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All Hail Chief Keef, Public Enemy #1

 

Chief Keef is America’s Nightmare.  When I say America’s nightmare I’m talking about white and Black America.   This guy is a live and breathing  monster stereotype that absolutely scares  anyone who catches a glimpse of him and his GBE crew on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.  Did I say that Chief Keef don’t has no care?  Ask Hip Hop’s bad boy 50 Cent, recently at a planned Las Vegas video shoot with 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa,   Chief Keef blew off the video shoot and never showed up.  Ask socially conscious rapper Lupe Fiasco, he and Chief Keef got into a verbal war and the results went something like this,  “Lupe Fiasco is a H– O—E—, When I see him I’ma smack him like da lil b-tch he is”, responded Chief Keef.   His record label Interscope Records is betting millions that Chief Keef’s “I Don’t give a CARE attitude pays off big time in digital sales, concert fee’s, cd sales, etc.  Chief Keef is set to release his debut CD, “Finally Rich” on December 18.   In his gritty low budget video’s, you see a young black man , half-naked, dreadlocked hair, frequently surrounded by a mob of look-a-likes, smoking blunts and brandishing weapons.  His current single “Love Sosa” is another urban tale that’s not only playing across the country in heavy rotation on American radio stations , but the video has been seen by over 14 million viewers since the time of this writing.  Born Keith Cozart, and raised in the South Side of Chicago, he was constantly surrounded by horrifying homicides that rival war-town Iraq.
“Fucking with those O boys, you gon’ get fucked over, Rari’s and Rovers, these hoes love Chief Sosa, hit him with that cobra, now that boy slumped over, they do it all for Sosa” are the words of Chief Keef, a Chicago based

rapper allegedly affiliated with the Black Disciples gang and who has already faced incarceration for brandishing a gun at a Chicago Police Officer during his teenage years.   Lt. John Andrews, a veteran of the Chicago Police Department, writes that, “Chicago’s homicide rate this year currently stands toe-to-toe with the total number of military forces killed in both Afghanistan and Iraq.” This rising epidemic has resulted in Chicago being the nicknamed, ‘Chiraq’ by urban youth.  Chief Keef and many others like him has embraced this image, taking pride in representing the strength of his block and crew by stating very clearly and plainly,  You wanna call the cops? You gonna get a cop dropped.” The Chicago Police Department should have heeded this black man’s words. Lt John Andrew further writes that, “Chicago has lost 3 of its police officers, killed by gunfire as victims of robberies.  It seems no one is safe in our city anymore.” This Chicago based rapper like so many hip hop stars, embrace the Italian and Latin gangsters influence on American culture

 Chief Keef  AKA Sosa,  represents the mentality that many gang-bangers uphold in the Southside of Chicago; a mentality that has no regard for human life, no respect for authority, little aspirations beyond the nearest street corner. And because of this, Chief Keef’ is absolutely necessary in the rap-game. Album’s like ‘KRS-One’s Criminal Minded and 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Trying’ all represent the mentalities born and bred from a life of oppression. This mentality has thrived and even grown due to state-sanctioned institutionalized racism, inequalities, and poverty that continue to be passed on through particular ethnic groups. Watch a Chief Keef music video; view members of his crew. Look past all of the macho-posturing and you will see people who are profoundly oppressed, faces that are downtrodden, faces that rarely smile and people whom have lived life in utter poverty, violence, and hardships. The South Side of Chicago is home to some of the lowest income communities in America. The area is, and has been, facing chronic unemployment, run-down schools, substandard housing, and a whole host of related social problems. Chicago Gang researcher, John M. Hagedorn writes that “The conditions in Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods resemble impoverished Third World countries.” These are the social conditions that Chief Keef to no fault of his own was born in and his mentality and lyrics are simply a response to this. Chief Keef, represents this ostracized generation, his music represents this mentality and as long as oppression exists so too will Chief Keef and others like him.

“300 bitch don’t make me bring them killers out. Real shit, free all my hitters out.”

