Posted by Gary Anderson
So word is coming out that legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff got onstage in Kansas City and was doing his thing, when 30 minutes in, the management aparantly didn't care for what he was playing and had kicked him out.
Jeff was reportedly asked to play "top 40" music, and so he was playing clean edits of radio hip hop tracks (which are top 40 type music) and apparantly that was not what the folks at the Power & Light District had in mind.
A couple people via twitter were saying that P&L had the cops escort him out because "this is a family establishment". Whatever that means.
Jeff's own twitter page voiced his frustration:
1. HOW DID THEY KICK ME OFF STAGE IN KANSAS CITY FOR PLAYIN HIP HOP...I'M A 25YR LEGEND...THIS IS SOME BULLSHIT19 minutes ago from web
2. I MEAN I WAS PLAYIN SHIT LIKE JUST A FRIEND...ITS A HEINEKEN COMMERCIAL FOR GODS SAKE...AND 3000 PEOPLE WERE ROCKIN...WTF MAN13 minutes ago from web
3. SORRY KC...I HAD SOMETHING SPECIAL PLANNED...11 minutes ago from web
4. KC LIVE SUCKS...THEY SAID THEY WANTED TOP 40...LOOK AT THE TOP 40 LIST JACKASS1 minute ago from web
This kinda smacks of something bad. I don't wanna cry racism, although many people ARE. I don't understand how you can hire DJ Jazzy Jeff and not expect hip hop? I mean, yeah Jeff does some house shows too, and there WERE some other house type DJ's there, but do you not know Jeff is known for hip hop? Did you not think to say "hey...we want top 40 stuff, but none of that hip hop music, please?"
At best, they picked the wrong DJ for this party, totally clueless as to who they were getting. At worst....well...the P&L has a history of bad race relations incidents, so I dunno.
This was to be the third stop on his B-Live tour as part of VH-1's Save the Music tour.
UPDATE: 4:46pm Sunday
Skillz, who was there at the event responded to some of the people who are saying that it wasn't because of Jeff playing rap music, but that it was that Jeff was allegedy pushing the speaker system too much.
Thanks to Zachishere.com for the following information. Check his site for a short video clip from right before Jeff had to leave.
I was the MC there.My name is Skillz ..for proof hit me @ twitter.com/skillzva and Jeff didn’t push any levels..we were told that they didn’t want RAP music played after we started. The mgr’s exact words to our road mgr was ” we don’t want TI played here” as we played Live Your Life feat. Rihanna. We played clean versions and I didn’t curse or disrepect the venue or the crowd. We played Kanye, TI, Neyo and Big Markie’s Just a Friend..which are all top 40 or known records. I was told by my road mgr to annouce to the crowd why were were stopping. I asked why? And he said they said they don’t want rap music played” I said you want me to say that to them ” and he said yes. So I did. I said word for word ” I have just been informed we have to stop because they don’t want rap music played here” I said jeffs website address and we left.
I dropped the mic( and that was the only thing that couldve been taken as disrespect). We went backstage and the Barcardi people apologized to us. I went to the side of the stage to speak to a friend. And the stage a guy walked up to me and said ” why would you do that” I’m like ” do what” he replied ” why would you turn the crowd against me” and I’m like ” excuse me, who are you?” And he replied to the cops ” I want him off the property” and I was escorted out.
It was 30 people there with me when that happened.I left. Later that night we were told that ” my posture ” was an issue. They said I continued to grab my crotch and throw gang signs. It was never an issue of sound. They didn’t want rap music in their spot. And me being there dressed with my jeans and my hat on backwards telling peeps to sing the words to Neyo was too much for them. I’m sure they’re thinking different this morning though.
And then Z-Trip, the opening act responded on his Twitter feed this morning with the following shot at the P&L:
Leavin KC. Def 1 of the top 5 most bizzare shows ever. They did Jeff wrong. Don’t blame all of KC, just the racists who ran that spot. Weak.
UPDATE: 5:12pm SUNDAY
Jeff did a phone interview with a newspaper in Kansas City about the incident.
Just hours after he returned to his Philadelphia home, I spoke to Jazzy Jeff on the phone to hear his side. He says it was about what he was spinning, not the levels.
His set started with sounds of hip-hop and pop favorites -- Jay-Z, Biz Markie, Rihanna. His MC, Skillz, a celebrated rapper and ghostwriter, hyped up the crowd. They were off to a good start.
But after 15 minutes or so, in the middle of an R&B hit by Ne-Yo, "Miss Independent," he was told to stop.
"My road manager walked up to me and said they were having problems with the music I was playing," Jazzy Jeff told me. "I played three more songs and he comes back. I knew something was wrong. They said I had to kick Skillz off the stage, change the format of the music I was playing or quit. They said if I continued playing they had 30 cops ready to come escort me off stage. So I stopped."
Jon Stephens says that isn't so.
"Obviously we have a desire to book a diversity of acts," he said. "We booked Jazzy Jeff on a Saturday night, the biggest night of the week in the district. We were excited to have him there. It's unfortunate that his sound and management people had problems adhering to the sound and audio rules. We wanted him to play, that's why we booked him."
Jeff said he was told to play Top 40.
"I was playing Rihanna, she is Top 40," he says. "If they would have let my set play, they would have known I play everything. I play rock, funk, soul, pop, hip-hop, reggae. I don't play for a certain genre, race or gender. I play for music lovers. I have played in Dublin to an Irish crowd of 5000, screaming, drunk people. We had a great time. When you love music it doesn't matter."
In his 25 year career, at 44-years-old, Jeff has never been told to end a set because of hip-hop. He says he has never felt that kind of racism. The "element" officials referred to felt like a reference to black people, a hip-hop crowd.
"I'm in shock," he says. "I didn't understand what element they were talking about. I looked out in the crowd and it was multicultural, but about 75 percent white. Everyone was having a great time. I wondered what was so offensive. I never had a race issue. I didn't know how to feel. I was playing 'Just a Friend.' Is that offensive? What element? It's uncomfortable when you feel unwanted."
Read the Full Article Here