According to a report from The FADER, Atlanta rapper 21 Savage was forced to move his upcoming concert from Manhattan to Brooklyn after the original venue received a “strong advisory” against the show from the NYPD. The concert, which was scheduled for March 30 at Webster Hall in Manhattan, has now been moved to Brooklyn venue AVIV instead.
The show is the latest incarnation of Electric Circus' The Players Ball, a concert series hosted by Shabazz Varnie. It has recently seen artists like Lil Yachty, Rae Sremmurd, and Migos perform in NYC. Savage is known for his violent lyrics, a fact that his manager, Kei Henderson, believes to be the cause of the NYPD's response. ““New York doesn’t play a lot of bullshit, especially when it comes to gun violence,” she said.
“The decision to host or cancel a performance is made by Webster Hall management and not the NYPD,” a spokesperson for the police department told The FADER. However, even if they didn't explicitly ban the show, Varnie pointed out that “Police give the venues problems.” She noted that they can “push for promoters to get extra security in order for the show to go on, which isn't cheap.” While she wasn't exactly surprised by the development, she feared it's just the latest symptom of a crackdown on hip-hop in New York. “This whole getting shut down by the 'hip-hop police' isn't a new thing. I am however worried that it's going to get worse,” she said.
As the report points out, this comes as Webster Hall has been implementing changes in response to neighborhood complaints. The venue canceled its weekly hip-hop party at the beginning of the month, and recently put a new dress code in place that some fear is designed to target people of color.
The 21 Savage show will still be taking place on the same date at the new venue. Complex has reached out to representatives for 21 Savage, Webster Hall, and Shabazz Varnie for comment.