find solutions.” I agree. Chief dedicates this record to his guy Tas, who is back on the inside once again.

“‘Purple Helps’ is an introspective track. I’m by myself, thinking about my brother in prison. I’m thinking about myself and the moves I’m going to make. It’s almost as if no one else is around me and it’s just my conscious talking. I’m just tryna get rid of these packs, make this music and smoke the purple – purple helps.”

Prod. Flywlkr. Go grab LilChief’s last project Chief Two. Look out for his music on Pandora too, he just got his own station.

“Just relax, I hit the weed boy I just relapsed
I’m just tryna find myself
With the team tryna dump these packs…
You know that purple helps” - Basement Made


There is no better feeling than the love and support of people who respect your hustle. Midwest own’s, LilChief is about to share his endless gratitude for the special person in his life that has held him down on “DEBT”. LilChief‘s first official single connects with the Hip Hop fan who craves a diversion from the everyday club banger. Having a background in Jazz, the Wisconsin Artist & Engineer decides to showcase his laid back lyrical style by layering the track with live horns. On “DEBT”, Lil Chief joins forces with Ryan McCrumb on Trumpet and Perry Campbell on Trombone. Mix that all up in Classick Studios (Chicago) with a beat by Chris LaBella? The result is vibes as smooth as velvet. - Get That Paper Son

"A.R.T.S.Y Premiere: Lil Chief’s “Debt”"

In life we meet people for a reason. It might sound cliché, but the underlying fact is that everyone who ever crossed our path has touched, influenced or inspired our lives in some shape or form. Some we connect with momentarily, others for a lifetime.

This soul-driven energy is the message that Lil’ Chief emits in his first single entitled “Debt,” produced by his good friend Chris LaBella.

“I have had many relationships with females throughout my life that didn’t end up working out, however I am still good friends with most of them. Some of them are still willing to do almost anything for me. Real loyal chicks, you feel me? I wanted to make a song for those women in order to show them my appreciation,” Lil’ Chief expresses.

The Wisconsin emerging artist infuses a unique, jazzy and rhythmic flow on “Debt.” Like a soft touch to the skin, Lil’ Chief’s bona fide vocals are smooth and meaningful.

Using music as his outlet, Lil’ Chief describes it as a form of vibration like anything else in the universe, “Our bodies are music, our thoughts are music — creating a perfect symphony.”

Driven by his life experiences, Lil’ Chief’s music can best be described as raw, relatable and optimistic. “My lyrics are the anecdotes of my life. I’ve been through a lot of shit too, so I like to put myself on blast a little, but I almost always give you a positive outcome,” Lil’ Chief says.

Showing no signs of slowing down, the young artist reveals that he will be releasing free music throughout 2016.

He also discloses about his right hand man, Bilial Lamir Hammette, who has been there since the beginning of his musical journey. Sadly, he has been missing from his hometown of Beloit, WI since 2011.

“If anyone wants to know more about the story, or knows anything at all about his disappearance, there is a contact form on my website,” Lil’ Chief says.

Lastly, he ended by saying, “I just want to thank God, my supporters that have been A1 since day one and A.R.T.S.Y for premiering my first all original single. This is literally the beginning and there is so much more to come.”

By: Astrid Sarmiento (@lilpoetrid)
Photo: DHVNSEN Photography - A.R.T.S.Y Magazine

"(New Audio)-@LilChief420KR3W “From Time (Remix)”"

LilChief has a powerful, reverberating voice and reps the 420KR3W; a stoner, skateboarding family from Beloit, Wisconsin. He’s is getting ready to drop his seventh official mixtape and to hype it up drops a freestyle to Drake and Jhene Aiko’s song, “From Time”. - GetYourBuzzUp.com

"(New Video) – @LilChief420KR3W “D. Rose”"

Lil Chief dropped his mixtape Gun Thief and decided to please his fans with a creative visual to “D. Rose” featuring Rio Gunz, complimentary of @AWashington_ behind the camera. Make sure to check out Gun Thief at http://www.datpiff.com/LilChief-Gun-Thief-mixtape.587519.html and listen to the first part of the Gun Thief series full of a fast-paced riot of drugs, sex, and gunplay that are included in the mysterious life of Lil Chief! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiq71KEAJ_k - GetYourBuzzUp.com

"Cold Case Wisconsin: Beloit teen Bilial Hammette vanishes"

The Beloit Police Department is working to crack a case unlike any it
has ever investigated. Jennifer Hoff reports. - Channel3000.com

"Skaters Fly High at Telfer"

Saturday afternoon's beautiful weather was not wasted on Telfer Park.
Dozens of skaters and plenty more spectators were on hand at Beloit’s skate park for the fourth annual Beloit Optimist Skateboard Competition. The event featured 26 competitors spread between three divisions: Beginner, Intermediate and Expert.

