Are anti-hip-hop policies racist?

You might remember that I all but predicted a violent crime wave last year here in St. Louis.

I was walking down the sidewalk trying to get a burrito, and I was forced to cede the center of the sidewalk to a group of young ruffians. It was either that, or kick the shit of them. I probably could take any one of them or maybe as many as two of them at once, but I’m not gonna lie – I’m not as strong as I used to be. Every once in a while, I’ll seriously injure myself, and I’m not trying to do anything other than get out of bed in the morning. And getting into a fight over part of a sidewalk would constitute lowering myself to the level of your average dreaded n-word walking the street. If I’m gonna do that, I might as well just buy a UGK album and be done with it. If only there was a way we could just get rid of the dreaded n-words. (Not to be confused with the dreaded n-word itself.)

Fortunately, last summer drew to a close before the situation got too dire. A family of rich cracka-ass crackas got beaten and robbed trying to take the train back from the airport, and a cop was shot and killed while sitting in his car waiting until right before 4:30 to give people those bullshit parking tickets, but that was about the extent of it. Whew! It remains to be seen whether this summer will be as bad as last summer, or if we can get them all to go back to Northwest Plaza or some shit. Are there any stores left there? Maybe we can have it officially declared a playground.

It sounds like Kansas City may have had a similar problem and attempted to solve it through cunning use of dress codes, which is what led to the incident the other day where DJ Jazzy Jeff got kicked out of a club where he was playing a paid set for having the sheer balls to play a rap record.

Perhaps you heard about this, as well. I saw the headline somewhere yesterday, and I didn’t think too much of it – I figured Jazzy Jeff may have been contracted to play one of these corporate events, and was specifically instructed not to play any rap music. But then he forgot, because he’s getting on in years, and they had to boot him. You know how a lot of these older DJs have been forced to take degrading jobs, just for the money. Biz Markie, for example, played George W. Bush’s inauguration, back in ’05. I wonder if he was presented with a list of songs to play, or if they just figured he’d know better than to play that song by Lil’ Jon where he’s talking about skeet-skeeting on a broad.

But it turns out this wasn’t any corporate event. It was a club that bills itself as a Top 40 establishment, and as Jeremy Levine pointed out, the Top 40 is filled with rap music. That song where Lil’ Jon talks about skeet-skeeting on a broad may have even cracked the top 40. And the song that got Jazzy Jeff booted, as if he was getting tossed out the front door by Uncle Phil on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, wasn’t even a rap song per se. It was “Just a Friend” by none other than motherfucking Biz Markie, as can currently be heard in a motherfucking Heineken commercial. (Needless to say, Biz Markie is off the artistic roll call.)

The thing is, the club where this event was held has an exceedingly strict no-hip-hop policy. Its dress code reads as follows: “No White T-Shirts; No Shirts Below Pants Pockets; No Shorts Below Top of Calf; No Exposed Necklaces on Men; No Towels,” and it’s obvious it was designed to rid the place of dreaded n-words. That last one, in particular, is the dead giveaway. For whatever reason, you do see a lot of these roving packs of dreaded n-words walking around with hand towels. The fuck? That strikes me as some real beta male shit, though I’m sure a few of you will beg to differ. I couldn’t even get some of you to admit that a man having more than one or two friends at a time, let alone going to the mall with them, is a little bit soft.

I’m assuming the club didn’t used to have such a policy, but then D’Brickashaw and them showed up and fucked things up for everyone. I can’t imagine there was too much of a danger in Jazzy Jeff playing a Biz Markie song at this event, which was sponsored by VH1, but you know… slippery slopes. One minute it’s a buncha aging cracka-ass crackas singing along to Biz Markie. The next thing you know, the place will get shot up.

What do you fruits think? Are policies like the one at this club racist, or are they necessary to make sure the wrong kind of people don’t show up? For what it’s worth, I’ll go ahead and point out that Jazzy Jeff himself is black.

  • Pierzy

    Of course they’re racist. It’s all racist. Why else, when someone that is White listens to hip-hop, is said to be “acting black,” with scorn like it’s such a bad thing?

