Over the last several months, Chief Keef has been inadvertently drawn into Chicago's excessive gun violence epidemic, and sadly one of his sibling has become a victim. Ulysses “Chris” Gissendanner III was shot in the back of the head last week, while on the city's South Side.
Gissendanner, 19, lived in the suburbs and aspired to follow in the rap footsteps of his younger stepbrother. The two became siblings after Keef's father – Alfonso Cozart—married Gissendanner's mother— Aridecy Tate—but his link to the teen rapper is not believed to have been a motive in the killing.
Cozart said that even if the fatal shooting wasn't meant as a form of retaliation against the family, he fears for his son's safety. “As a caring father, who wouldn't worry about that? I do want my son to have success and have a long, positive life, and I hope the best for him.” He also made it clear that he's not trying to cash in on his offspring's fame, and is more concerned with Gissendanner's death. “He just graduated high school, and was in college and had a job. He was a positive person. I'm not trying to get publicity off Chief Keef being my son, I want to focus on Ulysses. He's the one that's gone.”
Tate, who lives in Arkansas, headed back to Chicago to identify her son, and visited the location where he lost his life. “Somebody shot my son in the back of his head, and now he's dead,” she said. “I wanted to see where my son passed.”
In trying to get his feet wet in the rap game, Gissendanner rhymed under the name “YPN Boomtown” and is said to have had a different style than his stepbrother. “He rapped about struggling and what he was going to do,” noted his friend and manager, Tommy Rice. “He was going to make it big. We were going to make it big,”
As Keef's star continues to rise, the teenager routinely finds himself in legal fire. In addition to being investigated in the shooting death of rival Joseph “Lil JoJo” Coleman, he was in fear of going back to jail for violating his probation by moving and not informing authorities. Last week a judge found him innocent of wrongdoing for relocating. According to his lawyer, Keef has no relationship with his father, wasn't “friendly” with Gissendanner, and had “nothing to do with the kid.” He has not yet spoken on his stepbrother's death and was criticized for his silence on Gissendanner's Twitter page.
Click below to see photos of Gissendanner with his family, the location where he was killed, and images from his Facebook page.
Photos: Mark Konkol/Facebook/Chicago Tribune