December of 2013. A video was released on WorldStarHipHop.com in the wee hours of the morning. Rich Homie Quan is in Columbus Ohio performing at The Red Zone. He is on stage and he’s rocking the crowd with his hit single “Some Type O Way”. At about 45 seconds into the video you hear a “Clap Clap” and the very next day you hear that a 24 year old was killed at the Red Zone. Since then, the feelings of urban nightlife have not been the same in this city. Why is it that people can not go out and have a good time anymore? When the club is even mentioned nowadays, people make this face of like… is it really worth it?
If you love Hip Hop you know one of MC Lyte’s all too familiar verses “Funky Fresh dressed to impress ready to party, money in your pocket dying to move your body. To get inside you pay the whole $10 (not much has changed lol)Scotch tape with a razor blade taped to your collar. Leave the guns and the crack and the knives alone. MC Lyte’s on the microphone. Bum rushing and crushing, snatching and taxing. I cram to understand why brother’s don’t be maxing. There’s only one disco, they’ll close one more. You ain’t guarding the door. So what you got a gun for?. Do you rob the rich and give to the poor?. Yo Daddy-O, school em some more…”
This song came out in 1989 after KRS One had about enough of the black on black crime and witnessing the murder of his partner DJ Scott La Rock. To this day, not much has changed. We even laugh at the Jay Z lyric…well he got it from Chris Rock, “Grand Opening, Grand Closing” Clubs are shutting down in droves simply because, the control on violence is unpredictable.
This hurts a number of cities economically including Columbus Ohio, especially if that city lacks artistic or cultural influence. Last week’s shooting left a huge damper on our city. For some cities, nightclubs are the only source for adult entertainment and social gathering. People say, “well why not tighten up on security?” Security can only do so much and there are various ways to sneak weapons inside a club. You’d probably have to do a complete strip search of everyone before ensuring the complete safety of everyone in the club.
The street element is no surprise to urban nightlife. For centuries, from the Royal ball to the Western Saloon gangsters, pretty woman, political elite and the courtiers all met in one social place for great music and dance. Mix that with the element of alcohol and or drugs and anything was likely to happen at these gatherings. Sometimes the violence added to the entertainment as the awesome stories were told the following day. For some, it was a way to touch street culture from a safe place. Furthermore, nightclubs are an oasis for the culture of narcotics for the simple fact, people like an enhanced feeling when they are partying. This is a sure recipe for violence. However, today, as we become a more civilized slash passive aggressive society, these random acts of violence are not socially acceptable and leave permanent psychological effects in regards to the peoples enthusiasm about going to a nightclub.
Some owners have tried age segregation. However, even clubs that are 25 and up with strict dress code, eventually become ratchet and lower their standards in order to make money. Some people say clubbing is an age thing anyway. Once people reach a certain age, they don’t want to be caught dead in the club. They are more at an age where they want to settle down and enjoy to more quiet life. The theory leaves the club market open for young single males and females which may not always have the most mature way of dealing with competition or conflict.
Truth is, there will always be violence in the nightlife atmosphere. The issue is not whether or not there will be violence, the resolution is reestablishing and minimizing the element of fear when a person is going out merely to have a good time. Everyone should not have to pay the price for those that are ignorant and want to conduct their street doctrine in a public place. Promoters and Owners should always have mandatory requirement when it comes to security. Ladies should be searched as thoroughly as men are. Finally owners should be aware of who is in there club. The streets talk and it isn’t hard to tell who the major players are.
RIP Fat Cat and EastMainYG