Did you hear about the stabbing last night in Colorado Springs at the Tech N9NE show? Two people were stabbed at the Black Sheep; one person was reportedly hospitalized and released. If you haven't heard about it yet, we'd be surprised. When a rap show goes off without incident -- as is the case a great majority of the time around here -- it doesn't generate headlines like it does when something like this happens.
Fact is, deserved or not, there's a very real stigma associated with hip-hop and violence, just like there is with drugs and dance music (see recent pre-event
hyperventilation coverage of the Electric Daisy Carnival). And isolated incidents like this only serve to perpetuate this public perception. And that's all well and good, but I fear that such stereotyping is contributing to killing hip-hop, causing officials to overreact (see Smif-N-Wessun "riot" in New York earlier this week) and unwarranted fears to take root.
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Now, granted, there's plenty of rap that's objectionable to sensitive ears and tinged with violence. But we live in a violent world, in case you haven't noticed. And it could just as easily be argued that this is a reflection of our times. What's more, there are rappers who glorify being strapped either in song or image -- or even their moniker, for that matter... ahem, Smif-N-Wessun, Tech N9Ne, anyone? There's no denying this fact, which, of course, does nothing to dispel this broad misperception. Just the same, speaking from experience, I don't think this means you need to don a Kevlar vest to see a show.
Honestly, as long I've been going to hip-hop shows in Denver, I've never witnessed any violence -- or at least no more than I've seen at any other kind of show -- and I certainly haven't seen anyone brandish a weapon, for chissakes. Of any kind. Ever. But that's just my experience. Maybe I'm deluded. Maybe I'm a hip-hop apologist. What's yours been? Do you subscribe to this whole notion that hip-hop and the crowd it attracts is inherently violent? Or could it just be like anything else, and perhaps there are a few bad apples spoiling the whole bunch?
I'm no Kreskin, but I'm willing to wager that when Tech N9NE performs at the Fillmore tomorrow night, you won't hear about it -- well, unless you read our review on Saturday morning.