In May of this year, Chicago gangsta rapper Lil JoJo posted a viral music video called “3hunnak” dissing another local raper. The low-fi video featured a few of his crew members jumping around and waving what appeared to be MAC-10’s and AK-47’s.
The chorus that repeats itself throughout the video references a well-known street gang called Black Disciple Killers, “These n***as claim 300 but we BDK.”
The video clocked in at 700,000 views, and it seemed like the 18-year-old rapper would have a budding career reviving gangsta rap and taking potshots at Interscope-signed rival Chief Keef and his associates Lil Durk and Lil Reese. Chief Keef often ends his tweets with #300, referencing the same gang that Lil JoJo claims to represent.
While “3hunnak” may have been a viral hit in Chicagoland, his murder a few months later has been the talk of the nation. On September 4, Lil JoJo was shot in a drive by in a South Side Chicago neighborhood. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that police are speculating that Lil Jojo’s death has something to do with his Twitter and YouTube beef with 17-year-old Chief Keef. The slain rapper also tweeted his location moments before he was gunned down, and a video reported to be of Lil JoJo arguing in a car hours before his death has made its rounds on YouTube.
Responding to Lil JoJo’s death, Chief Keef took to Twitter and seemed to mock his rival: “Its Sad Cuz Dat N***a Jojo Wanted To Be Jus Like Us #LMAO.”
Although Chief Keef claimed later that his Twitter account was hacked, the Twittersphere ranted against him. Fellow Chicago rapper J’Real responded: “so its funny another teen dead over this bullcrap? TF is wrong with yall! Its a shame! Ill never wish death on my competition.”
Since Chief Keef made his offending tweet, he has been at the center of a rap war, and Chicago Police have him in their sights for questioning. A Twitter user named OsoArrogant$wagg, who was in the car with Lil JoJo hours before he was shot, tweeted death threats at Chief Keef and his friends.
However, this subsequent Twitter skirmish tells little of how the Chief Keef rivalry ended in murder.
It turns out that the “3hunnak” video by Lil JoJo wasn’t the only diss video directed at Chief Keef and his crew. Lil JoJo released a more gruesome diss video called “Tied Up” a few weeks before his murder where he is seen torturing a young man who resembles Chief Keef.
He raps: “I heard n***as snitchin’ they don’ get tied up/Catch a block, then fired up/Rob a n***a just to get my Benz up.” While his target is unclear in these lyrics, this wannabe snuff film suggests how he would deal with Chief Keef and his crew if he sees them.
“Tied Up” was the first part of a 5-part series called “No Lackin,” but with Lil JoJo’s death, it remains to be seen whether or not uploading the last four parts would have escalated his beef with Chief Keef and his crew.
Lil JoJo’s murder has gone beyond the beef between the deceased rapper and Chief Keef’s crew. In light of the murder, Chicago-based music review site Pitchfork removed a video interview featuring Chief Keef at a shooting range. Chief Keef is currently under probation for pointing a gun at a police officer, which may explain why Pitchfork may have backtracked on its profile.
As the police figure out who killed Lil JoJo, it is unfortunate that social media has amplified this senseless beef and murder for everyone to see and react. While YouTube and Twitter is a hotbed of new ideas and entertainment, it can also tie itself into a more gruesome and bloody side of society. The Lil JoJo/Chief Keef beef exemplifies the worst in social media.