Each skater was given two one-minute runs and were judged by a panel of three. The top three of each division would book their spot in Milwaukee for the state competition at Four Seasons Skatepark.

The Experts were the last division to make their runs, putting a captivating capstone on the competition. In the end, Brandon Buchko, 17, of Janesville walked away with the top score of 111. AJ Jackson was second with 104, and Miles Turner, who had been bumped up from the Intermediate division after judges deemed him more appropriate for Expert, tied with David Rowe for third-place.

Prior to the Experts, the Intermediate division saw Gibson Shear, 11, of Milton, come out on top with a score of 103. He was followed by Jacob Colby and Myles Symons.

The Beginners started proceedings Saturday with Gage Taylor, 14, of South Beloit being named the top skater in the division. Mik Sheet scored a 94 to come in second-place and John Myers earned a 91 for third.

The competition was put on by the Beloit and Delavan-Darien Optimists and is part of the Sk8board Competition Series, which consists of six competitions leading up to finals in Milwaukee. Saturday's proceedings were MC’d by former champion and local hip-hop producer Trace Thayer.

“This has just been really good for all of us and for Beloit,” Thayer said.
Joleen and Kevin Austin, co-chairs of the event for the Delavan-Darien Optimists, were pleased with Saturday's event.
“I thought it went really great. It was a hard competition, all the kids skated hard, the level of competition was really high,” Kevin Austin said.
Saturday's turnout was not a record for Beloit’s competition, but the Austins were still happy with it.

“We ended up having 26 kids that participated, that's probably about average,” Joleen Austin said. “Sometimes we've had 30, sometimes we've only had 15.”

The Austins have grown close with Thayer, who won the first two editions of the skate competition in Beloit but can no longer compete due to it being a 19-and-under contest.

“Trace has been really, really awesome. He's already gone with us and done the other two locations we've done so far and he's going with us to all the others,” Kevin Austin said. “He knows the sport and he makes it exciting.”

Two other awards were earned Saturday in addition to the rankings at the top of each division.

Max Deyl of Beloit earned the Bring It Award, a new award this year given to a skater who best embodies sportsmanship and optimism. The Bring It Award was sponsored by Skate XS.

“It's really great out here because you've got a good group of guys encouraging each other and helping each other out,” Kevin Austin said. “It's a good, positive thing for everyone.”

The final event of Saturday's competition was the Best Trick competition, sponsored by Rebound Wheels, during which each skater had an opportunity to show off his very best. In the final contest of the day, Buchko backed up his earlier finish with another win.

The series of competitions next heads to East Troy at the Rossmiller Skate Park on Aug. 24. The final two competitions will be Sept. 7 at Baer Park in Cross Plains and Sept. 14 at Andy's Skate Park in Delavan.

Skaters from the Stateline Area or anywhere else are welcome to make the trip for any and all competitions.

Skaters came from afar to Telfer Park Saturday.
Tony Dlugi and his parents traveled from Belvidere, Ill. to take part in the competition.

“They don't have anything like this down (in Belvidere) and I think it's a really good thing for them to put on,” Nicole Dlugi said.

The Austins are already planning next year's series of competitions and hope that it will see growth and expansion in the coming years.

