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Marcus Lakee Edwards, better known by his stage name Lil’ Keke, is an influential rapper hailing from Houston, Texas. Since emerging in the late 1990s, Lil’ Keke played a pivotal role in developing Houston’s influential screwed sound alongside DJ Screw. His southern flavored flow and lyrics reflecting the realities of Texas street life made him a local star. His indie record label Screwed Up Click became the epicenter of Houston’s rap explosion in the early 2000s. While new artists have now emerged, Lil’ Keke’s longevity and consistent output cements him as a cornerstone of H-Town’s rap legacy.


Born in 1976, Lil’ Keke grew up in a rough Southside Houston neighborhood called South Acres. He picked up rapping as a creative outlet and escape from street life. Keke originally went by the name Killa Keke producing underground mixtapes. His initial claim to fame was appearing on DJ Screw’s iconic mixtapes in the mid-90s. Keke’s laidback Texas twang flowed perfectly over Screw’s signature chopped and screwed beats.

As his local buzz grew, Lil’ Keke dropped his solo album Don’t Mess Wit Texas in 1997. Singles like “Peepin’ In My Window” and “Southside” became Houston classics. When DJ Screw tragically passed in 2000, Keke carried on his musical legacy through the indie label Screwed Up Click. With Keke as the flagship artist, Screwed Up Click launched the solo careers of many up-and-coming Houston rappers. Now over 20 years deep in the game, Lil’ Keke remains dedicated to upholding H-Town’s distinct southern sound.


After guesting on DJ Screw’s mixtapes, Lil’ Keke made his solo debut in 1997 with Don’t Mess Wit Texas. The album introduced his syrupy smooth flow and served as an anthem for Houston’s emerging hip-hop identity. Singles like “Southside” and “Pimp tha Pen” became Texas rap staples.

Keke capitalized on his hometown buzz with his sophomore album The Commission in 1998. It spawned the hit “Still Pimpin Pens” and peaked at #40 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

In 2000, Keke paid tribute to his close friend with Peepin’ in My Window, a collaboration album featuring many DJ Screw affiliates. The single “Peepin’ In My Window” became one of Keke’s biggest hits.

After DJ Screw’s death, Keke stepped up as the head of Screwed Up Click Records guiding the label’s next generation like Trae, Big Hawk, Fat Pat and more. Keke continued releasing well-received solo albums like Loved By Few, Hated By Many (2005) and Loved By Few, Hated by Many 2 (2008).

In recent years he’s dropped mixtapes like Money, Power, Respect (2012), Keke Blue (2013), and Slabs & Choppas (2019) to satisfy longtime fans. Highlights include tracks “Know What I’m Sayin” featuring UIUENO and “Outside” featuring LE$.

Over an esteemed two decade career, Lil’ Keke has established himself as a pillar of Houston hip-hop and an ambassador of the screwed sound.

Musical Style & Influences

Lil Keke’s music revolves around the slowed down, chopped up production popularized by DJ Screw. His vocals glide effortlessly across screwed beats awash in lush Phonk textures and psychedelic vibes. Lyrically, Keke touches on Southern street life – hustling, partying, pimping, struggle – filtered through his laidback demeanor.

Tracks like “Chunk Up the Deuce” capture Keke’s signature flow defined by inventive rhyme patterns and regional Texas lingo. While uncompromisingly Southern, Keke displays versatility in his delivery whether spitting rapid bars or a catchy earworm hook.

Beyond Screw, Keke is influenced by pioneering Southern rappers like UGK, 8 Ball & MJG, and the Geto Boys whose style he helped transport to a younger H-Town audience. After two decades, Lil’ Keke remains devoted to repping his city and evolving Houston’s diverse hip-hop lineage.


Lil’ Keke has collaborated with many fellow pioneers of Houston’s hip-hop rise. His alliance with DJ Screw produced classic records cementing Keke’s regional stardom. Keke was also tight with Fat Pat, Big Hawk, Big Moe and other members of Screwed Up Click who popularized Texas rap across the South.

In later years he’s teamed up with contemporary Texas MCs like Paul Wall, Trae Tha Truth, and Chamillionaire putting on for H-Town. As the CEO of SUP Records, Keke acted like an A&R guiding light for many up-and-coming Houston talents.

He’s also worked with respected national acts like Tech N9ne (“Swang”), Young Jeezy (“Throwed”), and Scarface (“Screwed Up”). Regardless of the era, Lil’ Keke only collaborates with artists who understand and respect Houston’s culture.

Performance & Tour History

As a pioneer in the Screwed Up Click movement, Lil’ Keke toured extensively across the South bringing Houston hip-hop to masses in the late 90s and 2000s.

