I'm not a huge fan of hip-hop and am ever so slightly prone to panic attacks in large crowds, so it shouldn't be a surprise KRS-One's Auckland show last night wasn't terribly high on my bucket list.
But this, if this is true, should have even the most fervid rap-haters tapping their feet -- with impatience and irritation.
Rapper KRS-ONE has been forced to move his concert from Auckland’s Cloud venue at the Viaduct, allegedly after concerns over the mix of rap and alcohol.
A liquor licence for the venue was denied, forcing the concert to move to Studio on Karangahape Road.
The Auckland City Council claims promoters were too slow in their application for a liquor licence at the venue - a claim KRS-ONE concert promoter Zen Ginnen calls “completely a lie”.
Mr Ginnen claims there is another reason behind the venue shift. He says he was told by police that rap tends to attract a “certain group within society which causes problems for the community”.
Perhaps I'm being way too cynical, but if Ginnen's allegation is correct it's hard to escape the conclusion that "certain group" is not at all subtle code for young, male, from Auckland's south and west and bearing way too much melanin. (Even with my level of hip-hop illiteracy I have my suspicions that the audience for this chap might just skew a little older and a lot whiter.)
Anyone who's attending KRS-One's hastily organised seminar at Auckland Museum this afternoon (1pm, The Auditorium (level 2), enter via Southern Atrium. Admission by koha) is welcome to report back in the comments.
I just hope the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra isn't planning to mark next year's centennary of the premiere of Stravinsky's Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring) with performances in venues requiring a liquor license. Well-bred bourgeois subscribers quaffing mediocre over-priced chardonnay in the lobby of the Aotea Center year may sound harmless, but Iggy infamously attracted his own kind of problematic "certain group" to that gig (even if the actual rioting seems to have been ever so slightly exaggerated).
It may be a landmark of modern classical music, but we just can't risk another drunken riot. Arty-farties and liquor don't mix.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose? Or just another reason why white people can't have nice things?