Controversial rapper Chief Keef appeared briefly Saturday night by hologram at a hip-hop concert in Hammond, Indiana, before police shut the concert down and cleared the venue.
Keef appeared even after a concert promoter assured police that Keef would not be showing up in any format. Earlier in the night, Keef’s Twitter account said the hologram appearance would be at a music venue on the North Side of Chicago, which was false.
The controversial rapper appeared by hologram on stage about 10:15 p.m. Saturday at the hip-hop event, Craze Fest, at the Pavilion at Wolf Lake in Hammond, but his song didn’t last for long. Police cut the power, which they vowed to do, if Keef appeared.
Hammond Police Lt. Patrick Vicari expressed his displeasure at the concert promoters.
“Even though I was told no Chief Keef by the promoters, they tried it anyway, so we shut it down. We turned the power off, we’re closing the park down,” Vicari said.
After the shutdown, Keef posted a video on his Instagram account, appearing to show a police officer telling a concertgoer to leave.
“I’d spit hundreds on his broke a–……” according to a comment posted on the video under Keef’s name. Keef’s concert was a part of an effort to raise money for two victims of violence in Chicago.
In an emailed statement from wealthy businessman Alki David, the backer of the Chief Keef benefit concert, David wrote: “Shame on the mayor and police chief of Hammond for shutting down a voice that can create positive change in a community in desperate need. And for taking away money that could have gone to help the victims’ families. This was a legal event and there was no justification to shut it down besides your glaring disregard for the First Amendment right to free speech. You’ve clearly been bullied by the proud mayor of the Murder Capitol of the U.S., Rahm Emanuel. Mark my words if you censor us you only make us stronger. Plus we’ll be back to sue your a—-.”
Earlier Saturday, Devon Bonaparte, a promoter with Capital Connect that was behind Craze Fest, told the Sun-Times that Keef was not appearing in any fashion at the Hammond event.
The event was supposed to have a special surprise guest, but Bonaparte said categorically it was not going to be Keef.
Bonaparte said after the concert: “I told everybody that [Chief Keef wasn’t performing] because at first we weren’t going to do it. After we talked to the cops, we thought maybe we wouldn’t do it. But at the end of the night, we just thought, hey, let go for it…”
Confusion had reigned earlier Saturday on where Keef would appear for the fundraising concert.
Just before 6 p.m. Saturday, the rapper’s Twitter account announced the concert would be at Lincoln Hall, but that North Side venue shot that down in its own Twitter post, saying the hologram concert wasn’t happening there.
Earlier in the day, on the rapper’s Instagram account, a photo was posted of what appeared to be a stage bearing the logo of HologramUSA being set up at the Pavilion at Wolf Lake with the announcement to “Get your tickets now.” HologramUSA was the Keef concert backer and an Alki David company.
That post, however, was soon taken down.
Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott said he, too, had been assured that the event would not involve Chief Keef.
The Keef concert was set up as a fundraiser for and in memory of a rapper friend of Keef’s slain in gun violence recently as well as a toddler who died in the aftermath.
HologramUSA had first announced last week that the event would be at the Redmoon Theater, but that event was cancelled. A City of Chicago spokesperson said the city called Redmoon and asked it not to hold the event because Keef is an unacceptable role model and promotes violence.
The Keef concert also drew tough criticism from the Rev. Michael Pfleger, who called upon the rapper to “SHUT UP!!!!!” in a Facebook post.
“Chief Keef has announced that he will hold a benefit concert to raise funds for his friend and the Baby who were killed….REALLY…Chief Keef is one of the reasons we have all this violence…he has been one of the encourager’s of the Violence,” wrote the outspoken pastor who has taken to the pulpit and the streets to fight gun violence.”
Keef had to appear by hologram from California because there is a warrant out for his arrest in Illinois for allegedly not paying child support.