Emerging artist XV will perform at Madison's High Noon Saloon this Thursday, January 26. Recent violence at local hip hop shows has put the future of live shows in question.
In the last two months in Madison, we’ve had two incidents of gun play at music venues. First, at a Majestic Christmas Eve hip-hop party hosted by the ever-positive local hip-hop artist, Rob Dz, a fight broke out and guns were pulled on staff and security personnel. And, more recently, at High Noon Saloon, someone was pistol-whipped, and a shot was fired in the men’s bathroom. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, of all days.
In the aftermath, those of us who love hip-hop and see it as a valid art form are faced with the challenge of where we go from here.
This Thursday, we have Warner Brothers recording artist XV appearing at High Noon Saloon. In order to reassure the venue’s understandably rattled staff, we’ve made changes in the line-up and instituted radical security measures. Everyone who comes in the door will be wanded with a metal detector and bags will be checked for weapons. If you go out the door to smoke or socialize outside on High Noon’s patio, you will be checked again when you come back in. Period.
I’ve written about this topic before. I’m no expert. I’m just one guy with an opinion. But it’s an informed opinion. True Endeavors has brought more hip-hop shows to Madison over the last two decades than any other promoter. A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Common, The Roots, Method Man, Ghostface, Eyedea & Abilities, Atmosphere, Brother Ali, P.O.S., Doomtree, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Mac Miller, Wale, Immortal Technique, Heiroglyphics, Del The Funky Homosapien, Grieves, G-Side, Danny Brown, Das Racist, Macklemore, Blue Scholars, Living Legends, Afrika Bambaataa, Dead Prez, Sage Francis, Souls of Mischief, YelaWolf, Devin The Dude, Cunninlynguists, and so many more are among the acts we’ve been fortunate to promote.
On the other hand, I’m also white, which means I need to be circumspect before shooting off my mouth.
I agree with Cornell West when he says “race matters.” Newt Gingrich got a big applause line at a recent GOP debate when we attacked Obama as being a “food stamp president.” This is despicable race-baiting, plain and simple. Rick Santorum said something similar before the Iowa primary, playing on the old stereotypes and coded language that have long sullied our national politics.
I bring this up because we can’t discuss our current situation with hip-hop without acknowledging race. We need to face the facts, but do so in a way that does not excuse criminal behavior.
Filed under: Hip Hop, Music Shows This Week in Madison, Sounding Board Blog | Tagged: High Noon Saloon, hip hop in madison, Madison hip hop concerts, Madison WI concerts, madison wi music, XV | 10 Comments »