Rapper Big Glo laid to rest; father vows better life for children
BY STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporter April 18, 2014 3:32PM
Updated: May 20, 2014 6:13AM
As his son — the South Side rapper Big Glo — lay in an open casket inside Holy Temple Cathedral in Harvey, Richard Holmes stepped outside with a pack of cigarettes in his hand and guilt on his mind.
“You can say I blame myself some,” the 57-year-old father said. “When my kids was coming up, they seen their daddy. Whenever they seen me, they know I was a strong man back then, but I was in a gang. I was in the Stones. He ended up being a Disciple.”
Holmes pointed to the small, sickle-shaped scar on the back of his shaved head — a memento of his failed attempt years ago to get out of gang life, he said.
Rappers in gleaming cars with tinted windows were among the guests who showed up Friday to say farewell to Big Glo, whose real name was Mario Hess. He was gunned down earlier this month on the South Side streets where he grew up — the same streets he believed a big-time record contract would allow him to leave. There have been no arrests in the shooting.
Big Glo’s cousin — the rapper Chief Keef — pulled into the church parking lot in a white Cadillac Escalade Friday mid-service. A little boy stuck his head out of a nearby car window and said: “Is Chief Keef here? Is he in the building?”
Big Glo’s record label, Interscope Records, hired the private security, which swarmed over church grounds during the service — closed to reporters. Guests got the wand treatment at the church doors.
Standing outside the church, Hess’ father said he cares now only about the five children his son leaves behind. Holmes said he wants to set up a trust fund for them.
“It’s all going to be positive,” he said. “It ain’t gonna be about no rap, not gonna be about no record labels, no deals or none of that. It’s gonna be about my son’s legacy ... and making it mean something, other than just another black man gone.”
From the church, mourners moved on to Mount Hope Cemetery for the burial. Chicago Police stopped several private security vehicles after they left the cemetery at about 3 p.m. at 115th and Maplewood.
Police were checking whether the guards had proper certification for guns they were observed carrying in the cemetery. There were no guns in the vehicles, but the guards were cited for having improper emergency lights.
Police were at the cemetery under a policy in which the department monitors funeral processions with gang ties. The crackdown began in 2012 when a gunman fatally shot a reputed gang member on the steps of a South Side church after a funeral for another man.