May 30, 2006

Miami Memorial Day aftermath bullshit...

Just surfing the web and I'm starting to notice so much negative press about the South Beach / Miami events this memorial day weekend. I was there, I was out, I experienced it and worked my ass off all weekend doing promotions for record labels and myself. In my opinion, it was actually not at all as bad as they make it out to be.

Check out this bit of info from the Sun Sentinel:
A total of 557 people were arrested between Thursday morning and Saturday night on Miami Beach, where revelers flocked for a celebration of hip-hop music and culture known as Urban Beach Week. Most arrests were for disorderly conduct and intoxication. During the same three-day period last year, there were 333 arrests.

What was an example of disorderly conduct? Here:
Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas and forward Awvee Storey were arrested on charges of disobeying police, part of the crackdown on disorderly behavior among those who have flocked to Miami Beach for Memorial Day weekend.

Storey had been blocking traffic in the middle of a busy street when an officer told him to get back to the sidewalk Saturday night... Storey did not get out of the street, and the officer arrested him and charged him with failure to obey a command.

While police were arresting Storey, Arenas got out of a vehicle and walked toward the arresting officers... an officer told Arenas to get back in his vehicle, but he refused, ... [the] officer took Arenas into custody and charged him with resisting without violence.

Both players were then taken to jail for processing.

Lets be fair here. You see 500+ arrests and you'll pre-judge the Hip Hop festivities as being a wild and violent. But when you get down to the details you'll see that the majority of those arrests where over bullshit. Dumb shit like not obeying a command.

But to be fair, I do admit that this weekend was calmer than the rest, maybe the excessive police presence kept the crowds under control. I don't know. But what I did hear from many locals is that comparing this to the the Winter Music Conference (WMC), with the demographics being a bit more Caucasian, the police force is noticeably not as excessive. During the WMC there are PLENTY of fights, lots of intoxication, and hordes of people. When the less-urban WMC attendees fight in front of club Mansion, the police break it up and send them home. I personally am a witness to this! When we fight in front of club Mansion, another set of arrests are added to the total and those in fear of our Hip Hop culture celebrate another victory.

I'm just tossing out my opinion and my observations of the whole thing. Don't pre-judge the Hip Hop community or our events based on the total arrests. When the skin color changes... the police force does too.

Those who don't fear or shun the Hip Hop community made (or spent) a lot of money and had tons of fun this past weekend. Everyone else choose to be uncomfortable, but it's their right.

Credits: Rick Ross cover by Ozone Magazine, street pic by Fanless.


At 5/31/2006 10:00 AM, Anonymous lackner said...

I gotta disagree with you here CT. First off, the total was close to 900 arrests. That's out of hand; I don't think there were even that many during the World Trade Organization protests and riots. Second, you can't say all the arrests were petty bullshit, because *someone got stabbed to death*, someone else was shot, and someone was trampled - all of this in one evening. None of that happened during WMC! The fact of the matter is Memorial Day Weekend is violent. We can talk all we want about the causes for that violence but the fact remains. Dress like a thug, talk about being a thug, act like one, and get treated like one. I can't blame the cops.

- Lackner, Editor,

At 5/31/2006 1:31 PM, Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

This reminds me of how peace protests numbers are always underestimated. Sounds like you had a great time. My husband heard you're Bush song and said you're talented and have a "radio voice". I agree.

At 5/31/2006 7:51 PM, Blogger chico-towner said...

Thanks for the props Kat! I got more songs on the way... ;-)


Lackner, I'm not implying that these big events are attended by Church mice, I know there is violence and craziness, but NOT to the DEGREE that the press and those who WERE NOT THERE make it out to be. The same things occur at big Rock festivals too. When you take those isolated incidents in proportion to the 4 full days (Thursday - Monday) and thousands of attendees, the odds are in favor of you having a lot of fun if you're into Hip Hop. The press makes it sound like you get stabbed just for stepping on Washington Ave. That's bullshit. Unfortunate events happen, the thug culture is a problem we are addressing within our own community, but in the end we have a right to enjoy South Beach just like the WMC and other folks do. Thanks for voicing your opinon tho. peace!

At 6/01/2006 12:58 AM, Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

I've been meaning to ask you if you've ever listened to KRS1. I've only heard a little, but I've really liked what I heard. He's cornered a niche. You have one, too, and it hasn't been hit or really played to yet, even though it's way bigger. I wish I was big in the biz, because I'd sign you and get you on the radio and in videos yesterday.

At 6/01/2006 4:42 PM, Blogger chico-towner said...

KRS is a legend! I've been hearing his music since the early 90's, because in the late 80's when KRS was hitting hard I still couldn't speak english well enough to comprehend stuff. But I do admire KRS, he even went to the UN and petitioned to have Hip Hop deemed as an official culture, and they did it. Hip Hop is a world-wide movement that touches many lives and brings nationalities, races, genders, and languages together. I can meet a hip hoper in japan or sudan and be on the same page!

KRS is currently doing lectures and performing wherever he's welcomed. I definately want the long career he has had. Thanks for the encouragement, stay tuned for the new tunes! ;-)


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