    Yes, they’re racist.

  • Pierzy

    In some of the more racist neighborhoods here in Philly, spots have dress codes like the following: No baggy T-shirts, no backwards hats, no baggy jeans, etc… I don’t wear shit like that anymore, but it still sounds at least slanted to me.

    • chitchat

      What’s really racist is when you ride past these spots and see white men coming out dressed just as the policy forbids! You know they’d be enforcing that ish on some brothas.

      And how is Biz good enough for the nation’s elite right, but not good enough for KC rap fans (I assume they were rap fans if they knew Jeff was spinning and still decided to come).

      • Worley

        “and a cop was shot and killed while sitting in his car waiting until right before 4:30 to give people those bullshit parking tickets.” What a pity.

        @chitchat: Yea, I go to some clubs and see white men damned near bare foot with no shirt and that’s ok. But let me throw on a pair of Timbs and that’s somehow “inappropriate” for the establishment. F*ck outta here.

  • Pierzy

    In some of the more racist neighborhoods here in Philly, spots have dress codes like the following: No baggy T-shirts, no backwards hats, no baggy jeans, etc… I don’t wear shit like that anymore, but it still sounds at least slanted to me…

  • Illegal1

    Shit is racist as fuck, when was the last time you read something saying no tight jeans, no makeup on men, no piercings on men, no steel toe boots, etc…

    As far as the backwards hat Piercy mentioned, some dude at a frat party told me to wear my hat “the right way” one day, I told him to make me and he proceeded to walk away talking under his breath, not two weeks later I see the same dude at Kroger with his hat on backwards, fuck these fake white niggaz.

  • giantstepp

    Its like the chinese spot in the hood with the thick plexiglass they hide behind to serve the folks. On one hand it offends me because I aint never robbed a soul….but on the other hand, I understand because if you didnt have that glass up, you are gonna get GOT! Trust me.

    Those policies are obvious racist, but I sorta, kinda understand them wanting to NOT attract a certain element.

  • http://thepiratebay.org/user/MaxProfit Max Profit

    What was up with that jab at UGK?

    Anyways it’s good you ain’t try to step to the young boys
    If you aint about gun play then don’t go lookin for trouble.

    Dj Jazzy Jeff should have known those folks would trip. It’s all just a part of being a DJ.

  • fredMS

    its not racist imo. who wants to go somewhere full of d-bags dressing like D4L?

  • geico lizard

    “I was walking down the sidewalk trying to get a burrito, and I was forced to cede the center of the sidewalk to a group of young ruffians”

    ^
    They are lucky you didnt already have the burrito or that would have been their asses,no fishsticks. If a man is hungry enough he would choke out a navy seal.

  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

    Maybe they didn’t like his choice of body fragrance. I’ve seen Drakkar get cats stomped out @ the swapmeet.

    As far as the racism, of course it is. The world knows that if you do “Black” things, it attracts “Black” people, like flies.

    That’s why white folks don’t drink Kool Aid. Next thing you know, the Kool Aid man’s busting through your wall & ninja’s are rushing the front door.

    Are there any Church’s Chicken’s in white neighborhoods? Just asking……

    Seriously though, the country is set up on such a racist schematic that one can’t help but to implore @ least a little bit of it in their daily lives. When a person over-steps that imaginary boundary, such as throwing a Biz Mark song on @ a square dance, things get ugly.

    He’s lucky he didn’t get lynched.

  • geico lizard

    “You know how a lot of these older DJs have been forced to take degrading jobs, just for the money. Biz Markie, for example, played George W. Bush’s inauguration, back in ‘05.”

    ^
    Dont be too hard on Biz because Beyonce played that too and she managed to talk her way(flirt) into playing President Obamas too.

  • Gabriel

    There was no incident that caused these policies to go into place, the whole area where the club is owned by an out of town corporation that had anti dreaded n-word dress code policies off top. There’s been multiple protests and useless meeetings with the mayor over it. Jazz must have had to get special dispensation to go in with cross colours jeans and dwayne wayne flip-up glasses or whatever it is he wears.

