CHICAGO — Chief Keef seemed relaxed in the Cook County Juvenile Court's waiting room Tuesday, before the hearing that ended with him getting locked up for violating probation on charges he pointed a gun at a cop.
The superstar teen rapper from Englewood wore a black leather Pelle Pelle jacket with a fur collar and was flanked by members of his hip-hop entourage, Glory Boyz Entertainment — Fredo Santana, Gino Marley, Capo and SD.
Chief Keef recognized me as one of the pesky reporters following his legal troubles. Over the last few months I've showed up at court, knocked on his grandmother's door, badgered his manager and lawyer, slipped him my business card and made many failed attempts to get his attention — and an interview — via Facebook and Twitter.
I broke the ice by asking Chief Keef, real name Keith Cozart, why he didn't follow me on my Twitter handle, @Konkolskorner. He laughed.
We talked for a few seconds about my conversations with his grandmother, Margaret Carter, who outed the famous rapper as a homebody who spends too much time on the Internet and has too many girls visiting his bedroom.
"She's crazy, right?" Chief Keef said. "Always saying too much."
When I said I thought that Ms. Carter, Chief Keef's legal guardian, was a nice woman, he smiled wide and nodded.
"Yeah, she nice," the 17-year-old said.
That was it. He didn't give me an interview — or even promise a Twitter shout-out to his more than 500,000 followers.
About two hours later, Chief Keef — who calls himself "Sosa" — was being led to juvenile detention. He turned over his phone, but didn't seem affected by the court ruling.
Afterward, Chief Keef's manager told a reporter to quote him as saying "kiss my ass." When I asked the rapper's uncle, Alfonzo Carter, for a comment, he gave me a hard stare that I understood to mean he wouldn't be saying anything about his nephew's incarceration.
Minutes after leaving the courthouse, members of Glory Boyz Entertainment — that's GBE for short — declared their frustration, disdain for the police, and support for their jailed "CEO" Chief Keef on Twitter.
Capo posted "Free My Boy @ChiefKeef He a Be Back Soon #300," on his Twitter handle @Capo_GBE300. It was followed by another tweet, "#Cpdk," which is street slang for Chicago police department killer. And "Just left Court For @ChiefKeef Me and My #SQUADD #GBEGloryboyz Finna Spazzout #300."
Fredo Santana, whose raps have received millions of views on YouTube, tweeted a message that appeared to be aimed at GBE fans. "Sosa a be back down real soon I'ma hold s--- down me an the squad got chu #GBE," he wrote. His next tweet was "F--- the police."
Less than an hour after Chief Keef was placed in custody, "Free Chief Keef" and "#FreeSosa" was trending worldwide on Twitter.
Chief Keef's manager Rovan Manuel tweeted to the rapper's fans, "I was there in the court room, he let me no what to do so keep buying his music and everyone else in GBE."
Then Manuel, whose Twitter handle is @uncleromgmt, announced that Chief Keef's new mixtape, Bang 2, is "on the way."
Other GBE members also used Chief Keef's incarceration to market their music on social media.
Fredo Santana tweeted phone numbers for "#Bookings, #Shows & #Features."
Even jail couldn't stop the social media marketing machine that is @ChiefKeef and #GBE.