Lil JoJo Tweeted his location just hours before he was slain
BY MARK KONKOL, KIM JANSSEN AND ALLISON HORTON Staff Reporters September 5, 2012 10:20PM
Joseph "Lil JoJo" Coleman was a teen rapper.
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Updated: October 7, 2012 8:11AM
Murdered teenage rapper Lil Jojo tweeted his location on the South Side street where he was killed just hours before he was gunned down in a hail of bullets Tuesday night, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
JoJo — whose real name was Joseph Coleman — had been feuding with rival rappers Lil Reese, Lil Durk and Chief Keef as well as with the Black Disciple street gang for months before he was fatally shot at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday near 69th
and Princeton in the Englewood neighborhood.
At 3:13 p.m. Tuesday, Coleman tweeted, “Im on #069 Im Out Here,” then gave a cell phone number to another Twitter user who expressed doubts that Coleman had traveled to Englewood from his home in Altgeld Gardens.
Police sources say they are examining if an online war of words in recent months is connected to Coleman’s death.
Witnesses said Coleman, 18, was riding double on a bike — standing on the back — when a car pulled up and someone fired six or seven shots.
Coleman ran but was hit in the back before making it to a nearby home, where he later died outside as people screamed “JoJo!” witnesses said.
A witness said the shots came from an tan, older model, four-door Ford Taurus that was riding low in the back.
After Coleman collapsed, people came to his aid. There was little blood, but Coleman’s eyes were dilated, cold and fixed. “It was the like the look of death,” another witness said.
When asked if he could hear them, Coleman attempted to nod. Paramedics arrived about 10 minutes later, witnesses said, and Coleman was still breathing and gurgling. But he later died.
Hours after the murder, on Chief Keef’s Twitter account, a message was posted saying, “Its Sad Cuz Dat N---- Jojo Wanted To Be Jus Like Us #LMAO.”
LMAO is slang for “laughing my ass off.”
That Tweet drew angry responses among Chief Keef’s 224,000 Twitter followers.
His account later carried Tweets claiming it had been hacked and saying, “If u dnt talk 2 me or dro my manager . . . it’s not real.”
Later on, tweets from Keef’s account grew more philosophical, with one stating: “I firmly believe the world will sort itself out in the end.”
The 17-year-old, Chicago-born Chief Keef — whose real name is Keith Cozart — signed a record deal in June with Interscope, the same rap label of superstars including Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Eminem and Diddy.
Keef’s manager, Rovan Manuel, initialy told the Sun-Times on Wednesday he was unaware of the controversy. It wasn’t until being told about the Tweet by the Sun-Times that Manuel realized why his phone rang incessantly Wednesday. His number was posted on Chief Keef’s Twitter page.
But Manuel told the Sun-Times he didn’t believe the message meant “anything personally.” He said Keef had a beef with JoJo only because “that kid made songs like Keef.”
“A lot of the stuff Keef does, that’s just cause he’s a kid,” Manuel said. “People forget that he’s a kid, a teenager … and kids make mistakes. He makes mistakes the hard way.”
Chicago police officers were on the street Wednesday night looking for Coleman’s killer. Police are looking to see if his murder is connected to an ongoing conflict in Englewood between the Gangster Disciples and Black Disciples street gangs that has been playing out in a series of threats on social media sites.
“Two gangs are fighting each other, going at each other all over the Internet and this is all stemming from that,” a police source said.
Police are also looking into whether Coleman had gang affiliations, and whether Keef or any of his associates are connected to the gang conflict or Coleman’s murder, the source said.
Many of Chief Keef’s Tweets include a hashtag notation “#300” — a known reference, police say, to the Black Disciples street gang. And Coleman appears to have been warring online with the Black Disciples for months.
On a YouTube account purporting to belong to Coleman, a video of the rapper and other teens brandishing automatic weapons was posted on May 25. Coleman may have tempted fate, taunting the 300 factions of the Black Disciples gang.
“These n----s claim 300 but we BDK,” Coleman raps repeatedly in the video. BDK is street slang for “Black Disciple Killers.”
And just hours before he was killed, a video of a street confrontation between Coleman and another teen was posted on the same YouTube account.
Coleman’s family says the teen arguing with Coleman in the video is a rapper friend of Chief Keef’s.
An earlier video purports to show Coleman chasing the same rapper and another man who Coleman’s family say is also pal of Chief Keef’s.
Coleman’s grieving mom, Robin Russell, said she was aware of the beef between her son, Chief Keef and his allies — but not how serious the dispute had become.
“I want justice for my son,” the stunned mother said as mourners gathered at her Altgeld Gardens public housing complex rowhouse Wednesday night. “It’s a stupid and senseless killing.
Russell said she’d heard there were people willing to pay for her son’s murder.
“It wasn’t a gang thing, it was a rap thing,” she said. “My son was going to get a rap deal like some of them have and they were jealous.”
Russell said her son grew up in Englewood and attended Robeson High School with an ally of Chief Keef’s. He was visiting with friends and was riding on a pal’s bike when he was killed, relatives said.
He’d recently been discussing a record deal with star rapper Waka Flocka and Brick Squad, his mom added. He hoped to earn enough money to take his mom, three sisters and two brothers to live in Florida, she said.
Coleman’s aunt Sonia Mares-DuBose said Coleman had been trying to “do like a Tupac and Biggie thing and get under the skin” of his rivals, but not to provoke violence.
Coleman’s family was well aware of the Tweets on Chief Keef’s account following the slaying. And upset.
“How do you go on Twitter and brag about it?” she said.
In Keef’s responses on his account, Chicago-born rap star Lupe Fiasco was called out, with the Keef account posting: “wen I see him I’ma smack him like da lil b---- he is #300.”
On his account, Fiasco, who recently told a radio station he was scared of the violence Chief Keef represents, replied “I cant go 4 that @ChiefKeef & i cant let the people i love, including you my n----, go 4 that either. We kings not f------ savages and goons”
Later, Fiasco sounded despondent — and done with rap, Tweeting: “but my heart is broken and i see no comfort further along this path only more pain. I cannot participate any longer in this... My first true love was literature so i will return to that...lupe fiasco ends here...”
Late Wednesday, rapper 50 Cent Tweeted to Chief Keef: “if you still in new York come see me”
Contributing: Michael Lansu