“We're already working on, for years down the road, maybe expanding this to a nationwide competition,” Kevin Austin said. “We've got some contacts to expand it and we're hoping next year we can maybe expand it to a couple more competitions in the state already.” - Beloit Daily News

"Bringing Heat To The Streets Vol11 Featuring @AceHood @TasRaww @LilChief420KR3W, & @ZoneEz Mixed by @KingFusion Hosted by @MrGetYourBuzzUp"

DJ Fusion is back with another hot mixtape “Bringing Heat To The Streets Vol 11” Presented by 1 two Punch and 420 KR3W. BHTTS 11 features Tas Raww, LilChief, Zone EZ, We the Best Music Group artist Ace Hood and is Hosted by Mr. Get Your Buzz Up. - GetYourBuzzUp.com

"Friends Create, Sell Music in Honor of Missing Teen"

BELOIT, Wis. -
Beloit police said officers are still looking for leads in the case of teen who went missing nearly a year ago.

While that investigation stays open, friends of Bilial Hammette are not giving up, and they're using their musical talents to help in the search for Hammette.

"I just think about KO and I can't help but shed a tear about the situation," said recording artist Tahj Stewart, also known as Tas Raww.

He was hard at work in the studio Saturday, putting the finishing touches on his first mixtape "KO'd." The record is a collaboration with Trace Thayer, also known as Lil Chief.

It's in honor of their friend Hammette who has been missing from Beloit since Aug. 6, 2011. Hammette was also a recording artist and went by the name "KO."

Stewart said Hammette was the first person he ever recorded songs with, making his recent success with music bitter sweet.

"I'm on the radio in different parts of the country. Things are starting to shine bright but still there's one thing that's missing and that's Bilal," said Thayer.

Thayer helped produce the album at Pretty Boy Studios, a place he said Hammette used to come with them.

"His presence is with us everyday when we step into the studio," said Thayer.

Many of the 18 tracks feature Hammette and his face graces this cover.

"This is all for Bilial. Every bar we wrote, every hour we spent in the studio. It's all for Bilial and trying to bring him home," said Thayer.

Thayer poured his heart out to his missing friend over a track titled "Faded Too Long". He also shot a music video and posted it on YouTube.

With Hammette's memory permanently inked in their hearts, his friends are vowing to never forget him.
They hope their passion for music will encourage others to help them find him and fill the hole his disappearance has left in their lives.

"Even if people don't like hip hop, this $5 is going toward a greater cause for a kid that went missing and don't nobody know nothing about," said Stewart.

You can pick up a copy of their mixtape at Pretty Boy Studios at 413 E Grand Ave. in Beloit.

Their CDs will also be available at the Benefit for Bilial on Aug. 6. For details on the Benefit, contact Trace Thayer at 608-692-4854.

Copyright 2012 by Channel 3000. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. - Channel3000.com

"Beloit Natives Produce Record for Missing Friend"

Trace Thayer misses his friend Bilial Hammette, who he called KO.
The 18-year-old Beloiter disappeared with out a trace Aug. 6, 2011, and now his friends and family want to refocus the effort to try to find him by planning a fundraiser and dedicating a musical album to him.

Thayer and friend Tahj Stewart recently released an album titled “KO’d” in honor of their friend. The album of hip-hop, pop and R&B music was produced on the 420 Kr3w label. It was produced by Thayer and Michael “Loco” Brown-Valedez. This is the third album Thayer has made and Stewart’s first.

Thayer said he has known Hammette since 2007.
“We went to school together and we made music together,” Thayer said.

He said both he and Stewart are from Beloit and both live in Madison, where they attend school. Thayer graduated in May from Madison Media Institute and Stewart is still attending classes.

Both men are close to the family and they have been trying to get through the pain of their missing friend and family member.

“We try to push through and keep hoping and praying he will come home,” Thayer said.

He said he believes there is someone out there who knows what happened to Hammette.

Thayer said he and other friends want to join with Hammette’s family in the near future and hold a fundraising event with the money raised to go toward a reward for anyone who has information about their lost friend.

At the time of Hammette’s disappearance, he did not have access to a vehicle and his long absence without contacting friends or family is highly unusual.

Hammette has a dollar sign tattoo under his right eye. When he was last seen, he was wearing dark jeans, a red T-shirt and black Nike tennis shoes.

Anyone with information about Hammette can call the Beloit Police Department at 608-364-6801 or Rock County Communications Center at 608-757-2244. - Beloit Daily News

"Lil’ Chief – “Purple Helps”"

What do we do when there’s a void we can’t fill? Some of us go through life trying to fill that void with food, work, parties, drinking, sex or drugs.

