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Chief Keef’s Cicero concert canceled over police concerns about violence

Chicago rapper Chief Keef whose real name is Keith Cozart.

Chicago rapper Chief Keef, whose real name is Keith Cozart.

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Updated: June 12, 2014 1:05AM



A Chief Keef concert planned for this weekend at a venue in Cicero was canceled Wednesday after police found threats against the Chicago rapper on social media and feared violence might break out at the show.

“We had gotten some information that there were some threats and there might be some violence against the performer and his entourage,” Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania said.

Cicero Police reached out to management at the Olympic Theatre — the Cicero venue where the show was scheduled to take place Saturday — and “inquired about the possibility of not having the show,” Hanania said.

The show was ultimately scrapped, said Hanania, who could not elaborate on the threats.

An employee at the Olympic Theatre said Wednesday that the show had been canceled but could offer no explanation and said her bosses were out of town.

Cicero police officers will be at the theater on Saturday just in case fans still show up to the show, Hanania said.

A representative of Chief Keef, who grew up in Englewood and whose real name is Keith Cozart, could not be reached Wednesday. And Kozart, a prolific Twitter user, had not addressed the cancellation on the social media platform as of Wednesday evening.

Also Wednesday, the mayor of south suburban Harvey halted a plan that would have relocated the show to King of Diamonds — a Harvey strip club.

Hours after hearing of the plan — and with knowledge of violence at that has taken place at previous Chief Keef shows, Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg put the kibosh on the show.

“Upon being notified [Kellogg] ordered the Police Chief to contact the King of Diamonds Nightclub in Harvey and inform them that the rapper would not be allowed in the venue,” Harvey spokesman Sean Howard said in an emailed statement.

“The rapper has written songs that have led to death threats against his life in southern Cook County. The mayor’s top priority is to protect the citizens of Harvey against any potential threat to public safety,” the statement said.

“Harvey Police will be on high alert this coming weekend. We stand united with the City of Chicago and the Town of Cicero in protecting our citizens against the threat of violence as it relates to Chief Keef,” the statement said.

A Chicago police spokesman said she was not aware of Chief Keef trying to move the show to a venue in Chicago.

Another Chicago rapper, Durk Banks, known as Lil Durk, is scheduled to perform at the Olympic Theatre on June 27.

The cancellation of Chief Keef’s show comes one day after he was evicted from the home he was renting in north suburban Highland Park.

He owed about four months rent, a lawyer representing the landlord said.

The young rapper’s run-ins with the law enforcement have been numerous.

In March, he was accused of driving under the influence of marijuana in Highland Park. He pleaded not guilty.

Before that, he spent time in California serving a 90-day, court-mandated rehab sentence after he pleaded guilty last year to testing positive for drugs while on probation.

Last year, he also pleaded guilty to speeding 40 mph over the limit and finished a 60-day stay stint in juvenile prison for violating probation on a gun conviction.

Multiple paternity cases also have been filed against the rapper, who reportedly inked a deal with Interscope Records worth as much as $6 million.

Email: mdudek@suntimes.com

Twitter: @mitchdudek



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