When Chief Keef calls for the freeing of all of his ‘hitters,’ he is referring to members of his crew that are incarcerated, victims of the prison-industrial complex. Chicago Gangs primarily consist of black youth who have been systematically excluded from the legal economy and have been forced to sell drugs, pimp, and steal as the only mechanisms to survive and aspire towards life goals. Many manufacturing jobs that were once located in black communities have now been outsourced to China. Indeed, African-Americans without criminal records are less likely to be hired than whites with criminal records. African Americans with “black sounding” names are less likely to be called back for job interviews.  than those with “white sounding” names, even when the qualifications are identical.  As black youth becomes accustomed to the street market, competition is not carried out in the form of price cuts and ad campaigns.  Gang members compete over territory to sell their products and services. With no other source of income, protecting ones block or corner becomes a matter of life and death. When Chief Keef states “don’t make me bring those killers out,” he is issuing a warning to rival gangs to not set up shop on his block. Of course, the conservative argument is for one to simply “pull up their boot straps.”
A commonly held belief by those untouched by the issues that blacks deal with from birth is that “just because someone is born into poverty does not mean one has resort to the drug trade.” And this is true.  However, using common sense, how likely is it for a white man raised in middle to upper class, whose peers are largely composed of other whites raised in the same socioeconomic environment, to set up shop on a street corner ready to begin selling crack cocaine? How likely is it for an impoverished black man to make it a primary goal to impress his school teachers or job supervisor when the strongest influences around him are those who’ve already been shunned by white society? Indeed, the black community has routinely overcome overwhelming odds to create prosperous communities.  African-Americans seeking to escape southern racism came to Chicago during the “Great Migration.” Blacks were forced to live mostly in the Southside of Chicago and a legislation known as the “Neighborhood Composition Rule” mandated housing segregation for Blacks. The housing that the Chicago Housing Authority created for blacks in these Southside neighborhoods lacked basic plumbing and would not even receive the benefits of garbage disposable services.  Despite the overwhelming odds, black people were able to establish their own businesses and create flourishing community centers. However, after the Neighborhood Composition Act legally enforcing residential segregation was struck down due to the Civil Rights Movements, white vigilantes responded with savage violence.

Mobs of whites invaded the South Side of Chicago, setting fire to houses and businesses, finding and beating innocent black citizens and other brutal, barbaric acts. Even as the South Side of Chicago was being set ablaze, the Chicago Fire Department refused to put out the flames and the Chicago Police Department put in no effort in to protect these innocent people who were being terrorized. Many African-Americans in the South Side subsequently became homeless and lost all that they had—from these ashes and social conditions are what gave birth to Chief Keef and his peers. The Irish terrorists that attacked the black community were rewarded by Chicago’s governmental system by recruiting the young energetic whites into the Chicago Police Department; it should be no great surprise that future Mayor, Richard Daley, participated in these attacks on the black community.

“Bang, Bang, Bang” is Chief Keef’s catch phrase, his mantra in the rap game. It’s an onomonopia representing gunshots.  Chicago’s babies do not fall asleep to lullabies; rather to gunshots.  Day by day, it is a never-ending cycle all rooted in economic deprivation and oppression.  Hip Hop’s culture historically have identified with youth that have been systematically excluded from the legal economy, the explicit and often times provocative lyrics of Chief Keef results.  His lyrics,  his words, and the images of his videos represent an ostracized generation of America- a generation bearing the brunt of years of racial apartheid and economic discrimination in which all opportunities for social-economic advancement were blocked, halted, and destroyed by whites. American capitalism and the inequalities it produces are responsible for the content, as vulgar as it may be, in his lyrics, “I’mma make bullets rain all on your block, your bitch all on my cock”.  He is describing what it takes fo hisr crew and himself to eat, to be clothed and have shelter.

Chief Keef represents hip hop, from the bodacious, self-assured, get money to big pimping mentality.  However before one judge and castes “Chief Keef” as a misfit, hoodlum or savage, recognize that faces like Chief Keef don’t die, they multiply and he is simply a by-product of his environment, just like you.

Sources

Third World America, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/janet-tavakoli/third-world-america-2012_b_1653745.html

http://scholar.harvard.edu/mullainathan/files/emilygreg.pdf

Arnold Richard Hirsch, “Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940-1960″, University of Chicago,1998,http://books.google.com/books?

http://www.princeton.edu/~pager/pager_ajs.pdf

http://www.princeton.edu/~pager/pager_ajs.pdfid=px0PuO7GWhsC&pg=PP1&ots=9I1rYsYyNh&dq=%22Making+the+Second+Ghetto%22+hirsch&sig=IPgKY-xgpCRZwpCsboI_rk0UPgc#PPA18,M1

RACE NOT SPACE: A REVISIONIST HISTORY OFGANGS IN CHICAGO John M. Hagedorn* gangresearch.net/Archives/hagedorn/articles/racenotspace.pdf

Housing: “A Short History,” http://southside.uchicago.edu/History/Housing.html

Tuttle, William. Race Riot Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919 (Urbana, IL; University of Illinois Press, 1970)

RACE NOT SPACE: A REVISIONIST HISTORY OFGANGS IN CHICAGO John M. Hagedorn* gangresearch.net/Archives/hagedorn/articles/racenotspace.pdf

