CHICAGO — A "meddling, attention seeking" Rev. Michael Pfleger is to blame for the cancellation of a Chief Keef hologram concert aimed at raising funds for a 13-month-old baby who was fatally struck by a car that police say was fleeing a shooting, organizers say.
"Chief Keef's Stop the Killing Now benefit concert has been postponed. The meddling, attention seeking Father Pfleger, who bullied the owner of the downtown theater to back out of his contract, will not succeed," according to Alki David, CEO of FilmOn, the organization behind the concert.
Pfleger "is exploiting this tragedy and taking money away from the victims and solid charities who are doing good work in Chicago," David said.
The concert, announced by Keef's label Sunday, was set to feature a hologram performance by Keef and take place at Redmoon Theater in Pilsen at 8:30 p.m. Friday. But hours after that announcement was made, Redmoon Theater officials said they would not host the event.
The concert drew criticism from Pfleger of Auburn Gresham's St. Sabina Church who called out Keef for being responsible for much of the violence.
Reached Friday morning, Pfleger called the accusation that he bullied Redmoon was not true.
"That's a complete and total lie. I've never had a conversation with Redmoon," Pfleger said.
Redmoon canceled the concert because "we did not understand the full nature of the event so the event won't be happening here," the theater's chief of staff Hutch Pimenthal said Thursday evening.
The rapper, whose real name is Keith Cozart, and David said they would've matched all donations for the family of 13-month-old Dillan Harris. The boy was killed Saturday by a car police say was leaving a shooting that left Marvin Carr, also known as rapper Capo, dead. Capo was a friend of Keef's.
David said the concert, in which the rapper would perform via hologram from Los Angeles due to outstanding warrants in Chicago, was a way for the influential, but controversial rapper, to influence those in his hometown.
"Chief Keef is 19 years old and a loving father. His example of new maturity, redemption, and wanting to give back can influence young people on the South Side like no caterwauling clergyman can," David said in a statement. "We will bring Keef's message of peace to the streets."
Pfleger said he recognized the rapper's influence on Chicago, but said Keef couldn't promote peace while advocating for violence in his music.
"If Chief Keef wants to come out and be a voice for peace, he can be a very powerful voice," Pfleger said. "He just needs to be consistent."
After Keef's concert had been announced, Pfleger had written on Facebook that Keef "has been one of the encourager's of the Violence"
"Instead of having a concert...why doesn't he Man Up and acknowledge it's time to stop this violence and Apologize for his part in it!!!! we don't need a concert...we need PEACE......7 DEAD and 24 SHOT this weekend and he wants to do a concert.....Chief Keef....SHUT UP!!!!!" Pfleger wrote.
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