Keith Cozart (born August 15, 1995), better known by his stage name Chief Keef, is an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. He has signed a major record deal with Interscope Records, along with 1017 Brick Squad, and was the CEO of his own record label Glory Boyz Entertainment. His debut album Finally Rich was released on December 18, 2012.Buyanovsky, Dan (May 6, 2013). "From The Mag: Chief Keef At Home". XXL. Retrieved May 10, 2013. Drake, David (June 25, 2012). "Chicago Rap Blazes Up From the Streets". Spin. Buzz Media. Retrieved August 4, 2012. Horowitz, Steven (November 12, 2012). "Chief Keef "Finally Rich" Tracklist & Cover Art". HipHopDX. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
Keith Cozart was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in the Englewood neighborhood on the city's South Side. He attended Dulles Elementary School and the Banner School, a therapeutic day school. Cozart dropped out of high school at age 15. He began rapping at a very young age, regularly listed as 5, using his mother's karaoke machine and blank tapes to record his music.Austen, Ben (September 17, 2013). [Public Enemies: Social Media Is Fueling Gang Wars in Chicago "Public Enemies: Social Media Is Fueling Gang Wars in Chicago"]. Wired. Retrieved October 6, 2013. "Chief Keef and Lil JoJo, two rappers from the South Side neighborhood of Englewood..." Gale, Alex. "On the Verge: Rapper Chief Keef". BET. Retrieved August 3, 2012. Drake, David. "Where Did Chief Keef Come From?". Complex. Retrieved January 31, 2014. Shapiro, David. "Chief Keef's Double F Life". Interview. Retrieved January 31, 2014. Drake, David (April 27, 2012). "Where Did Chief Keef Come From?". Complex. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
While under house arrest for a previous weapons charge, Cozart posted several videos to his YouTube account. The attention he received increased during the short time between the release of several mixtapes and music videos, including "Bang", "3Hunna" and "I Don't Like". After two locally successful mixtapes, "I Don't Like" became a local hit in Chicago. It also caught fellow Chicago rapper Kanye West's attention, and West created a remix of the song with rappers Pusha T, Jadakiss and Big Sean.
In the summer of 2012, Keef was in the middle of a bidding war with many labels to sign him including Young Jeezy's CTE World. He would end up signing with Interscope Records due to them giving him his own label to run in Glory Boyz Entertainment. The deal is worth six million dollars over a three album deal. According to the deal Interscope has the right to pull out of the contract if he doesn't sell 250,000 copies of his debut LP by December 2013. Chief Keef's debut studio album Finally Rich, was released on December 18, 2012. Featured guests on the album included rappers 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross and his fellow Glory Boyz member Lil Reese.
On March 26, 2013, it was announced that Keef would be a part of XXL Magazine's 2013 Freshman Class. On May 8, 2013, Gucci Mane announced via Twitter that Chief Keef was the newest member of 1017 Brick Squad Records. On his 18th birthday, August 15, 2013, Chief Keef celebrated by releasing the mixtape Bang Pt. 2. Bang Pt. 2 was highly anticipated as the first project following his debut album, but ended up disappointing quite a few and received mixed critical responses. On October 12, 2013, he released Almighty Sosa another mixtape, however leading up to release he did not do much promotion for it. Following his October 2013 jail term, he began working on his second studio album and a biopic.