Fox News on Chicago’s Gang Violence

Yet another Chicago youth has been brutally killed in Chicago’s streets. 18 year old, Joshua “JayLoud” Davis, who was friends with Lil Jojo (another brutally slain rapper) was gunned down Christmas day. At the time of his death, he was wearing a hoodie adorning the words “Jojo World” to commemorate his deceased friend—Lil Jojo[1]  Joshua’s family believes that members of a rival gang took offense to his sweater (Jojo routinely dissed The Black Disciples) and when he got off the bus they shot him down. When it comes to black on black violence in the inner-city, everyone wants to lecture black youth about our alleged lack of values and morals. Chicago has now reached over 500 homicides in 2012. Since Chicago has a Liberal mayor (Rahm Emanuel, a man I personally dislike), right-wingers have decided to use this appalling statistic and the horrific violence in Chicago in their talking points on gun-control. Fox News did a report in the South-Side of Chicago in which they sent their reporters to interview residents. The news reporter then discussed his time in the South-Side of Chicago with notorious racist Bill O’Reilly. The following is a transcript from that interview:[2]

O’REILLY: Now what are these gangs fighting about?

WATTERS:  It’s mostly drug gangs and they are fighting over smaller and smaller scraps because the economy is bad. And white people aren’t buying as many drugs now. So the profits are down. So they’re trying to fight over turf, property and respect.

Up until this point of the dialogue I took no issue with what was presented Bill O’Reilly, Watters and Fox News then decided to give their solution to Chicago’s gang violence stating that:

“…what they need to do is ‘the surge strategy’ like Iraq…”

Listen, sending the national guard or army to attack black youth in the South-Side of Chicago won’t stop the gang-violence because it does not address the root cause of the violence which, of course, is poverty as a result of institutionalized racism. You literally have groups of kids in some areas of the South-Side of Chicago occupying abandoned houses, all sleeping on floors with no parents, with an illegal drug economy being the only way to bring in money. These kids have absolutely nothing to lose.   In another news report in which CBS interviewed South-Side Chicago gang bangers, one of them had this to say:

“The police hate us. Every time they ride past us, they shoot us down and do all that. Do what you want to do, I don’t care about you all, keep riding. Who are you all? We’re not scared of you all. I’ll fight you too.” [3]

While Fox News has a reputation for its hard-core conservative views, in this interview they let a nugget slip out about the role that racism actually plays in causing Chicago’s gang violence. The Fox News reporter stated that:

“WATTERS: It’s out of control. I was safe though. I said, ‘Should I be scared?’ And they said, ‘We don’t shoot white people; you’re our biggest customer.’

 

O’REILLY: For drugs?

 

WATTERS: Yes.

 

Bill O’Reilly and Watters then let out a chuckle. I guess they were amused by the fact that these Chicago gang bangers don’t shoot white people yet this statement proves the role that economic deprivation has in escalating these gang conflicts.

The largest gangs in Chicago are the Gangsta Disciples and Black Disciples. These two gangs used to be part of a single entity known as “The Black Gangsta Disciples”. After the arrest and imprisonment of key leaders and numerous organizers the gangs split into “The Gangsta Disciples” and the “Black Gangsta Disciples” which eventually became just the “Black Disciples.”  Homicides in South-Side Chicago were always frequent, but since the arrest of key leaders who were crucial in gang’s organization (coupled with the economic recession), the violence has increased and gangs have splintered and formed various factions. Sometimes you will have people who belong to the same gang, yet belong to different factions, who will go to war with each other over drug territory. Initially the conflicts begin as a fight for drug territory, but the problems have only deepened over time. For example, the death of Jojo, who was well-loved and popular and a friend among various members of the Gangsta Disciples, escalated the conflict between the Black Disciples and Gangsta Disciples. Gangsta Disciples sought to retaliate for his death and it led to an all-out war between the two gangs that was more than just a territorial dispute; rather, it was about retaliation.

All of these conflicts have their root in economic oppression; blacks have been systematically disempowered and have consistently lived in the most violent areas, not because we are “naturally” prone to committing crime or don’t work hard enough, but because of economic conditions that have been imposed on us by malicious outside forces. The obstacles that were, and still are, put in place, to halt black socioeconomic aspirations, has resulted in black youth acquiring detrimental social, economic, and political habits that are exemplified in the gangs that roam Chicago’s streets.

Chicago’s state-sanctioned racism produces “thugs” and systematically strips the morality from people, replacing it with a stone-cold belief system and demeanor that is seen as necessary to survive on these mean streets. Those in Chicago’s hoods live in such dire poverty that some cannot abide by any types of morals (moral beliefs such as ‘stealing/shooting is wrong’) in order to survive.

