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.
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?
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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.