In 2009, Asher Roth opened the frat rap floodgates when he dropped “I Love College” to usher in a brief but fascinating era of hip-hop. During that span, we saw imitators like Sammy Adams, Mike Stud, and Hoodie Allen briefly seize the spotlight before being all but lost to history in addition to the meteoric rise of Mac Miller, who made a name for himself with party-centric lyrics and a happy-go-lucky persona before his impressive evolution into a Serious Artist.
In 2011, a new name burst onto the scene in the form of the enigma known as Chet Haze, a Northwestern student who introduced himself to the world with a remix of Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” inspired by his university’s colors.
It turns out this very outlet chatted with Chet 10 years ago in the wake of the track making waves, which is an absolutely fascinating read considering the series of events that have unfolded over the past decade—all of which led to him officially achieving his final form this week when he (who is apparently now going by ‘Chet Hanx”) dropped the video for the official anthem of the “White Boy Summer” he claims will soon be upon us.
I’ll admit I couldn’t help but love Chet when he first burst onto the scene. I initially thought he was playing a character based on his previous attempts at acting and the family he came from, but I eventually realized he was simply an absolute character in real life; the guy who let everyone know how much he loves ripping blunts while flashing guns and posting shirtless mirror selfies on Instagram.
The internet seemed to take great joy in piling on Chet following his proclamation concerning the impending White Boy Summer, which caused more than a few people to ask the same question I assume Tom Hanks has asked his son at some point in time: Why are you the way that you are?
Let’s try to get to the bottom of that, shall we?
When we spoke to Chet a little over a decade ago, he had this to say when asked where he envisioned himself being five years later:
“I see myself having a much better grasp of my craft. I just want to master the craft. I want to be the best artist I can be.
Right now I’m just focusing on making the best music I can and thinking about HOW. I have a pretty clear sense of the story I want to tell, but now I have to see HOW I’m going to go about telling it.”
Unfortunately, he hit a bit of a hitch four years later when he decided “I should be able to say the n-word” was a hill he was willing to die on. Shortly after, his name popped into the headlines yet again after trashing a hotel room in London and finding himself pursued by the British authorities as a result.
After taking a break from social media, he returned to Instagram following a stint in rehab for the substance abuse issues he’d been battling since he was a teenager. That included the cocaine addiction he said played a role in some of his more regrettable behavior, a candid admission his dad praised him for.
Chet flew below the radar for a few years before returning with a vengeance at the 2020 Golden Globes, where he showed off the Jamaican patois I can only assume he’d spent plenty of time honing over the course of his hiatus.
Despite getting slapped with accusations of cultural appropriation, Chet reprised the accent when he shot his shot at Adele after the singer found herself in a similar situation when she wore a Jamaican flag bikini and knotted her hair as a misguided tribute to the Notting Hill Carnival.
If 2020 couldn't get anymore bizarre, Adele is giving us Bantu knots and cultural appropriation that nobody asked for.
This officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic.
Hate to see it. pic.twitter.com/N9CqPqh7GX
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) August 30, 2020
I personally couldn’t help but laugh at that video despite its Slightly Problematic nature, and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t also derived some enjoyment from the patently absurd White Boy Summer saga. At this point, I can’t tell if Chet is the least self-aware person on the planet or if he’s simply channeling his inner Andy Kaufman, as those are the only two ways to explain the video that marks the end of his transformation into the archetypal White Dude Who Thinks He Can Rap.
Is there a chance Chet will be able to top himself after a vanity project where he surrounded himself with twerking women and dressed up as a stereotypical cholo while dancing in front of a lowrider with a 40 tucked inside a paper bag in his hand? If history is any indication, I wouldn’t be surprised, but I don’t think the world is ready for what that might look like.