Note: This post contains graphic language and subject matter, and links to more of the same.
The UK Daily Mail has already reported that "The three boys alleged to have gunned down an Australian baseball player out for a run because they were 'bored' were influenced by an ultra-violent rapper." Specifically, "rather than being part of any gang, which had been suggested before, authorities believe the boys were just wannabes who were emulating the thuggish beliefs of their idols, with Chief Keef being prime suspect." The Chicago Sun-Times posted a similar story.
It turns out that Kenan Kinard, the unapprehended suspect in the murder of 89 year-old World War II veteran Delbert Belton in Spokane, Washington, whose full name, according to the Associated Press, is Kenan D. Adams-Kinard, also identifies himself (screen grab for future reference) as a fan of Chief Keef's "music" (I could not locate a Facebook page for Demetrius Glenn, the apprehended suspect). Who is Chief Keef, and what is he all about? That's after the jump, and it's not for the faint of heart.
What follows concerning Chief Keef is just a small sample of the horrors that are out there.
In May, in reaction to a Chief Keef song called "I Hate Being Sober," Katy Perry tweeted, without knowing who the "artist" was, that "I now have serious doubt for the world." Chief Keef, who was 17 at the time, tweeted an obscene sexual suggestion, followed by another tweet specifically threatening violence. (For the story, brace yourself before going to this link.) Perry apologized (Keef hasn't), and said she likes his "Don't Like" recording.
One hopes, probably in vain, that she was kidding. The song, actually entitled "I Don't Like," is laced with profanity, misogyny, and drugs (the "lyrics" [X-rated warning] are here).
The white-guilt crowd at Rolling Stone Magazine apparently try to follow the rap/hip-hop scene pretty closely, and featured Chief Keef, whose real name is Keith Farrelle Cozart, in a 23-photo montage called "Chief Keef: A Day in the Life; From Chicago to New York." In it, we learn the following:
- Keef smokes "blunts", which are "cigars hollowed out and filled with marijuana";
- He has a watch that is maybe worth around 80 grand, but he can't remember";
- He has his own line of "new special edition Beats By Dre headphones";
- He and his Glory Boyz spent the day in question "sipping on the dangerous recreational drug, also known as 'lean' or 'purple drank'" (Travyvon Martin is known to have bought ingredients to make a related version of "lean" the night he was killed);
- An 8 year-old's mother "had lifted him over the fence" at the group's New York concert site. The kid "ended up backstage in complete awe of everything Keef."
This is a guy with a rap sheet of his own who promotes violence almost to the point of banality (two lines in a "song" to which I won't link are: "Hit him with that cobra; Now that boy slumped over"; a "cobra" [the sixth meaning here] is a Colt King Cobra .357 magnum). He is, sadly, a big deal in the African-American subculture, and even to a limited extent beyond that.
In April, Keef "previewed a song called 'You' in which he threatens to murder a woman for not performing a sex act on him." This led to a petition drive to "ban Chicago Public Schools from having their DJs play Chief Keef and Lil Reese at any and all school functions" (Keef is from Chicago). Apparently, just about anything else is okay at CPS-sponsored events.
Concerning James Edwards, one of the alleged killers in Duncan, Oklahoma, the Daily Mail reports that he cited Keef specifically two days before the murder of Chris Lane:
Two days earlier he posted a chilling tweet that was a lyric from the rapper's song I Don't Like. It read: 'With my n****s when it's time to start taken life's' (sic). Other lyrics in the same song include 'pistol toting and I'm shooting on sight'.
Violent rap/hip-hop "music" appears to have been a relevant influence in each murder. (That's not the same as directly blaming the music; there are myriad other important factors, not the least of which would appear to include utterly clueless parents.) Remember this when news reports in the coming weeks and months thrash around helplessly for answers to the question "Why?" and treat the question in each instance as some kind of unsolvable mystery.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.