The benefit concert planned for Friday at which rapper Chief Keef was to appear via hologram at a theater in the Pilsen neighborhood has been canceled.
A city source confirmed Thursday that the concert scheduled at the Redmoon Theater was canceled, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
In an emailed statement, Debbie Saul, Redmoon’s director of marketing, wrote: “Redmoon did not understand the full nature of the event. The event will not be taking place at Redmoon.”
This isn’t the first time a Keef show had been canceled. A concert scheduled to take place in Cicero in June 2014 was canceled amid rumors on social media of threats of violence to Keef and his entourage.
Immediately after the cancellation of that show, promoters attempted to switch the venue to a strip club in south suburban Harvey, but the mayor of Harvey refused to allow it.
Keef, whose real name is Keith Cozart, decided to put on the hologram show after hearing about a South Side shooting and car chase that led to the deaths of Keef’s friend Marvin Carr, known as rapper Capo, and 13-month-old Dillan Harris. The toddler was in a stroller when it was struck by a car that fled the scene of the fatal shooting.
Antoine Watkins, 21, of the 8100 block of South Bennett, was charged Monday with murder in the toddler’s death.
Keef was moved by the deaths and “wants to speak out against all the violence,” said Owen Phillips, a spokesman for Alki David, the Greek billionaire owner of HologramUSA and FilmOn, who recently signed the rapper and is orchestrating the show. “It’s something new in Keef’s music that he’s trying to express.”
Earlier this week, Phillips said a truck with the technology to project Chief Keef’s hologram was being driven to Chicago from California.
The plan was to park the truck in a large space owned by Redmoon.
Keef was to perform on a Beverly Hills stage owned by HologramUSA, Phillips said. The rapper recently signed a two-album deal with David’s FilmOn, an online television streaming company.
Phillips said Chief Keef can’t physically be in Chicago to perform because his legal team is addressing an outstanding warrant.
The warrant against Chief Keef, who grew up in Englewood and has a history of gun and drug charges, stems from allegations that he hasn’t paid child support, according to a spokeswoman for the Cook Country Sheriff’s Department. The warrant does not allow the rapper to be extradited to Illinois from California. It’s enforceable only in Illinois, she said.
Money collected at the concert was to be donated to Chicago charities and the victims’ families. Keef and FilmOn’s owner were to match the proceeds.
Phillips also announced Keef’s new anti-violence foundation, Stop The Violence Now.
The Rev. Michael Pfleger — an outspoken anti-violence advocate and pastor of St. Sabina Church in the neighborhood where Keef grew up — criticized Keef this week for not being genuine.
“His foundation says ‘stop the violence’ but his music glorifies violence, and you can’t have it both ways,” Pfleger said Thursday evening.
Pfleger expressed frustration with the mixed message. “He could be a great voice for peace,” he said.