On January 14, 2014, Chief Keef announced working on a new mixtape entitled Bang 3, which as the title suggests, is the third installment to his Bang series. On February 13, 2014, Chief Keef revealed the cover art to his upcoming mixtape Back From The Dead 2 which will serve as the sequel to his critically acclaimed mixtape Back From The Dead. On February 17, 2014, Keef would state that his former lean addiction and bad mixing contributed to the lack of quality music on his two mixtape projects Bang Pt. 2 and Almighty So and that he himself was also disappointing in both projects. On February 26, 2014, Keef revealed that he would release a EP before his second studio album Bang 3, entitled Bang 4, as a preview of sorts. On February 27, 2014, Fredo Santana announced that he and Keef were going to release a collaboration album. On March 13, 2014, Chief Keef would release the first official single from Bang 3 entitled "Fuck Rehab" featuring his fellow Glo Gang artist and cousin Mario "Blood Money" Hess, which would mark for Hess's final appearance on a song before his death on April 9, 2014. On March 14, 2014, Chief Keef released the official music video for "Fuck Rehab". The following month, on April 1, 2014, Interscope executive Larry Jackson announced that Bang 3 would be released on June 10, 2014, but it was again delayed. On October 21, 2014 Keef was dropped by Interscope Records, but confirmed via Twitter that every project he had planned, including the release of the long-awaited Bang 3 would still be released on December 25, 2014, as he planned. Young Chop criticized Interscope's decision to drop Chief.Kramer, Kyle (April 28, 2012). "RedEye Interview with Chicago rapper Chief Keef". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Lipshutz, Jason (May 1, 2012). "Listen: Kanye West & Friends Remix Chief Keef's 'I Don't Like'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 3, 2012. Miles, Dante (January 19, 2013). "Chief Keef Speaks On 50 Cent Not Being His Mentor, Signing With Interscope Over CTE". HipHopDX . Retrieved May 10, 2013. Horowitz, Steven J. (January 23, 2013). "Chief Keef's Deal With Interscope Records Revealed To Be Worth $6 Million". HipHopDX. Retrieved May 10, 2013. B., Jarrett (July 7, 2012). "Chief Keef "Finally Rich" Artwork". Hip Hop Wired. Retrieved August 3, 2012. "XXL Freshman Class 2013 Cover Revealed - Page 2 of 2". XXL. March 27, 2013. Retrieved May 10, 2013. Diep, Eric (May 8, 2013). "Chief Keef Joins Gucci Mane's 1017 Bricksquad". XXL. Retrieved May 10, 2013. Russell, Alex (August 15, 2013). "Mixtape: Chief Keef "Bang Pt. 2"". Complex. Retrieved August 25, 2013. X, Dharmic (October 12, 2013). "Mixtape: Chief Keef "Almighty So"". Complex. Retrieved July 10, 2014. Jackson, Dan (October 15, 2013). "Chief Keef Heads To Jail For Probation Violation". XXL. Retrieved July 10, 2014. Lilah, Rose (March 31, 2014). "Chief Keef Announces "Bang 3" Release Date [Update: New Date Announced". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved July 10, 2014. Smith, Trevor (February 13, 2014). "Chief Keef Reveals "Back From The Dead 2" Mixtape Artwork". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved July 10, 2014. V, Russell (January 17, 2014). "Chief Keef Admits He Hates His Mixtapes Because He Was on Lean". VladTV. Retrieved July 10, 2014. Smith, Trevor (February 26, 2014). "Chief Keef To Release "Bang 4" EP Before "Bang 3"". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved July 10, 2014. C.M., Emmanuel (February 28, 2014). "Chief Keef And Fredo Santana Are Coming Out With An Album". XXL. Retrieved July 10, 2014. "iTunes - Music - F*ck Rehab (feat. Big Glo) - Single by Chief Keef". iTunes. Apple. March 13, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014. "Chief Keef f/ Blood Money "F**k Rehab" Video". Complex. March 13, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014. J., Miranda (March 31, 2014). "Chief Keef's New Album Has A Release Date". XXL. Retrieved July 10, 2014. Williams, Houston (October 21, 2014). "Exclusive: Chief Keef Dropped By Interscope Records". All Hip Hop. Retrieved October 21, 2014. Keef, Chief (October 21, 2014). "Fuck that Everything that was Supposed to drop Still dropping😤 10days left for #BFTD2and Christmas #B3 SituationGang!". Twitter. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Smith, Trevor (November 7, 2014). "Young Chop On Chief Keef's Parting With Interscope: "How Did They Drop Him? He Sold 200,000"". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
Following his signing to Interscope Records they rewarded Keef with his own record label which he named Glory Boyz Entertainment, which would be a subsidiary under Interscope. He signed his various friends to the record label such as Lil Reese, Fredo Santana and Young Chop. The label had already been active since 2011, however only released mixtapes and was not a full on record company. After releasing Keef's Finally Rich in December 2012, the label was set to release an album by Lil Reese in the coming months, along with various mixtapes. However, on January 3, 2014, Chief Keef said that Glory Boyz Entertainment was "no more," and was starting a new record label named Glo Gang. Prior to his death, Blood Money revealed in an interview the members of Glo Gang to be Chief Keef, Tray Savage, Ballout, Capo, Tadoe, Justo and himself. Justo is the only member of Glo Gang that wasn't part of GBE. Justo is the younger brother of former GBE member Fredo Santana.Current ArtistsChief Keef (Glo Gang/1017 Brick Squad)Lil ReeseTray SavageBalloutCapoGino MarleyTadoeJustoFormer ArtistsFredo SantanaSDBlood Money (deceased) Meara, Paul (January 5, 2014). "Chief Keef Tweets About Stolen Marijuana While In Rehab | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHopDX. Retrieved July 10, 2014. Big Glo's Last Interview: Gucci Mane Is Big Homie. VladTV (YouTube). April 23, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
On January 27, 2011, Cozart was apprehended on charges of heroin manufacture and distribution. He was found delinquent and served time on house arrest.