The origins of this violence all began in the early twentieth century when African-Americans that previously resided in the Klan-run south came to Chicago during the great migration, lured by the promises of jobs and political rights.[4]

When blacks first came to Chicago they competed with the Irish over a scarce labor and housing market. In 1919, racial animosity reached a boiling point when a white person hit a black child with a rock while he was swimming in Michigan Lake. The black child drowned to death, but the Chicago Police Department refused to arrest the white aggressor. Blacks led a peaceful protest demanding justice, and as a result of their efforts they were viciously attacked by white mob groups. The Chicago Police Department decided to arrest the peaceful African-American protestors. [5]

Despite this, whites then entered the predominately black area on the South-Side, terrorizing the black population through arsons and assaults. Nobody, not even children, were spared in the attacks. These white angels with exemplary morals even sought to enter a predominately black hospital to terrorize the black patients there.

Hundreds of African Americans, including women and children, were left homeless on the streets after fires demolished their homes in these senseless attacks.

Richard J. Daley was 17 years old at the time and one of the leaders of the Irish Hamburg Athletic Club that led this senseless attack on the black community. Instead of being punished for these clearly racist attacks, he was made Mayor of Chicago where he would continue to push and support racist legislation to disenfranchise the black community. Indeed, the white-ran Chicago housing authority from its inception worked to ensure that blacks lived in segregated neighborhoods.[6]

While blacks were portrayed as being “violent,” many times it was not the “delinquent” black youth attacking innocent peaceful white people but vice-versa. During this time blacks lived under increased threats of violence and fear from whites. Subsequently, blacks had no choice but to live in ghettos because of the terrorism inflicted by whites against those who dared to live on the outskirts of their state created locus. Around this time, as whites began to barbarically attack black neighborhoods more and more frequently, black male youth began to form groups in order to protect themselves.

They began to call themselves the “Black P Stone Rangers,” a group originally composed of impoverished black kids who protected themselves from white mob violence. Today, we know the Black P Stone Rangers as yet another gang who fights with both the Black Disciples and Gangsta Disciples over drug territory. Their origins can directly be tied to white mob violence.

Also of significant note, the black community had attempted to take numerous steps to deal with gang-violence only to have their efforts interrupted by the government which further proves the government wants to keep blacks in social decay.  Fred Hampton,  leader of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, attempted to form an alliance with Chicago’s black street gangs to turn them into an activist organization. Instead of allowing this alliance to manifest, the FBI would instead forge letters between the two groups to breed hostility. The Chicago Police Department would eventually assassinate the Black Panthers leader Fred Hampton. This alliance had the potential to unify black street gangs and end the violence that they were perpetrating against one another, but the government would not allow it to materialize.[7]

What we are witnessing today in the South-Side of Chicago is the aftermath of these violent attacks as well as systemic institutionalized racism cause by the capitalist system that governs us.

Today, gang violence continues to take the lives of black youth. It is absolutely ridiculous for right-wingers to use Chicago’s Gang Violence in their talking points on the failure of gun-control; a capitalist system, which right-wingers are the most vocal apologetics for,  is directly responsible for such violence in the first place.

 

1)Chicago Rapper JayLoud, Lil JoJo’s Best Friend Killed On Christmas

http://allhiphop.com/2012/12/26/chicago-rapper-jayloud-lil-jojos-best-friend-killed-on-christmas/

2)Fox’s Jesse Watters Investigates Chicago’s South Side: We Dont Shoot White People.

http://nation.foxnews.com/chicago-violence/2012/04/06/fox-s-jesse-watters-investigates-chicago-s-south-side-we-don-t-shoot-white-people

 

3) http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/27/killing-is-the-solution-gang-member-tells-walter-jacobson/

Arnold Richard Hirsch, “Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940-1960″, University of Chicago,1998,http://books.google.com/books?id=px0PuO7GWhsC&pg=PP1&ots=9I1rYsYyNh&dq=%22Making+the+Second+Ghetto%22+hirsch&sig=IPgKY-xgpCRZwpCsboI_rk0UPgc#PPA18,M1

4)  Chicago Race Riot of 1919″.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-04.http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/110488/Chicago-Race-Riot-of-1919

5 Tuttle, William. Race Riot Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919 (Urbana, IL; University of Illinois Press, 1970)

6) RACE NOT SPACE: A REVISIONIST HISTORY OFGANGS IN CHICAGO John M. Hagedorn* gangresearch.net/Archives/hagedorn/articles/racenotspace.pdf

7)The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther by Jeffrey Haas.