Is the allure of a big recording contract with a major record label leading urban youth to an early grave? A family member of a slain 18-year-old Chicago rapper seems to think so.
Englewood resident Lil’ JoJo, born Joseph Coleman, was murdered in a hail of gunfire in a drive-by shooting as he was riding on the back pegs of a friend’s bike. Witnesses described the vehicle as a tan, older model, four-door Ford Taurus that was riding low in the back, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Authorities believe members of the Black Disciples street gang are responsible for Coleman’s death.
A family member, who remained unnamed, spoke exclusively with Hip Hop News 24-7 to denounce record labels for causing the young rappers to go to great lengths to get a record deal.
“Without these record labels being regulated the right way, they are going to continue to spread poison,” he said.
These kids, he said, think they gotta reach a certain level they really don’t.
The family member said a lot of artists want to portray they are the “realest” and the “toughest.”
It’s a façade, he said, because if you look at anyone that’s making money in the music industry they couldn’t afford to do that
If they did, they wouldn’t have what they have, he added.
The family member said the conflict between Lil’ JoJo and his rivals escalated from the music videos.
“This was an issue that got started and the ball was rolling,” he said. “And the thing that infumed this was these videos. Feelings got hurt over words. I believe the wrong factions took it personal and these kids or somebody had to fix it. By them being kids, the only way they can fix it is making a kids’ decision.”
Lil’ JoJo allegedly had a hit out on him due to his highly publicized beef with the Black Disciples street gang, namely rappers Lil’ Durk and Lil’ Reese. The rapper posted a video “3HunnaK” to Youtube attacking the Glory Boyz Entertainment affiliates.
“These ni**as claim 300, but we BDK,” he rapped.
BDK is short for Black Disciples Killers and “300” is the gang numeric code for the Black Disciples street gang.
Lil’ JoJo, John Coleman said, wrote “3HunnaK” to expose studio gangsters whom he felt were frauds, according to the Sun Times.
The family member said the content the record labels put out need to be “regulated,” so “kids know they got standards.”
Labels, he said, need artist development to teach young rappers.
Do you think records labels are to blame for Lil’ JoJo’s death? Sound off below.
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