In December 2011, Cozart left his grandmother's home holding a coat over his hands in front of his waistband. A policeman stopped to question the rapper, who dropped the coat, flashed a handgun and ran away. Officers chased then 16-year-old Cozart, who turned around several times and pointed the gun at them. The policemen "discharged their weapons," but missed. They caught him a half-block later and recovered the pistol, which was loaded. Cozart was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm on a police officer and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He was also given a misdemeanor charge for resisting arrest. He was held in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center until a judge sentenced him to home confinement at his grandmother’s house.
On September 5, 2012, Chicago Police stated that Cozart was being investigated for a possible connection in the shooting death of fellow rapper and Englewood resident, Joseph Coleman, who performed under the stage name "Lil JoJo". This came after Keef had mocked his death on Twitter, which he later claimed was the result of his account being hacked. Coleman's mother has openly claimed that Chief Keef paid to have her son killed.
On October 17, 2012, Cook County prosecutors asked a judge to remand Cozart to juvenile detention for alleged parole violations stemming from a video interview he held at a shooting range which included him discharging a firearm. A hearing was set for November 20, 2012 which was subsequently pushed back January 28, 2013 and then moved up to January 15. The website that posted it, Pitchfork Media, was ordered by the court to provide the interview's footage after they removed it three months prior. On December 31, 2012, Cozart was issued a judicial summons for a new and unrelated alleged parole violation. Prosecutors claimed that he failed to notify his juvenile parole officer about a change of address. A hearing was set for January 2, 2013. Cozart scored a victory in court, when the judge allowed him to remain free over prosecutors request that he be jailed.
On January 15, 2013, Cozart was taken into custody after a juvenile court judge ruled that the aforementioned gun range interview video constituted a probation violation. Two days later, Cozart was sentenced to two months in a juvenile detention facility and was additionally made a ward of the state. On March 14, 2013, Keef was released from a juvenile detention center after serving the 60 days for violating his probation.
On January 17, 2013, Keef was sued by Washington, D.C.-based promotion company Team Major for $75,000 for a missed show. According to the firm, Keef was supposed to perform at the IndigO2 Arena in London this past December 29, 2012 but never showed. Neither Keef nor his label has given any kind of response as to why he missed the date. He ignored the lawsuit and the court sided with Team Major, ordering Keef to pay $230,019 to Team Major by default.
On May 20, 2013, he was arrested in an upscale hotel in DeKalb County, Georgia for allegedly smoking marijuana in public and for disorderly conduct. He was released later in the day. Eight days later, Keef was arrested for driving 110 mph in a 55 mph zone in his hometown Chicago, and also for driving with an unlawful amount of passengers. He was later released on a bond. He returned to court on June 17, and pled guilty to speeding. He was ordered to pay a $531 fine, serve 18 months of probation, complete 60 hours of community service and undergo random drug tests.
On October 15, 2013, Keef returned to jail for a 20-day sentence due to a probation violation. The probation violation was due to testing positive for marijuana. On October 24, 2013, Keef was released ten days early for good behavior. However, again on November 6, 2013, Keef was sent back to jail on another probation violation. Then following a stint in rehab, Keef was arrested on March 5, 2014 in Highland Park, Illinois for DUI of marijuana, driving on a suspended license and cited for having no proof of insurance.
