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Monday, Jun 25 2001 | 12:04

Here is Mr. GMS from Stormtroopers Entertainment with some first hand info on the situation of Hip Hop clubs in the big apple



For those of you who are still in the dark, let me shed some light on a disturbing situation: Mayor Guiliani has been waging war on NYC’s night life since he’s been in office. As an attempt to increase the so-called “Quality of Life” in the city, he has been cracking down on club owners, raising the age for admission to most venues to 21 and over, requiring owners to have a caberet license if patrons are to be allowed to dance, etc. Basically maiking it hard for clubs to operate. Now don’t get it twisted, this is not all bad. I am all for better enforcement of legal drinking age requirements. I think bars that serve liquor to minors (people under drinking age (21yrs)), should be fined and that clubs that let in kids under 18 (believe me, I have seen 15 to 17 year olds in clubs in New York), should be shut down, because endangering the life of minors is a serious offense. I don’t think anybody is opposed to that. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE.

Many of you have read in The POST and seen on the Channel 7 NEWS, issues with LIMELIGHT being under attack by the police and the mayor. That’s because they have decided to make an example of Peter Gatien, the owner of the Tunnel and The LIMELIGHT, because he is the most well known and successful club owner for the past 20 years. The issues surrounding those 2 clubs legal troubles have revolved around underage drinking,sale of drugs withing the club, minors getting into the club with fake ID, etc.and violence inside the clubs. Neighbors also have complaints that their quality of life is disturbed when patrons of the clubs leave at 4 in the morning and wander drunk back to the train or their cars in the nieghborhood.

BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE! HIP HOP HAS BEEN BANNED FROM THE LIMELIGHT! The news was that LIMELIGHT and The TUNNEL had their Liquor Licenses revoked.NOT TRUE: both clubs are still in operation, liquor licenses intact. THE ONLY THING THAT HAS REALLY HAPPENED IS THAT HIP HOP HAS BEEN BANNED FROM THE CLUBS!!! They are still open, music is played, liquor is served. Only one kind of music has been removed from these establishments: HIP HOP.

There was a very informative article in the VILLAGE VOICE a couple of weeks ago, with FUNK MASTER FLEX on the cover. It explained the mayor’s persecution of the Sunday night parties with FLEX, which have now been shut down (but the club is still running!). You should read that article. But let me expalin a few things, as we have done this Saturday night party for over a year at Limelight and I get info directly from top managers of the LIMELIGHT and have met with Peter Gatien himself. Peter has been trying to get out of the club business for a while now, because he is being constantly investigated, fined, etc. and he feels he is being scapegoated and that the mayor and the police are never going to leave him alone. So he has been trying to sell both clubs. If you read the article in The VOICE you’ll see how his attempts to sell The Tunnel have been hampered by police threats to attack anybody who buys the club and tries to run it. So its been difficult.

However, The Limelight was going to be sold eventually, it was just a matter of months. We were already scoping out locations for moving the MAIN INGREDIENT party (which has had the least amount of violent incidents of any party in the city; I think out of a year of parties, we maybe had 3 or 4 fights, which is not bad for a crowded nightclub, where people are drinking a lot). So we hadn’t planned any DJs past our PETE ROCK/MARLEY MARL party in two weeks, after the RIZ/ECLIPSE party. The club was on it’s way out and we weren’t sure we’d stay under the new management. Then earlier this week, the clubs liquor licenses were revoked. This was an attempt to put pressure on Peter Gatien and send a message to potential buyers of the clubs -they are going to mess with these clubs so buying them is bad business. Now, the clubs have been audited and owe mad back-taxes to the city government – the same people who took away the licenses. Peter explained to them that without his liquor license he could not make money, and wouldn’t pay the taxes and GUESS WAHT??? THEY GAVE HIM BACK HIS LICENSES! So it’s all about the money (see Cash Rules Everything Around Me-C.R.E.A.M.). Not about “safety” or “underage drinking” or “drugs”, because they wanted their money, so they said okay, stay open.

But they BANNED HIP HOP FROM THE CLUB!!! So they can say that there were underage people drinking in the club, or that people were rowdy when they walked back to their cars, or that there was a fight, or that any number of fire or liquor regulations were violated or whatever, was the reason they shut down the party, but that’s bull, because faced with not getting their $$$, the club was not shut down, only the Hip Hop party. ONCE AGAIN HIP HOP becomes the SCAPEGOAT to calm the neighbors and politicians. “Hey folks, everything will be okay now! We’ve gotten rid of that damn Rap music!” I guess there will be no more violence, no more underage drinking, no more drugs being sold or used in clubs anywhere (drugs were never a big part of the Hip Hop party scene anyway, that was the “raves”, but I don’t want to stereotype any other particular type of music either, so I wont go there), no fire code violations will ever take place, because they’ve solved the problem!!! HIP HOP HAS BEEN BANNED!!! I feel that my personal constitutional rights to freedom of choice are being violated by this move and that our rights to do business by having Hip Hop parties is being violated and that all New Yorkers who love Hip Hop culture are being violated as well as artists who profit by sales of their records, which are successful or not partially based on CLUB DJs playing their music. This is an ATTACK ON THE WHOLE HIP HOP MUSIC INDUSTRY and I expect many lawsuits to follow. In the meantime, where will the party be next week and where can you go tonight? I urge everyone to go to our affiliates website and look at the Saturday schedule. There are numerous Hip Hop events that have not been shut down yet, acrosss the city and the site tells you about them.

As for MAIN INGREDIENT, we will move it to another location, or possibly change the name of the party, so that the police wont follow us club to club scapegoating the party that originated in the LIMELIGHT. But we will continue to do Hip Hop on Saturdays no matter WHAT the current administration thinks. So stay tuned for our new location and thanks for all the support over the past year.

One love, everybody stay up!

GMS of Stormtroopers Entertainment

The crate digger on the right is Afrika Bambaataa. There is no direct connection between the story and the picture. But we should never forget that DJ Bam is the King of the Records.

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