Keith “Chief Keef” Cozart has taken to Twitter to say that he no longer has to split his millions with Interscope. He even referenced former Interscope head Jimmy Iovine (who earlier this year announced plans to leave his own label and join forces with Apple ) in a series of tweets confirming that he has been dropped by the label. Meanwhile, the label has remained mum – not answering phone calls, emails or texts about the matter.
Cozart, perhaps the most visible of Chicago’s recently-signed hip hop artists, long talked of a multi-million dollar deal. In June, one of his managers, Rovan “Dro” Manuel, posted on his own Instagram account that a $25-million Glo Gang contract was on the way. At the time, calls to Interscope about that particular deal were not returned or acknowledged, though MTV had reported that the current deal was valued at $6-million.
With only one side talking, it’s tough to figure out just what exactly went down but it’s clear that Keef is going on the offensive by trying to tailor the story his own way. That said, it’s perhaps telling that Interscope’s Chief Keef link on their main web site page is no longer working. See for yourself here. It’s also telling that, so far, Interscope’s big names – as businessmen are apt to do – are not using social media to discuss the situation at all.
Allhiphop.com broke this story, which you can read here. In part, that story says:
The separation occurred about two weeks ago, a source said.
Earlier this year, matters began to sour with Chief Keef, his camp and the bosses at Interscope. Our source maintains Interscope began to “subtly disassociate” itself from the 19-year-old rapper after he had a series of legal cases sprout up in 2013 and 2014, ranging from lawsuits to drug offenses. He also went into rehab for an addiction to lean, an illegal drink that mixes promethazine and codeine. A March 2014 shoot out in Chicago, which authorities linked Keef to, allegedly further damaged the relationship with Interscope.
After that, the Chicago rapper relocated to Los Angeles in a new mansion this past summer in an effort to change the energy surrounding his life. The move not only got him away from his troubled roots in Chicago, but much closer to his label. This is where sources say the tension intensified.
This summer, the Sun-Times reported that Keef’s main source of income was his “merch” or merchandise, which reportedly – at the time – brought in around $5,000 a week between t-shirt sales and assorted branding, including a newly refurbished Glo Gang clothing line that was to debut this fall. During the interview, Keef’s managers stated that merch was the way to go, for the future. Meanwhile, Keef’s first album, “Finally Rich,” only moved only around 50,000 units since its release. He also was a no-show to several concerts, leading some promoters to file suit against him for breach of contract.
Sources close to the Interscope snafu – which is still unconfirmed by the label – state that the label grew tired of Keef’s ongoing legal issues and career management problems. One issue, the source said, is that too many disparate people were booking him for concerts and non-music contracts. Another source said that the label often had difficulties getting in touch with the artist.
The backstory to the Sun-Times interview with Keef is this: his management had previously agreed to Keef having a leisurely sit down to discuss his entire life story – from growing up with his granny to dealing with friends in gangs to turning over a new leaf in Los Angeles. However, the interview was abruptly cut short by what appeared to be a gang-related snafu as several members of an LA gang showed up to the interview location to taunt the star.
Keef went on to perform at his birthday “concert” that turned into more of a mosh pit scene, as there was no visible stage at the location. Keef also appeared to have passed out mid-song at the party, before waking up to stand near his sun-inspired birthday cake. A source close to Keef says that today’s tweets are a push to get a new record deal and to prove that the star – who has 960,000 Twitter followers, still has a rabid social media following. Keef also said, in August, that he would be releasing an album in September. THat album has yet to be released but, according to his Twitter account, he still plans to release new music.
Calls to Interscope and to Keef’s management have not yet been returned. If the calls are returned – or even if they’re not – this post will be updated.