On February 4, 2014, Kim Productions filed suit against Cozart to recover losses they allege they incurred after he failed to appear at a RapCure benefit concert in Cleveland, Ohio in June 2013. The suit alleges that Kim Productions provided Cozart with a $15,000 deposit for the performance. Despite the advance, the lawsuit further alleges that as a result of Cozart's failure to appear, the concert had to be cancelled.Konkol, Mark (January 14, 2013). "Police Shot at Chief Keef After Rapper Pointed Gun at Them, Cops Say". DNAinfo Chicago. Retrieved January 15, 2013. Phillips, Rashad (January 14, 2013). "Police Shot At Chief Keef Prior To 2011 Arrest". HipHopDX. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Konkol, Mark; Janssen, Kim; Horton, Allison (September 5, 2012). "Lil JoJo Tweeted his location just hours before he was slain". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Gorner, Jeremy (October 20, 2012). "Sources: South Side shootings could be linked to rap feud". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Horowitz, Steven J. (September 5, 2012). "Chief Keef Laughs At Death Of Fellow Rapper". HipHopDX. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Kuperstein, Slava (September 9, 2012). "Chief Keef Denies Involvement In Murder Of Chicago Rapper Lil Jojo, Claims Twitter Account Was Hacked". HipHopDX. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Muhammad, Latifah (December 3, 2012). "Lil JoJo’s Mom Says Chief Keef “Paid Somebody” To Kill Her Son [VIDEO]". Hip Hop Wired. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Ryon, Sean (January 8, 2013). "Chief Keef's Probation Hearing Moved Up Two Weeks". HipHopDX. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Ryon, Sean (December 5, 2012). "Pitchfork Media Ordered To Turn Over Video Of Chief Keef At Gun Range". HipHopDX. Retrieved December 6, 2012. Main, Frank (December 31, 2012). "Sources: Rapper Chief Keef moves to Northbrook but doesn’t tell probation officer". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 31, 2012. Meisner, Jason (January 2, 2013). "Judge: No 'credible evidence' Chief Keef moved to Northbrook". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 3, 2013. Main, Frank (January 17, 2013). "Tearful Chief Keef gets 60 days in juvenile jail for violating probation". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Horowitz, Steven J. (March 14, 2013). "Chief Keef Released From Juvenile Detention Center". HipHopDX. Retrieved May 10, 2013. Ryon, Sean (January 17, 2013). "Chief Keef Hit With $75,000 Lawsuit Over Missed Show". HipHopDX. Retrieved May 10, 2013. Rys, Dan (August 5, 2013). "Chief Keef Ordered To Pay $230,000 Over Abandoned London Show". XXL. Retrieved August 25, 2013. Monde, Chiderah (May 21, 2013). "Chief Keef arrested: Rapper busted for smoking marijuana at swanky hotel". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 21, 2013. "Rapper Chief Keef arrested for disorderly conduct". UPI. May 21, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013. Ryon, Sean. "Chief Keef Charged With Driving 110 MPH In A 55 MPH Zone". XXL. Retrieved May 31, 2013. Main, Frank (June 17, 2013). "Chief Keef's bad day: Pleads guilty, hit with second paternity suit — gets arrested again". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Cite error: The named reference xxlmag.com was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Kramer, Kyle (October 23, 2013). "Chief Keef Released From Jail 10 Days Early". Complex. Retrieved July 10, 2014. Jackson, Reed (November 6, 2013). "Chief Keef Is Going Back To Jail". XXL. Retrieved July 10, 2014. C.M., Emmanuel (March 17, 2014). "Chief Keef Is Arrested For DUI". XXL. Retrieved July 10, 2014. Hailey, Jonathon (February 4, 2014). "New Lawsuit Alleges Chief Keef Hates Cancer Charities". The Urban Daily. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
Cozart was born when his mother was 16, and is named after his deceased uncle. At the age of 16, Cozart had his first child - a daughter, called Kay Kay, born Kayden Kash Cozart. Cozart was served with a request for child support by the child's mother. Two of his cousins, Fredo Santana and Tadoe, were on his label Glory Boyz Entertainment. According to his lawyer, Cozart is estranged from his biological father. Cozart's stepbrother was shot dead on January 2, 2013. Cozart's cousin, Mario Hess, a rapper known as Big Glo, who performed as Blood Money, was shot and killed in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood on April 9, 2014. Hess had been signed to Interscope Records just two weeks prior to his killing.@JrCeleb Chief Keef interview featuring DJ Kenn. PAYOLA TV (YouTube). January 11, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2012. Cite error: The named reference xxl-db was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Bossip Staff (December 5, 2012). "Chief Keef Gets Served With Child Support". Bossip. Retrieved December 7, 2012. Drake, David (February 9, 2013). "Q & A: Fredo Santana Talks the GBE Crew Album and Chicago Rap Misconceptions". Complex. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Konkol, Mark (January 7, 2013). "Chief Keef's Stepbrother Shot Dead on South Side". DNAinfo Chicago. Retrieved January 7, 2013. Diep, Eric (April 10, 2014). "Chief Keef's Cousin Blood Money Killed In West Englewood Neighborhood". XXL. Retrieved July 10, 2014. Nickeas, Peter; Gorner, Jeremy; Kot, Greg (April 10, 2014). "Chief Keef's cousin Big Glo shot to death in Englewood". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
