Chief Keef Gets 60 Days in Jail Despite Plea for 'One More Chance'
Here's another thing that Chief Keef doesn't like — jail. But he's got 60 days to deal with it.
The rising teen rap star was sentenced to 60 days in jail Thursday for violating his probation from a previous gun charge — when he pointed a gun at Chicago police officers.
"I beg you, please," Chief Keef pleaded with Juvenile Court Judge Carl Anthony Walker. "Give me one more chance to show you. ... I am a very good-hearted person. I have not picked up any more cases. That's not my life anymore."
The 17-year-old rapper, whose real name is Keith Cozart, then broke down in sobs. His mother bowed her head and cried, too.
But the judge hit him with a two-month sentence nonetheless. He said letting Chief Keef return to his family's custody would be detrimental to the rapper and the people of Illinois.
Prosecutors said in court that Chief Keef is a member of a faction of the Black Disciples street gang known as "Lamron" — which is Normal spelled backward. Authorities say it's a gang reference to a stretch of Normal Boulevard in Englewood, Chief Keef's old neighborhood.
Chief Keef, wearing county-issued blue sweats and white canvas shoes, hugged and kissed his mother and grandmother before heading off to serve his time.
"I think, under the circumstances, that this is something that Keith can really live with," the rapper's attorney, Dennis Berkson, said outside court. "And hopefully he'll get out of this and go on with his career and go on with his life."
Prosecutors brought the probation violation case against the Interscope Records star after he appeared in a Pitchfork.com video holding a rifle at a New York gun range. Earlier this week, Walker said Chief Keef exhibited a "clear disregard for the court's authority" in appearing with the gun.
Before being sentenced, prosecutors read lyrics from Chief Keef's "Love Sosa" rap on his "Finally Rich" album, which debuted last month to strong sales.
Prosecutors pointed to a spoken word intro to the song that mentioned gangs, guns and even being on probation as a sign that the teen was unrepentant.
Chief Keef's attorney Dennis Berkson told the judge that Chief Keef lyrics shouldn't be taken as a confession.
"People say whatever they want in a song. I'm sure that the Beatles said really goofy things in songs," Berkson said. "It doesn't mean theywere out to commit a crime."
Berkson said the rapper was indeed sorry for his behavior and that the judge had "scared him straight."
Chief Keef, in addressing the judge, said some of his lyrics were "bull stuff."
"I'm sorry for all the wrong I have done," Chief Keef said. He told the judge that he has nearly completed his high school equivelency degree and that his second daughter was born earlier this month. Chief Keef said realizes that he has a big opportunity and he "does not want to blow it."
His mother, outside the courtroom, maintained her son "didn't do anything, not really. He's just rapping about what he lives next to."
The rapper's grandmother, Margaret Carter, said her grandson is going to be OK after he gets out because, "he's growing up fast."
Berkson said his client isn't the same person the public sees.
"You can't really look at the video and say that's who this young man is," Berkson said. "You have to remember he's 17 years old. And he speaks about things he knows. He talks a language that a lot of young people listen to, as evidenced by sales of his records and his popularity on YouTube.
"He has a lot to say, and he has a lot to say in the future. And he'll go on from here," Berkson said.
The sentence means Chief Keef will have to delay touring to support his new record.
His manager, Rovan Manuel, said the scheduled tour would not be canceled but that other rappers with Chief Keef in Glory Boyz Entertainment — Capo, SD, Gino Marley and Trey Savage, among them — would fill in. Also, a new song by Chief Keef, offering fans a sneak peak of the rapper's upcoming mixtape "Bang 2" will be released Thursday night, Manuel said.
Hours after the hearing Manuel texted a message to DNAinfo.com Chicago that stated what people hear in Chief Keef's songs is just the experience of a "17 year old kid from Chirac." Chirac is slang for violent neighborhoods in Chicago.
And now, Manuel wrote, Chief Keef will have new hometown experiences to rap about because he has "seen the northshore and some of the other things Chicago has to offer."
Before the sentence, Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Jullian Brevard said Chief Keef "thumbed his nose at the court." He said the judge had earlier showed him mercy by allowing him to remain free, and the rapper made a song and bragged about it.
"Enough is enough," said Brevard.
Chief Keef was lead out of court in handcuffs.
The teen rapper can appeal the sentence after serving 30 days in juvenile detention.
He is scheduled to return to court on March 14.