Chicago Teen Rapper Lil JoJo Slain

By// Mariah Craddick

On Tuesday, rapper Joseph “Lil JoJo” Coleman, 18, was gunned down on the back of a bicycle on the South Side of Chicago. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, local police are investigating possible connections between the shooting death and a possible rivalry with rising Chicago rapper Keith “Chief Keef” Cozart, 17. The two have made their difference public via YouTube and Twitter.

Rovan Manuel, Cozart’s manager, told the newspaper he was unaware of the Twitter controversy and Cozart had a conflict with Coleman because “that kid made songs like Keef.”

After Coleman’s murder was reported, the following tweet from Cozart’s account went out: “Its Sad Cuz Dat N—- Jojo Wanted To Be Jus Like Us #LMAO.” Cozart later claimed his Twitter account was hacked.

Based on various accounts, police believe the death to be gang related. However, the victim’s mother disagrees. “It wasn’t a gang thing, it was a rap thing,” Coleman’s mother Robin Russell tells the Sun-Times. “My son was going to get a rap deal like some of them have and they were jealous.”

A police source told the newspaper that investigation into the murder is ongoing. “Two gangs are fighting each other, going at each other all over the Internet and this is all stemming from that,” they said.