  • $ykotic

    I mean we all know what it is. Depending on the situation you can understand why. The profiling is blatant.

    But hell, they just took the other signs down like over 35 years ago. It shouldn’t surprise anyone. Even Grammy winning Jazzy Jeff.

    The irony of it is the Biz factor.

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

      “The irony of it is the Biz factor.”

      How much more harmless can you get than that? For real, he could’ve put on The Roots. Of course, that’s not threatening or aggressive, but, he wasn’t even trying to get real “hip hop” with it.

      He throw on a song that the drunk party kids knew; even the cab driver was singing in the commercial.

      • $ykotic

        Maybe Corona was sponsoring the party.

  • geico lizard

    “For whatever reason, you do see a lot of these roving packs of dreaded n-words walking around with hand towels. The fuck?”

    ^
    If they are skinny then I dont know the answer but if they are fat guys they have the towel to wipe the sweat off their brows. Back in the old days a nigga had a fainting couch if he got too hot but shit done changed.

  • General

    Why does it not suprise me that this happened at a VH1 event…

    And who the fuck hires a hip-hop DJ to do an event where rap music is banned???

    I’m sure Jay would still be allowed to rock in there with Coldplay though?

  • jojo

    Sometimes an exclusionary policy can benefit patrons of certain facilities. In Vancouver, a policy has been enacted that restricts known gang members from entering clubs AND downtown restaurants in order to curb violence. They have also gone so far as limiting individuals who wear douchebag clothing such as ed hardy, audigier, affliction and tap out gear. Sure, not all jackasses that wear these UFC fanatic brands are a severe threat to public safety, but if you step out of your front door looking like a 19 year old dick or a 30 year old jackass trying to channel his youth, you deserve no entry into any of these places.

    In terms of the whole racist policy question, of course they are racist. However, as racist as these policies are, perhaps it can be beneficial in certain areas. 90% of convicted sex offenders are white(and about 90+% of the prison population is black, I dont know what to tell ya). Perhaps we can get a policy enacted that would restrict white folks from Chuck E. Cheese, the playground at McDonald’s and an OJ da Juiceman concert. Mark Foley needs to get on this.

    (sarcasm)

  • DETROIT

    what up bol,

    being that i’m from detroit, i feel that i’m an expert on this topic. they’ve been using dress codes in the d for as long as i can remember. they used to do it to separate the dressed to sweat/bootie music crowd from the grown and crowd. this works particularly well in detroit because so much empahsis is placed on looking fly, therefore if you go to a grown and sexy party you have to spend major bread to look good enough for a bitch to fuck with you.

    it boils down to this bol……BROKE NIGGAS MAKE THE BEST CROOKS! in alot of the exclusive establishments in detroit, YOU CAN PAY TO WEAR THE SHIT THEY TELL YOU NOT TO WEAR! although it’s not cheap.

    your example seems to take things too far, but that’s what usually happens with these types of things! i’ll tell you this tho, a dress code makes all the difference in the world in detroit! and i think that we’re a good example due to the fact that there were more murders in detroit between the years of 1970 and 2007 THAN ANY OTHER CITY IN AMERICA!

    • DetroitDraper

      Yea your exactly right. The dress code in detroit seperates the grown-n-sexy crowd from the Gucci Mane bangas lol. But I was in the military and Ive been to alot of different cities just to party and there no places( maybe in the south) as racist as Connecticut and Providence Rhode Island. Im at work and I dont really feel like typing up the whole incident but lets just say the dress code was strickly enforced upon us but they had no problem lettin our women of color in. The biggest part that upset me was the fact that the black people in this area allow it to go on…that shit a never be allowed in the D I wanted to beat the shit outta that bouncer but the damn mounted police stay in downtown Providence and they were directly behind me at the other club

    • Zulu1925

      @ Detroit ***2nd Try***

      Where did you find that homicide statistic? I only found the National Institute of Justice Research Report – Homicide in Eight U.S. Cities: Trends, Context and Policy Implications which looked at the years from 1985 – 1994. I’d be interested to see how this Federally produced report compares to the research you quoted.

