Chicago drill music pioneer and internet sensation Chief Keef seems to be in a “real damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. He is vilified for the violent lyrics and images presented in his music, which many blame for the violence in Chiraq (which may be an embellishment). Now, that he’s trying to be philanthropic and contribute to the cessation of violence in the city with his newfound Stop The Violence Now foundation, people aren’t trying to hear it. The loudest voice of the dissent pastor of St. Sabina Church The Rev. Michael Pfleger who said, “His foundation says ‘stop the violence’ but his music glorifies violence, and you can’t have it both ways.” This sentiment has been expressed most recently with the abrupt cancellation of a benefit concert that Keef planned to hold to benefit the families who experienced tragedy recently.
The show was being held in honor Keef’s Glo Gang comrade, Capo ( Marvin Carr) who was gunned down and 13-month-old Dillan Harris, who was run over in his stroller as the killer, Antoine Walker sped away from the scene. In an innovative move, Keef was going to perform on a stage in Beverly Hills and appear on stage in Chicago at the Redmoon Theater via hologram. The concert was orchestrated by Greek billionaire Alki David, owner of HologramUSA and FilmOn (the imprint that Keef is currently signed to). The money that the show made was going to be donated to the Capo and Harris’ families. Keef and Alki were to match the total amount raised.
However, the concert was cancelled at the last minute as the hologram truck was en route to Chicago. Debbie Saul, marketing director for the Redmoon Theater told the Chicago-Sun Times, “Redmoon did not understand the full nature of the event. The event will not be taking place at Redmoon.” Following the abrupt cancellation, show promoters tried to book the concert at a strip club in the suburb of Harvey, but the mayor there rebuffed them.
Chief Keef is no stranger to cancelled shows, as shows in the past have been cancelled for fear of violence. This was different, though. The young rapper seems to be turning over a new leaf. Owen Philips, spokesman for Alki David, said that Keef “wants to speak out against all the violence.” He expounded, “It’s something new in Keef’s music that he’s trying to express.”
What do you think? Should the city of Chicago be so cold to one of its sons trying to help? Would it behoove city officials to be more open to working with someone with as much influence as Chief Keef?