ContentsImage1.1 Controversies1.1.1 Rhymefest and Lupe Fiasco1.1.2 Instagram
Cozart is often seen as a representation of the "Chiraq" gangsta rap culture. LA Weekly reported that, at least on Instagram, Cozart, "appears to take fatherhood seriously." LA Weekly also reported that Keef's Glo Gang entourage respects the rapper. One member of the Glo Gang, Ballout, stated, "We learned all that from Sosa, we be in the studio with him so much,” calling him, "a rhyming machine. A music genius. Black Justin Bieber, if you ask me.” The New York Times stated that Chief Keef, "symbolizes," Chicago's drill music scene, and is the, "best known of the young generation of Chicago rappers." Keef has drawn comparisons to 50 Cent, as The New York Times writes, that like 50 Cent, Keef makes thuggery, "a major part of his early-career persona." Lupe Fiasco, who has been involved with a controversy with Keef, has been referred to as an "antagonist" of sorts to Keef's more gangsta-rap persona. The New York Times writes, "Lupe Fiasco is a stern and didactic teacher, but it’s arguable that Chief Keef’s music is far better at ringing warning bells." Additionally, Chief Keef is often referred to as, "Sosa," by himself, his peers, and the media. The nickname, "Sosa" is a reference to Sammy Sosa, a renowned baseball player, who played for the Chicago Cubs.
Rhymefest and Lupe Fiasco
In June 2012, Chicago rapper Rhymefest authored a blog post critical of Chief Keef's image and message, describing Cozart as a "bomb" and a "spokesman for the Prison Industrial Complex". The post was also critical of rappers Waka Flocka Flame and Rick Ross, citing similar reasons. Rhymefest reiterated these views in a subsequent interview with Salon.
In an August 2012 interview with Baltimore radio station 92Q Jams, Lupe Fiasco stated that Chief Keef "scares" him and went on to describe the other rapper as a "hoodlum" and representative of Chicago's "skyrocketing" murder rate. Keef responded on September 5 with a tweet threatening Lupe Fiasco, but then claimed that his account had been hacked and that the previous tweet was inauthentic. On September 13, 2012, Fiasco released a video interview in which he made amends to Keef.
On September 15, 2012, Cozart uploaded an obscene photograph to the image sharing application Instagram. As a result, his account was subsequently banned for violating Instagram's terms of service.Simpson, Isaac (November 6, 2014). "Was Chief Keef Too Gangster for Interscope?". LA Weekly. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Caramanica, Jon (October 7, 2012). "Chicago Hip-Hop’s Raw Burst of Change". The New York Times. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Hudson, Tanay (November 10, 2014). "Chief Keef Releases Four New Projects On YouTube". All Hip Hop. Retrieved November 14, 2014. Keef, Chief. "Love Sosa Lyrics". Rap Genius. Genius. Retrieved November 14, 2014. Seth, Akshay (January 23, 2013). "Let's Do Some Lines: 'Love Sosa' by Chief Keef". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved November 14, 2014. Ryon, Sean (June 27, 2012). "Rhymefest Blasts Chief Keef, Interscope Over Promoting Violent Music". HipHopDX. Retrieved September 29, 2012. Guarino, Mark (December 18, 2012). "Rap’s killer new rhymes". Salon. Retrieved January 7, 2013. Chandler, D.L. (August 30, 2012). "Lupe Fiasco Says Fellow Chicago Rapper Chief Keef “Scares Me” [VIDEO]". Hip Hop Wired. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Keef, Chief (September 5, 2012). "Lupe fiasco a hoe ass nigga And wen I see him I'ma smack him like da lil bitch he is #300". Twitter. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Keef, Chief (September 5, 2012). "my twitter has been hacked I think I'm making a new one dumb hating ass people #DontWannaSeeAYougNiggaShine". Twitter. Retrieved November 8, 2014. Muhammad, Latifah (September 13, 2012). "Lupe Fiasco Makes Peace With Chief Keef, Says "I Love My Brother"". Hip Hop Wired. Retrieved September 29, 2012. Rogulewski, Charley (September 16, 2012). "Instagram Cancels Chief Keef's Account Over Sex Photo". Vibe. Retrieved November 8, 2014.