  • Azhar

    racial Bullshit…. No towels whatever, Plenty of the spots in philly have rules like that no wearing hats backwards, no timberlands, no-white t’s, u hav ethe choice to not frequent those spots, but at the same time, its that racial bullshit!

  • El Tico Loco

    Actually last Friday I was going to go see Slick Rick and Biz, thank God I got there early before the line got ridiculous as it usually does at this club, the punk ass bouncer said I couldn’t go in with lo on, what kinda shit is that? I’m still salty with extra sodium about that because in April I went there to see Biz, Kane, MC Shan, and Doug E Fresh dressed basically the same way and got in no problems, I wasn’t wearin timbs or nothing like that, it’s a rap show for cryin out loud I ain’t going to a rap show in Kirk Franklin shirt make it so bad I was about to pay for the short line and already paid to park so is not like I was bummin, I didn’t see the point period.

  • latino heat

    speaking of shit Biz Markie is doing for money, have any of you ever heard of a kids show called Yo Gabba Gabba? i was at my girls cousins house the other day and she was watching it with her baby, and who do i see on this wack ass show playing himself? Biz Markie! i felt so bad for Biz. dude must be really hard up for money. i bet he ain’t seeing a dime off that beer commercial.

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

      I bet you Marly Marl/Cold Chillin’/Warner Bros. is though. You know how the execs did the artists back then.

      • latino heat

        that’s exactly what i meant. Marley Marl probably ain’t getting paid either. just Warner Bros. and whoever owns the Cold Chillin’ masters. does anybody know who that is by the way?

  • Nate

    Good article

    It’s just sickening how far they continue to go with this.

    The best thing to do is be reasonable about it.

    Price the show accordingly whether you want to do 20-40 entry fee, but for all the regular people who want to dress regular they shouldn’t have to deal with the extreme racist dress codes.

    If safety was the true concern then pricing the entry fee is the fairest way. Most concerts and events priced high up get 5% of the problems that hood priced events get..

    yeah it’s racial. They just get away with it because they can say “No matter what race you are, these are the rules…”

  • http://www.myspace.com/emcdlthemusicprofile EmCDL

    I think it is racist…in a way anyway. I know that in most of the clubs in Virginia (VA Beach, Downtown Norfolk), as long as you didn’t wear pants hanging off your ass and big ass white T’s, you were good to go into the clubs…but then again, a few clubs out there didn’t care even if you wore that ish. Oh and Bol, I see that ish all the damn time out in VA…dudes be dancing they ass off so I can see why they bring them, but at the same time your right….wtf???

  • prince

    i dont see the problem
    this isnt racism
    just like white places have dress codes
    these clubs can have their own dress codes
    if you want to go to the club that much follow the dress code, problem solved
    lets not act like blacks cant get some new clothes if they want to go into a place

  • DV8

    “No White T-Shirts; No Shirts Below Pants Pockets; No Shorts Below Top of Calf; No Exposed Necklaces on Men; No Towels,”

    Basically they was sayin no N-words. But No Shirts Below Pants Pockets? Damn so people was walking around with young shirts on?

  • Moving Sideways

    A Riddle: What if a black man was to wear a American Apparel Extra-Medium white t-shirt?

    • http://www.myspace.com/emcdlthemusicprofile EmCDL

      LMAO @ extra medium

      • Brass Tacks

        Gotta have something for the skinny brothers 2…

  • BIGNAT

    to me it’s not racist because thats a dress code for the club. the want people to look nice in there spot. plus there are other spots that except the timbs and other things you can go there. if you wanna party at the place follow there rules. you notice how most people only get mad at rules like that. when there at a local spot but when those same people go on vacation. they get all dressed up and hit the clubs. now the towel thing man if you going out to really hit the club and dance you going need that. when you go to a club and they doing the spanish music and the raggae music. man it gets hot, humi and sweaty. hand the towel to a girl and tell her WIPE ME DOWN HAHAHAH

    • BIGNAT

      also i was shocked that in vegas they were not so up tight about the dress code. i remember i was in one spot the boys and i was all dressed up. they let some other guy in with jeans sneakers and a tee shirt. i asked the guy in front whats up with that. he said it’s really nothing as long as you not dressed sloppy and are clean we going let you in. those rules only really apply when famous people throw there parties in the clubs out here.

