By now all of us have heard about the nasty brawl that went down inside a Manhattan club the other night involving Chris Brown and Drake over Rihanna. How could we not hear about it? It’s been the lead story on damn near every newscast from Entertainment Tonight to TMZ to Good Morning America.
We’ve all seen the pictures of the club littered with broken bottles along with people from their respective entourages including basketball star Tony Parker along with innocent club goers nursing nasty cuts and bruises. By now most of us have seen the picture taken by Chris Brown himself exposing a ghoulish looking gash under his chin.
News of this fight have not only been in the headlines, it’s completely overshadowed many of the positive things folks with Hip Hop are doing. For, example, this is opening weekend for Ice T‘s stellar documentary Art of Rap. Instead of celebrating its release and its shattering of long-held stereotypes, all of us are being peppered with questions about Hip Hop beefs and violence. Thanks Chris, Thanks Drake for keeping such insidious thoughts alive and well. I wouldn’t put it past some who brought into misinformation who are now wondering if this movies, concert and other gatherings will incite more beefs resulting in similar drama as displayed the other night..
The other day there was a historic march and protest in New York City to bring an end to New York City’s infamous Stop-N-Frisk policy. So far some major inroads have been made. Last year over 680k people were stopped on the streets and searched by NYPD. This year NYPD was on target to stop and frisk over 800k. Studies have shown 85-90% of those folks stopped by police are young Black and Brown males with less than 10% being in violation of any law, major or minor. These numbers have caused an outrage resulting in lawsuits and demonstrations like the one the other day.
New York City police along with Mayor Bloomberg who famously supports the policy, have not been shy about justifying this practice, along with its racial profiling aspect. Bloomberg and company have been crafty about keeping the climate of fear alive and well, using incidents like this Chris Brown/ Drake fight as prime examples of ‘how bad’ it really is out there.
Ideally one would’ve hoped that these two superstars would’ve been amongst the masses who stepped out to help end this policy, after all it impacts them and definitely their fans. Their popularity could certainly helped heighten awareness. Instead whether intended or not, this incident and their juvenile violent behavior becomes the rationale as to why such a policy needs to exist in the first place.The Logical or illogical the thinking unfolds as follows; If celebrity millionaires can’t keep the drama and beefs at bay then how can we expect cats on the block who have considerably less do the same? Like it or not the Chris Brown/ Drake fight does not get limited to them.. It becomes a burden all of us wind up shouldering.
It’s obvious that Chris Brown who went from being this clean-cut squeaky clean personality who could sell you chewing gun, to being a brutish, quick-tempered women beater has not learned to stay out of trouble and keep his temper in check no matter how many chances given. Drake who is not known for violence, by most accounts him or folks in his entourage were initiators. In the latest update, Drake is now being sought by police to be arrested for throwing the bottle..
In either case it matters not..The question we all need to be asking is what’s gonna make this stop? How many more slaps on the wrists do they get? Why should a Chris Brown stay out of trouble, when its more than obvious his bad behavior keeps getting rewarded. Him and Drake will be on the next award show? They’ll be at the next Summer jam concert. They’ll be played 85 times a day on the radio..What message does this constant rewarding send to our youth when they see adults co-signing or ignoring bad behavior?
These artists aren’t stupid. They know the lines within the industry of what they can cross or not cross. For example, do you think Chris Brown would ever been giving a second or third chance if he went and publicly dissed a major radio station playing his song? Instead of Rihanna, lets say he went up to MTV and lost his temper and beat on one of the VPs of Viacom which owns BET or MTV? Better yet lets say this altercation between Drake and Chris took place at industry executive, Clive Davis‘ pre-Grammy party, what do you think would be going on then? They’d be banned. Records removed etc.. There’d be zero tolerance for this sort of bullshit behavior.
What penalty are we consciously extracting from them? Does it mean boycott? Not buying their music or not allowing it in the home? Does it mean demanding that venues or deejay you hire not spin it? Many of us who work in professions especially one where we engage the public where would be suspended if not fired if we had some sort public transgression or altercation. I’m not for censorship or ruining people permanently, but at a date and time where we are struggling to keep youngsters from embracing destructive nihilistic behavior, it falls on def ears when the people they look up to and listen to and watch are pulling crap like this with impunity. The same way a Michael Bloomberg and NYPD go about their business of creating a climate of fear to justify more police and the implementation crazy police tactics, we’ve got to create a climate that makes it uncomfortable when you’re artist engaging our community and you act irresponsible.
Lastly what got me thinking about this was a an incident involving Cypress Hill some years back.. The group headlined a show at the Bill Graham Civic auditorium in San Francisco.. It was a packed house and everyone was hyped and eager to see B-Real, Sen Dogg and DJ Muggs catch wreck. As the show got underway the hype man from one of the opening acts got on stage and tried to get the crowd going.. Frustrated by the lukewarm response, the hype man yelled; What are y’all Fags or what?.. If ur a fag be quiet.. The audience erupted and yelled with enthusiasm to make sure they were heard..
I recalled thinking at the time, that was pretty bold to be yelling out something like that in San Francisco which has large gay population, but didn’t think much more about it afterwards.. Cypress Hill eventually took the stage later that night and tore the house down.. The next day when we got to the radio station KMEL.. we were informed under no circumstances were we or any other mixers would be allowed to play Cypress Hill.. All station drops were removed. All recordings were packed and taken out of the studio. We were told that Cypress made offensive remarks at the concert during their show and people complained. When it was relayed that it wasn’t Cypress, but in fact their opening act that uttered the offense, we were told it didn’t matter Cypress Hill brought the act to town and thus was gonna pay the price, end of story..We were told there would be zero tolerance.
