Monday, September 12, 2005

Storm's a Brewin'

Thursday night saw our city host to a shooting. Since we aren't Toronto, we aren't used to this sort of thing. A 22 year old man from Niagara Falls, N.Y., had been at a club in town and was about 200 meters away from it when he was shot about 3 a.m.

This club brings in DJ's from all over the place on Thursday nights for its Hip Hop, RnB, Reggae, Soca, and Old School themed nights. The owner of the club is aware of all the problems that have been occurring in the Toronto clubs and beefs up security to deal with the problems that may occur. Everyone is checked for weapons, and drug users are instantly ejected. The locals have a problem with the crowds when they leave. This is when the shooting took place, and when the locals say all the trouble usually takes place.

They say that once last call happens a tide of fans swarm into the neighborhood and bring fights, drug deals, noise and sex with them. Neighbors say they don't even bother calling the cops any more. One woman is going so far as to fight to close down the club's patio via a licensing hearing in a few weeks. The cops say the club attracts pot pushers and rowdies. They send cruisers out to watch over the crowd.

The owner of the club feels that the hip-hop night are being unfairly targeted because he has had the club for seven years, but only started getting complaints when he started with the hip-hop nights. The evidence is pretty compelling though. On Monday another club in town had six shots fired off in it during its hip-hop night. Several shootings in Toronto clubs occurred during similar events. Would this have happened on country night? Probably not, but that doesn't mean that the music is the source of the problem.

What the hell is wrong with people these days? Why is it that a specific style of music become the focal point for violence? Why do they feel the need to be violent in the first place? I'm not a big hip-hop fan but to say that it is the root of street violence is a pretty narrow minded approach to solving the problem. The genre itself doesn't seem to help the situation any though. You don't seem to do well unless you're a badass. A style of music marred by gang style executions of the more outspoken people in it. The popular acts are usually fronted by someone with bullet scars and a criminal record. If you don't have these things then you are simply a fake. Why worship these people in the first place? Of course, if the fans themselves didn't support the violent acts, they would vanish as well, so it is we, the consumers who are to blame as well.

I would think that if you wanted to solve the problem you would have to have the industry take on the problem itself. Force them to acknowledge the fallout from their blatant worship of thugs and take corrective action. If the industry refuses to back acts whose claim to fame is that they have been shot a bunch of times, or that they are a gangsta, then maybe we would be left with no home for the thugs of the world to hang their hats. If we can force the hooligans out then maybe we can have a better world.

Of course if we displace them, then we may run into a whole new problem. Once these thugs are without music they will simply migrate to a whole new genre. One would expect them to grab on to a style where nobody would be watching, giving them time to rebuild their empire. We would then have to live in fear of their newly formed gangs. We would have to look out for rogue polka gangs. With their inherent love for leather pants, beer drinking and heavy beat oom-pah bands, it would seem the next logical step. Drive by oom-pah bands and slap dancers would begin to rule the day.
Which would be better I wonder??


Blogger Denny Shane said...

Very interesting story there pete. However, I wish you had expounded on the part where they go into the neighborhood and have sex. lol

9:27:00 AM  
Blogger sands of time said...

We get a lot of violence here.Even though its a really small city.
I actually think ive seen some rogue Polka gangs.They were dancing down the street trying to get people to join them dancing.

11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Martini Love said...

Criminals are always screwing up everything for everyone.

1:21:00 PM  
Blogger bounce said...

my understanding is that it's always the trombone player that's the most violent... those big meaty tromboney arms...mmmmmmmmm... trombone players... the bad boys of the polka gangs

3:21:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I've always been one with the attitude of "to each their own". But this hip hop thing is going too far.

Noone's asking the club owner to close his club down from what you've said. They're only wanting to get rid of Hip Hop nights by the sounds of it, and I can't blame them.

Seems to me the owner is trying to do his best by beefing up security and searching patrons etc, but it's still not making a difference to the violence that happens.

Although the music may not be to blame for this, the people that follow it obviously appear to be. I'd be campaigning to stop those Thursday nights, if I lived near that club and there was a possibility of my kids getting shot or worse killed.

4:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cody said...

This is so interesting because this sort of thing has been in debate forever here in the midwest. I mean it has gotten completely out of control. 78-85 people have died in Kansas City due to this thuggish mentality....and it does not pick race or ethnicity. It is the hip hop listeners, the "thugged out" characters. I do not want to point fingers or make and outlandish judgment, but shit. The hip hop industry seems as if it was established to bring people together in general...then gangsta rap came along to educate the people about the streets and what its like to live broke on welfare, with a crap load of kids. How comming from a broken home justifys joining a gang. I mean its a whole load of possiblities to concider, but the number one universal problem is: Lack of Education. No Education = no self esteem. Anyway, great post Pete, this is a really big issue here in the states. BRAVO!

5:56:00 PM  
Blogger Kassi said...

Great post Pete. But at the risk of stating the obvious ... there were gangs well before there was hip-hop (anyone remember the 30's ?prohibition ?) so it seems to me that hip-hop is being used as a convenient excuse for all that's going wrong. Rock n roll was once accused of being the downfall of a generation too ...

6:47:00 PM  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

OK, rogue polka gangs just make me giggle like mad.

But still, I wish mean people wouldn't ruin it for everyone.

8:42:00 PM  
Blogger glomgold said...

I guess if these clubs are barring all the drug-users and thugs, they're probably pretty empty. A buncha liquored up, high, macho dudes grinding on any woman in sight has probably always been a formula for successful violence. Weren't Caligula & Nero blasting "Mobb Deep"?

10:40:00 PM  
Blogger glomgold said...

Hip Hop and the current rap music really have very little in common. One was a style of life and not about violence and the other is posturing. I like a some very violent heavy music and I've yet to kill anyone. I think the big problem with current rap music is that the guys are really talentless. Thanks a lot Puff Daddy. Thanks a lot.

10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Rowan said...

RainyPete: could you email me the name of the club if you have it? I want to avoid that area for sure in that case.

3:28:00 PM  
Blogger dan said...

interesting post.

a memeber of crappy london hip-hop band, so sold crew, is on trial for murder this week.

what's music coming to?

4:58:00 AM  

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