  • sealsaa

    “And the song that got Jazzy Jeff booted, as if he was getting tossed out the front door by Uncle Phil on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,”

    LMAO

    Classic shit.

    As for the dress code, the same point could be made about the NBA (which ironically, bans its players from wearing the very same style of clothes that it’s most consistant sponsors design. I.E. NIKE, FILA, REEBOK, ect). Its questionable, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it racist. They have a valid point. Alot of middle and highschools in Illinois have implemented a dress code to discourage gang activity, and some of the malls out here won’t allow shoppers to wear fitted baseball caps, for fear of gang violence. Black people are quick to shout racism, and claim that our culture is being attacked, but there are “dreaded n-words” out there that make such policies necessary. So again, I think its less of a case of racism, and more of a case of a seemingly unfair polocy being implemented as a result of the actions of some dumbass.

  • .tony.

    back in the day they used to just put “no jits” on fliers so people knew what time it was.

    you cant really say “no n-bombs” anymore so fucking bring it back man.

    Let em know, IM BRINGIN IT BACK

  • ty from linden blvd

    Bol i think u know the answer to this question.

    what’s funny is clubs with these kinds of dress codes only enforce them when niggas try to get in the club.

    i went to this spot in clear water Florida called shephards,they had similar dressiness but for some reason the only people they had a problem with was us.fuck em all kill em all is what i say.

  • latino heat

    @ Ty from linden blvd.
    i feel you on that. a while back me and my homie (who is black) went to this spot in this white ass neighborhood that he had been to before but i hadn’t. keep in my mind this place is a fuckin bar & grill, not even a actual club. so i wear a all gray Sean John outfit with Nike’s to match i know that’s not club attire but again, this is a BAR & GRILL! and my homie is wearing a polo shirt with some jeans. while were waiting in line to get in he tells me “we need to tuck our shirts in, they might be too long”. so i do, then security walks up and says to us, “no tucked shirts allowed inside, you got to pull them out”. so we do, then security tells us our shirts are too long and we can’t get in. so we say fuck it and leave, but as we start to walk off we look at the door and there’s a group of cracka ass crackas getting in with hoodies, shorts and sandals on.
    i felt like i was in the movie Knocked Up, when the bouncer told them he had already filled his quota of minority’s for the night.

  • q.b.

    my frat brother owns a club and he has some of the same policies, cause when he opened it without a dress code young cats came in and tore it up,, so the dress code limits the trouble so the people that paid to have a good time dont have to worry about the club being closed 3 hours before its supposed to because some niggas go to clubs to fight instead of enjoying the women!

  • J

    Damn Bol, the least you could have done was give the blog post a shoutout: http://socialsciencelite.blogspot.com/2009/06/kansas-city-club-owner-hates-rap-music.html
    (or is that frowned upon at XXL?)

  • latino heat

    @ Q.B.
    i understand that, but you can’t not let some people in and then turn around and let a guy in that’s dressed like he’s homeless just because he’s white. then it is a racial situation and not just “rules are rules”.

    • ty from linden blvd

      exactly,shit it’s a club around here where they won’t let you wear fitted hats,but you can wear a cowboy hat!!!!

  • Joey

    The least you could have done Bol was post a link to the kids blog that you reference.

  • http://myspace.com/fsas200 U.G.K. ALL DAY

    fuck you… how can you say some shit involving ugk like that. you are a fuckin lame. you obviously have no fuckin clue

  • http://www.myspace.com/chronikill ROX ONE

    agreed… if you are letting people in wearing flipflops and not people wearing timbs your dress code is just racial profiling…

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