Lil JoJo slain in Chicago; cops look at Chief Keef’s Tweets
Chicago police are investigating possible connections between the Tuesday slaying of a teen rapper, a raging Englewood gang conflict and a mocking Tweet on the account of the victim’s rap rival — rising South Side star Chief Keef, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Joseph Coleman, known as ‘Lil JoJo’ in the rap world, was gunned down near 69th and Prairie, about a block from where Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson grew up and where her family was slain in 2008.
Witnesses said Coleman, 18, was riding double on a bike — standing on the back — when a car pulled up and someone fired six or seven shots at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Coleman was hit in the back before running to a nearby home, where he later died outside as witnesses screamed “JoJo!” witnesses said.
Hours after the murder, on Chief Keef’s Twitter account, a message was posted saying, “Its Sad Cuz Dat N---- Jojo Wanted To Be Jus Like Us #LMAO.”
LMAO is slang for “laughing my a.ss off.”
That Tweet drew angry responses among Chief Keef’s 224,000 Twitter followers.
His account later carried Tweets claiming it had been hacked and saying, “If u dnt talk 2 me or dro my manager … it’s not real.”
The 17-year-old, Chicago-born Chief Keef — whose real name is Keith Cozart — signed a record deal in June with Interscope, the same rap label of superstars including Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Eminem and Diddy.
Keef’s manager, Rovan Manuel, told the Sun-Times he was unaware of the controversy. It wasn’t until being told about the Tweet by the Sun-Times that Manuel realized why his phone rang incessantly Wednesday. His number was posted on Chief Keef’s Twitter page.
But Manuel told the Sun-Times he didn’t believe the message meant “anything personally.” He said Keef had a beef with JoJo only because “that kid made songs like Keef.”
“A lot of the stuff Keef does, that’s just cause he’s a kid,” Manuel said. “People forget that he’s a kid, a teenager … and kids make mistakes. He makes mistakes the hard way.”
Chicago police officers were on the street Wednesday night looking for Coleman’s k!ller. Police are looking to see if his murder is connected to an ongoing conflict in Englewood between the Gangster Disciples and Black Disciples street gangs that has been playing out in a series of threats on social media sites.
“Two gangs are f!ghting each other, going at each other all over the Internet and this is all stemming from that,” a police source said.
Police are also looking into whether Coleman had gang affiliations, and whether Keef or any of his a.ssociates are connected to the gang conflict or Coleman’s murder, the source said.
Many of Chief Keef’s Tweets include a hashtag reference “#300” — a known reference, police say, to the Black Disciples street gang.
Coleman’s grieving mom, Robin Russell, said she was aware of the beef between her son, Chief Keef and his allies — but not how serious the dispute had become.
“I want justice for my son,” the stunned mother said as mourners gathered at her Altgeld Gardens public housing complex rowhouse Wednesday night. “It’s a stupid and senseless k!lling.
Russell said she’d heard there were people willing to pay for her son’s murder.
“It wasn’t a gang thing, it was a rap thing,” she said. “My son was going to get a rap deal like some of them have and they were jealous.”
Russell said her son grew up in Englewood and attended Robeson High School with an ally of Chief Keef’s. He was visiting with friends and was riding on a pal’s bike when he was k!lled, relatives said.
He’d recently been discussing a record deal with star rapper Waka Flocka and Brick Squad, his mom added. He hoped to earn enough money to take his mom, three sisters and two brothers to live in Florida, she said.
Coleman’s aunt Sonia Mares-DuBose said Coleman had been trying to “do like a Tupac and Biggie thing and get under the skin” of his rivals, but not to provoke violence.
Coleman’s family was well aware of the Tweets on Chief Keef’s account following the slaying. And upset.
“How do you go on Twitter and brag about it?” she said.
In Keef’s responses on his account, Chicago-born rap star Lupe Fiasco was called out, with the Keef account posting: “wen I see him I’ma smack him like da lil b---- he is #300.”
On his account, Fiasco, who recently told a radio station he was scared of the violence Chief Keef represents, replied “I cant go 4 that @ChiefKeef & i cant let the people i love, including you my n----, go 4 that either. We kings not f------ savages and goons”
Later, Fiasco sounded despondent — and done with rap, Tweeting: “but my heart is broken and i see no comfort further along this path only more pain. I cannot participate any longer in this... My first true love was literature so i will return to that...lupe fiasco ends here...”
Late Wednesday, rapper 50 Cent Tweeted to Chief Keef: “if you still in new York come see me”
Chief Keef’s account indicated he would.
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http://www.suntimes.com/1 .. urce-says.html