We search for the missing part that completes us, creating a world for ourselves that gives us temporary relief from the obscurities.

In Lil’ Chief’s case, he breaks free from the madness by taking one big exhale on his newly released single “Purple Helps.” Despite the fact he hasn’t smoked in three months, music has been his form of therapy.

The introspective track which is produced by Flywalker, speaks on Chief’s tribulations and is inspired by his brother Tas Raww, who is back on the inside once again.

“I have a lot on my plate right now, and the only thing keeping me from pulling out my hair is some good smoke,” Chief said.

Reminiscing back to the time when he wrote the song, Lil’ Chief explains that the song reflects back on the types of patterns that he was living in.

The repetitive cycle of incarceration, drug dealing, making and losing money were all risks that he had to deal with.

“It’s almost as if no one is around me and it’s just my conscious talking. I know a lot of people go through similar things, so I just want people to be able to relate to this song, more than get a message from it,” Chief says.

In the end, the high is temporary, but the music lasts forever. If you are going through the motions just listen to “Purple Helps” below.

By: Astrid Sarmiento (@lilpoetrid)
Photo: Dylan Hansen (@DHVNSEN) - A.R.T.S.Y Magazine


Chief One (2011)
The Whiteboy Chronicles (2012)
KO'd (2012)
Lost & Found (2013)
Best of 420 KR3W (2013)
Gun Thief (2014)
Chief TWO (2015)


It Be Like That EP (2018)



My name is Trace.  My friends call me LilChief.  I grew up mostly in Beloit, WI.  “Central City” – the traffic point.  I feel like I saw my whole life before it happened.

As a kid, the second oldest of four boys to a single mom, I moved from city to city, somehow always ending up back in Beloit.  I spent a lot of time in the backseat of my mom’s car with the music turned all the way up.  My mom was a hip-hop child.  She had me at a young age, so we kind of grew up together.  Her life was crazy..

After my mom was fatally wounded in a severe car crash, we settled in Beloit.  I spent the majority of my teen years skateboarding, smoking weed, sellin anything I could to make a dolla, and being “God’s gift to women”.  During those years I did it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I seen many things I will never forget.  I’ve been writing songs about those experiences ever since.

After graduating high school in my hometown, I moved to Madison, WI to be apart of the recording program at Madison Media Institute.  The days were long.  I took 3 busses to school during the weekdays and walked many miles.  Between my classes, my part-time mcdonalds job, and the thrill of being in a bigger city, sleep was something I barely knew. I suppose I’ll have time to sleep when I’m dead.. Maybe.

Shortly after moving to Madison, something terrible happened…  In August of 2011, my best friend Bilial Lamir Hammette went missing from my hometown of Beloit, WI.  He still has not been found to this day and local law enforcement has done nothing to help find him.  These events rocked the boat of my life like a violent storm.  We are still searching for answers.

While in Madison, in efforts to cope with the disappearance of my best friend and musical partner, I worked on tons of music.  I wrote and recorded many songs.  From 2010 to the present I have released seven underground mixtapes.  My heart, hunger, and soul can be heard in those tapes.  I stood on dozens of stages, opening for TYGA on both his Careless World Tour and his Closer To My Dreams Tour. I opened for J-Cole, Young Jeezy, ScHoolBoy Q, Isaiah Rashad, AudioPush, Stat Quo, Vince Staples and more.  I built a loyal fanbase from house parties, live music venues, and skateboarding events.   It’s been a fulfilling journey so far.

The most recent project I put together was “Chief TWO” Hosted By: DJ PAIN1.  Its the second installment of a series of mixtapes I am working on.  It chronicles the eye openings of a small city stoner and his relationships with those around him over some familiar jams.  Check it out.

Im working on new music now.  The new music I am working on reflects some of the harshest moments in reality and the ability to overcome them.  These moments seem all-too common in the daily human experience, yet they are rarely visualized or felt beyond the person experiencing them.  I hope that it serves as an inspiration for my friends, family, and fans as well as motivation to keep pushing.   When you get knocked down, you gotta get back up.  I’m a skateboarder.  We know all about it.  Life is Good – God is Great!

Band Members