Once hits like “Southside” and “Peeping in My Window” put Keke on the map, he performed at regional venues across Texas like Buffalo Soldiers Museum and Palladium Ballroom in Dallas.

Keke has done shows coast to coast, including tours through Southern hip-hop strongholds like Alabama, Tennessee, and Louisiana. He also headlined 101 Live, a major concert held in Houston in 2000 featuring many Screwed Up Click associates.

In recent years Keke has performed at various Houston festivals and hip-hop nostalgia shows satisfying old school Southern rap fans. He’s collaborated on stage with contemporaries like Trae Tha Truth keeping the classic sounds alive.

While not touring as heavily, Lil’ Keke continues gracing stages and reminding newcomers of his pioneering status for H-Town hip-hop. His live sets pay homage to the culture he helped build.

Personal Life

Lil’ Keke has mostly avoided headlines involving legal troubles and controversies common for rappers. However, a few personal details are known.

He is a father to a daughter named Kayla who was born in 2004. Keke had her at age 28 during the peak of his rap career.

Keke’s cousin is Fat Pat, the original leader of Screwed Up Click who unfortunately was murdered in 1998. Pat’s death led Keke to become the CEO of the label.

Tragedy also struck in 2003 when Keke’s close friend and collaborator Big Hawk was killed during a shooting in Houston. The loss of Hawk and Pat shows the harsh realities Keke has overcome.

Despite his personal losses, Keke has persevered and continued repping for Houston hip-hop culture. His focus stays on keeping his circle of family and artists tight.

Net Worth

There are no official figures for Lil’ Keke’s current net worth. However, estimates project he has accumulated at least $500,000 to $1 million over his decades in rap.

The bulk of his fortune has come through music sales. Keke released albums regularly during his Screwed Up Click peak leading to healthy merch and tour profits.

He continues earning off his extensive catalog through streaming royalties and by independent label ownership. While not rich, Keke has earned a respectable living staying dedicated to indie Southern rap.

Why Lil’ Keke Matters

Lil’ Keke’s legacy and influence on Houston hip-hop cannot be overstated. Here are some of his key contributions:

Helped launch the Screwed Up Click label and screwed music into the mainstream after DJ Screw’s death
Mentored and features upcoming talents like Trae, Z-RO, Big Pokey, and more
Pioneered a uniquely smooth Southern flow and signature Texas slang
Crafted Houston street anthems that resonated throughout the whole South
Remained loyal to his roots and independent hip-hop over decades
Proved Texas rap could thrive outside of mainstream visibility
Kept H-Town’s hip-hop subculture and sounds alive through years of evolution
Thanks to trailblazers like Lil’ Keke, Houston emerged from the shadows and cemented its status as a legendary hip-hop city. His slowed down sounds and trill wordplay created the model for future generations. Keke’s legacy continues to inspire Southern rappers chasing success on their own terms.

Top 5 Lil’ Keke Songs

“Southside” – Houston anthem celebrating his home turf over a laidback Screwed beat.
“Peepin’ In My Window” – Melodic single launched Keke into regional stardom.
“Chunk Up the Deuce” – Texas classic flaunting inventive rhyme schemes and flows.
“Still Pimpin’ Pens” – Hypnotic ode to balling delivered with signature panache.
“Hi-Low” ft. Big Hawk & OG Ron C – Posse cut showcasing Keke’s chemistry with fellow H-Town OGs.


Here are some common questions fans have about the influential Houston rapper:

Where is Lil Keke from?

He was born and raised in Southside Houston, specifically the South Acres neighborhood.

How old is Lil Keke?

Born in 1976, Lil’ Keke is currently 46 years old.

What record label is Lil Keke signed to?

He is the founder and CEO of the independent label Screwed Up Click Records.

Is Lil Keke related to Fat Pat?

Yes, Pat was Keke’s cousin and original leader of Screwed Up Click who was murdered in 1998.

Who has Lil Keke collaborated with?

Notable collabs include DJ Screw, Trae Tha Truth, Paul Wall, Big Hawk, Big Moe, Chris Ward, and UGK.

True Texas Hip-Hop Pioneer

For over 20 years, Lil’ Keke has established himself as one of the most influential figures in Houston’s vibrant hip-hop history. His steady guidance of Screwed Up Click Records helped launch the careers of numerous talents keeping Texas rap alive. While new school artists now lead, veterans like Keke laid the foundation mixing regional authenticity with mainstream appeal. His slowed down sounds and poignant street tales still resonate with longtime Southern fans. Lil’ Keke remains a respected OG today because of his loyalty to repping his city from day one.