Dj Jazzy Jeff Forced Off Stage In Kansas City
Posted on June 8, 2009 by Jamie Slaughter
DJ jazzy Jeff, accompanied by emcee Skillz, was forced off stage at Power and Light District, Kansas on June 6th. Jeff played for 30 minutes, before being told to get off stage, to which people among the crowd, shouted accusations that Power and Light did not want him playing hip hop music. The following day, he released this statement.
"My road manager walked up to me and said they were having problems with the music I was playing," said Jazzy Jeff. "I played three more songs and he comes back. I knew something was wrong. They said I had to kick Skillz off the stage, change the format of the music I was playing or quit. They said if I continued playing they had 30 cops ready to come escort me offstage. So I stopped."
Jeff had played songs by Jay-Z, Biz Markie, Rihanna and was in the middle of playing Ne Yo's Miss Independent, when he was told to stop, only 15 minutes in to his set.
The president of Power and Light District denied accusations of anti-hip hop views.
"The issue that arose with the performance last night was completely about the sound levels," said Stephens. "His audio tech was maxing out the sound system to a point that risked damage to the speakers and sound system. His sound techs and management refused to bring the decibel level down. They were told to bring it down or cease performance. They refused to go on."
"Obviously we have a desire to book a diversity of acts," he continued. "We booked Jazzy Jeff on a Saturday night, the biggest night of the week in the district. We were excited to have him there. It's unfortunate that his sound and management people had problems adhering to the sound and audio rules. We wanted him to play. That's why we booked him."
Jazzy Jeff stands by the fact that he believes something else was to blame for the set, not merely a sound issue. He and Skillz deny even cursing during the set, and also dismiss rumors that Skillz 'had made gang-like signs and grabbed at his genitals'.
"I'm in shock," said Jeff. "I didn't understand what element they were talking about. I looked out in the crowd and it was multicultural, but about 75 percent white. Everyone was having a great time. I wondered what was so offensive. I never had a race issue. I didn't know how to feel. I was playing 'Just a Friend.' Is that offensive? What element? It's uncomfortable when you feel unwanted"