Is UK Hip-Hop Club Crack Down Discrimination?
Police in the United Kingdom are cracking down on hip-hop and some are crying foul.
According to reports, close to 300 London clubs and venues are being forced to fill out surveys on the style of music they promote. Officially known as Form 696, the survey specifically focuses on "large promoted events between 10PM and 4AM which feature MCs and DJs performing to recorded backing tracks." Previous versions of the survey have included a wide array of music events.
"Detailed research identified which events are most likely to attract crime and disorder," said a spokesperson for the police. "At the end of the day, you've got to say that certain events attract more trouble than others. We're shifting the focus away from live music. Originally the definition of what Form 696 applied to was extremely broad so by narrowing it down, it's thought that we can better tailor it to our requirements."
The information collected by the authorities will be used to study the relationship between violence and the style of music being performed or played. Based upon the study, London police will determine whether to provide greater security for hip hop shows, and may begin shutting down venues and shows based upon the perceived level of risk.
DJ Rod "Spin Doctor" Gilmore, promoter of a popular London hip-hop nightclub, claims the survey is just another form of discrimination.
"Reading between the lines, the indie kids are all right, but we've got to look out for those black boys with microphones in their hands," Gilmore told the BBC. "Saying it's over recorded music with DJs and MCs really narrows it down."
According to police, a version of the form circulated in 2008 prompted an 11% drop in nightclub violence.