For almost a year we could not play Cypress Hill and on the few occasions a song slipped through the person who programmed it was checked and steps were taken to ensure it not happen again. It wasn’t until the group wrote a letter of apology for something they did not do that we were allowed to lift the ban.
I reference this story to indicate that in an industry that claims that what it presents for the world to consume is based upon popularity, ‘requests’ and overall public demand, doesn’t really matter when the powers that be decide that for whatever reason they’re on a shit list.. I referenced Cypress Hill because at that time they were enormously popular.. Popularity be damned. Major label backing be damned. They weren’t being played.
Over the years I seen this happen with numerous artists from Buju Banton to Turbo B of to a host of acts who brought songs to competing stations, all be banned. Over the years I’ve seen the powers that be including local police departments step to radio stations, concert promoters and venue owners and dictate who can and cannot appear on the stage.. It ranged from Run DMC to Tribe Called Quest, popularity didn’t matter. If it was deemed they were a problem for whatever reason, they weren’t allowed on.
We should keep this in mind, next time we start hearing about some of the craziness artists who we support. After a certain point enough is enough.. We have to stop being enablers and co-signers for some of the things they are pulling. Time to start shunning some of this..
That’s Food for Thought..
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Good column, but dez niggas shouldnt be looked up 2, they thinking about themselves not the community. http://www.hoodkings.wordpress.com
Who cares if these wack ass punks stab each other… Stop focusin on garbage Davey. I aint checked in your website for awhile because the content went downhill and when I do, I see a story like this. Report on REAL HIP HOP not the virus that has corrupted HIP HOP.
LOL Chris my website covers a variety of topics.. why did u read and respond to this vs the three stories on 2pac? where’s the response to Shock G? ur response to Art of Rap movie? The story on Chuck Brown? Mc Lyte? Who cares? obviously u did enough to respond.. stop acting elitist or go to a site that covers something more to ur liking..
The same ban that happened to Cypress Hill happened with Trae Tha Truth in Houston. I covered that story about two years ago — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V4m-nXwa9s
Great article, Davey. Never fear. The more Chris Brown, and others in hip hop, get away with this sort of violent behavior, the more comfortable it will become for them. They will let their guard down at some point. One day you’ll hear about one of them at an industry event wilding out in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and to the wrong person. Then, it’ll be a wrap.
Why did I click on this story. To tell you to step your game up. Hey, you don’t know. I got respect for ya Dave, you ain’t no new jack. U been in this a long time and I think you know better.
No Chris u read the story bc like the other thousands of people and every other site u were interested including the so called Real Hip Hop ones.. ..Don’t play some high brow shyt.. U then ignored every other article This wasn’t some TMZ retread… so save that BS for the next guy homie.. The story was calling for all of us to be accountable for the choices we make and who we support, not a blow by blow he said she said breakdown of an incident.. Since Hip Hop comes under fire even in 2012 for perceptions of violence its actually responsible to weigh in and say No to messed up actions..
Sure man, every one is entitled to their opinion. However, I don’t think that topic is of your standard. I know you are a conscious cat and I am all for it. Just can’t undastand how you would speak on a subject which the mainstream media would be all over. The likes of CB, Rhianna, Drake, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and many other GARBAGE artists get enough burn on Hip Hop websites as it is. Yeah, enough is enough. Enough talk about two artists which don’t mean shit to those who are serious about hip hop culture.I think that your efforts could be better used speakin on artists who are lesser known who don’t have millions of $ and also those who are true to the ART OF RAP. Yo, I been listenin ta rap since 1983 and I know BS when I see it. If u say other REAL HIP HOP (they aint’ real enuf) sites are coverin this then why not take the high road and not give it any coverage at all. In sayin that, I know the school that you from. Do we all remember the dayz of Rap Masters and Word Up? We came a long time from talkin bout artists lyke KRS, Juice Crew, Ice Cube and ATCQ to this. If hedz ain’t learned since Pac and B.I.G, they won’t never learn. Just a fact of life. People don’t like each other and it’s on.
Chris my focus is not some sort of elitist interpretation of real Hip Hop.. I talk about issues of concern to my community, many of whom relate to Hip Hop.. I cover politics, I cover culture.. I weigh in on topics of interest to an audience that apparently likes what I do and can relate..If this aint ur thing that’s ok..Its my neighbors thing.. There are more than 50k articles on my site.. find another that suits you and allow space for the ones this article appeals to..
Yo Dave, I’m just not used to seeing you discuss POP artists… And I have been following your site off and on since the early 2000’s. Around 04-05, every story on this site was a good read. You was on fire back then. That’s not to say that I think your site is garbage. I think it is STILL a good site however I feel something needs to be said about the state of hip hop in 2012 and I thought why not start by clicking on this story and giving some feedback. I thought when all else fails, try Davey D. Then I see a blog on CB and Drake and I think to myself, the world has surely gone mad. ALLHIPHOP.COM is another website which has gone completely downhill much worse then yours. It’s getting to the point where I am wondering who can you trust? Source, XXL is utter crap to what they used to be. It’s unbelievable how HHC, a hip hop mag that ain’t even from the US is the best Hip Hop mag in the world. I’m sorry about the negative comments Dave but I am one of the LAST of the 1990’s and what a great generation it was. Maybe CB and Drake should go and watch Boyz N The Hood one more time.
Did you read the blog? He discussed these artist from, what i believe, a conscious viewpoint. He adressed how we could or should deal with these situations. He didn\’t just post the news for sensation or anything. I think it\’s on point. It\’s 2012 Chris, not 1990 and i understand what you mean what\’s Hip Hop and what\’s not, but i like the fact everything is beeing covered and discussed.
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