In a new interview, Chief Keef manager Rovan “Dro” Manuel explains that his 17-year-old client is not “a bad person,” he’s just “got a lot of stuff he needs to learn.” For instance, that when you’re on probation for pointing a firearm at a police officer, it’d be unwise to shoot a video interview whilst shooting guns at a gun range. Two weeks ago, the Finally Rich rap star was sentenced to two months in juvie for doing precisely that, an explicit violation of his parole.
“Sometimes you gotta let kids learn the hard way or get burned sometimes before they can wake up and smell the coffee,” he told Best of Both Offices rather fairly. And then, very optimistically: “I think Keef makes some pretty good decisions, you know? He’s the youngest label owner in history, I believe.” Finally, somewhat confusingly, Dro concluded, “It’s not like he came from a neighborhood where it’s 90 percent Jewish and schools are teaching him this-and-that.”
So has the youngster born Keith Cozart learned this … or even that? “I got a message from him that he’s had a wake-up call,” Dro explained. “This is a wake-up call for him. It wasn’t even his fault that it happened, but it happened. I think he’s gonna come out a different person. I think he’s gonna come out with some new music, a new attitude … he’s gonna get out and do some shows, and hopefully go up the charts. And shoot the video for ‘Hate Bein’ Sober.’”
That, of course, is the recent single featuring Wiz Khalifa and 50 Cent, who, according to SPIN scribe Jordan Sargent, contributed “one of his best verses in an eon.” Keef made headlines in November when he failed to show up for a video shoot that’d been scheduled for the song. Dro addressed that as well: “A lot of people in the game … do videos a lot different than we do. We just wake up one day and just feel like doing a video and we do it. Not you know, ‘We’re gonna do this on the 17th of this month, and we’re gonna do it at this time’ … we haven’t shot videos like that.”
In a similarly buck-passing move, he said he holds “Pitchfork and whoever set that interview up” accountable for the Chief’s current juvie stint, although he’s happy to let it rest. “I don’t know what they [knew] when they booked that [but] you can’t cry over spilled milk, you gotta roll with the punches.”