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Chief Keef On A Gun Range Video, Apparently Not A Great Idea

By Jon Graef in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 7, 2012 5:20PM

2012_9_6_chief_keef_pretty.jpg Citing the Chicago Police Department's investigation of him after he mocked a rival's shooting death on Twitter (a move which alienated much of his fanbase), Pitchfork retracted a video of rapper Chief Keef being interviewed at a New York City gun range from their site three months after it premiered, saying the segment was "insensitive and irresponsible." (And not because Keef couldn't freestyle worth a shit).

Here's broader context: Back in July, Pitchfork posted a video of Chicago-based teen emcee / professional lightning rod for controversy Chief Keef being interviewed at a Big Apple gun range for a recurring video segment on the site.

Weirdly enough, given Chicago's abysmally violent summer caused by the type gun violence that Keef's music reflects / glorifies (depending on who you ask) some criticized the decision.

Now, Pitchfork has pulled the interview clip and issued an apology on its site for airing it in the first place.

Pitchfork's roots are in Chicago and many of our employees and several contributors live in the city. The horror of the gun violence that has plagued our hometown is something we all take very seriously. Many people have pointed out that this episode could be seen as trivializing gun violence, and we feel they have a good point.

Given recent news regarding the shooting of Chicago rapper Lil Jojo and the investigation of people involved in Chicago's rap scene, this seems like the right time to express our regrets regarding that episode. We apologize for this mistake and have removed the video from our archives.

It only took them three months, but better late than never.

Also worth consideration: Keef is a teenager, and the web page for Westside Rifle & Pistol Range, where the interview took place, states patrons must be 21 or older.

Whatever legal jujitsu Pitchfork pulled off in order to get Keef in the range in the first place may be needed in the future, provided that authorities would find such a thing worthy of investigation to begin with.

Credit Pitchfork for seeing the error of their ways, and for issuing an official retraction, which basically feels like seppuku for journalists. But also wonder how they got here in the first place. How could they not understand that interviewing a rapper like Chief Keef at a gun range just maybe, just might be, just could be, considered culturally insensitive and an endorsement of gun violence?