Chief Keef Avoids Jail After Denying Living in Northbrook
CHICAGO — Chief Keef's fans have found him in Northbrook, even though his probation officer apparently couldn't.
The 17-year-old rapper, in trouble for being out of contact with his probation officer, avoided jail Wednesday after prosecutors accused him of violating his probation.
Prosecutors cited a Dec. 10 police report saying Northbrook Police visited him at a home in the north suburb. He told police he lived there, prosecutors said, but Keef's probation officer didn't know that.
The lawyer for Chief Keef — whose real name is Keith Cozart — told a Juvenile Court judge the rapper doesn't really live there. He reportedly lives in Dolton with his grandmother.
Attorney Dennis Berkson said Keef is building a studio at the Northbrook home and records there. And his fans found out.
"They were pulling up in front of the residence, piling up. They were taking pictures and ringing the doorbell," Berkson said. "Northbrook police came to tell him this was happening. It was a courtesy to tell him, 'People know where you are.'"
Judge Carl Anthony Walker said he would rule on whether Cozart violated his probation on Jan. 28.
Cozart is on probation for pointing a gun at a Chicago police officer. Prosecutors already have alleged Cozart violated the probation by handling a rifle at a New York shooting range during an on-camera interview with Pitchfork Media.
Walker is also to rule on that alleged probation violation on Jan. 28.
Cozart stood in a juvenile courtroom for the hearing Wednesday, flanked by family members. His probation officer testified at the hearing, saying she hadn't heard from Cozart since Dec. 18, the day his first album "Finally Rich" dropped.
But Berkson maintained that the alleged probation violation is "much to do about nothing."
"To say he fell off the grid ... or is unaccounted for is just not right," Berkson told the judge. "What he is doing is what we've tried to tell the court, and that's working."
Since Cozart's gun arrest his star has risen, thanks viral YouTube videos of his song "I Don't Like." They've been viewed tens of millions of times online. He has since been signed to Interscope Records.
Cozart's grandmother, Margaret Carter, left the courtroom angry.
"He's not Chief Keef to me," she said. "He's little Keith, and we live there [in Dolton]."