Most important, while local rappers often distance themselves from the region's sound when attempting to go national, Deified is unmistakably a contemporary Bay Area album, even as it looks back to classic mob music.
Since his deal with Koch involves just one album, the disc could be the springboard back into major label consideration. "I didn't want to get tied up for three or four years," Keak concluded. "I want to drop this album, see how it do, then talk to the majors again." Here's hoping Deified leads to that conversation.