nyc rap shows canceled following irving plaza shooting
Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, Vince Staples, and YG have all had gigs postponed, with organizers citing security fears.
Firestorms are still raging following the fatal shooting at an Irving Plaza rap show in New York last week. On Wednesday, Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$ tweeted that the N.Y.P.D. had canceled a show he had lined up at the venue on June 2 as part of Governor's Ball After Dark series. Bada$$ has since deleted the initial tweet directing blame at the police, but followed it up with a call for fans to join him for a party in Soho. Live Nation, the promoter behind Irving Plaza, has confirmed that it has "postponed" other Gov Ball side shows from Mac Miller and Vince Staples. A further gig from rapper YG, scheduled to take place at the Gramercy Theatre on Monday, also been adjourned.
"In light of last week's tragic events, we are acting with an overabundance of caution and coordinating a going-forward strategy with the New York Police Department that may also include a curfew," Jim Yeager, a spokesman for Live Nation, said on Wednesday. "Because these discussions with the N.Y.P.D. are ongoing, we will be postponing a few of our upcoming shows at Irving Plaza and the Gramercy."
However the N.Y.P.D. is denying their direct involvement. "The organization's decision to cancel the event was in no way influenced by the N.Y.P.D.," said Sophia Mason, a spokeswoman for the department.
Regardless of who actually masterminded the cancelations, this is exactly what rap fans were fearing after the shooting went viral, and especially after tensions were escalated by racist comments from officials. Last week N.Y.P.D. commissioner Bill Bratton slammed "the gangster lifestyle" in a public rant incorporating plenty of charged code words. "The crazy world of the so-called rap artists who are basically thugs that basically celebrate the violence they've lived all their lives and unfortunately that violence often manifests itself during the performances and that's exactly what happened last evening," he said on WCBS 880.
Live Nation has not announced any rescheduled dates for the canceled gigs.
Text Hannah Ongley
Photography Laura Brosnan