AceShowbiz - Several New York drill rappers reportedly were dropped from this weekend's Rolling Loud New York, at the request of New York Police Department. According to New York Times, the acts who will no longer perform at the festival include the Bronx's Sha Ek and Ron Suno as well as Brooklyn's 22Gz.
The announcement about the removal was made through a letter sent to organizers days prior to festival's kickoff on Friday, September 23. "The above listed performers have been affiliated with recent acts of violence citywide," the NYPD wrote in the letter. "The New York City Police Department believes that if these individuals are allowed to perform, there will be a higher risk of violence."
Addressing the matter, Rolling Loud co-founder Tariq Cherif explained on Twitter, "All the public sees is the letter. Way more happened behind closed doors." He went on to say, "If we want RL to return to NYC, we have no choice but to comply. That's the position we're in."
22Gz's record label confirmed that the rapper's Rolling Loud performance had been scrapped, though it didn't explain the reason. The rapper, who was also pulled from Rolling Loud New York in 2019, is now facing attempted murder charges stemming from a shooting that left three people injured.
As for representatives for Sha Ek and Suno, they said the decision to remove the rappers was unwarranted. "The police try to associate what he's doing with violence and negativity," Sha Ek's manager, Stanley "Noodles" Davis, told the outlet. "They don't respect that he's an artist and entertainer trying to better himself and feed his family at 19 years old. Sha Ek has performed all over the Northeast this year. The crowds at his concerts are full of kids dancing and having fun. He's excited to keep growing his touring business and proving the police wrong."
Diamond Brown, Suno's manager, released a similar statement. "How can a person who has no criminal record and no gang ties - the kid never even made a diss record - be denied to perform in his hometown after all his hard work?" he wrote in a text.
The move was made as lawmakers and political figures have expressed growing concern over the violent content of drill music. Originated in Southside Chicago in 2011, the rap style quickly became known for its hard-hitting lyrics about inner-city life. Earlier this year, NYC Mayor Eric Adams criticized the rap sub-genre as he suggested that its artists needed to be censored.
"We pulled Trump off Twitter because of what he was spewing, yet we are allowing music, displaying of guns, violence, we are allowing it to stay on the site, because look at the victims," he said back in February. "We're bringing them in, we're going to show exactly what is being displayed, and we are alarmed by it. We are alarmed by the use of social media to really over-proliferate this violence in our communities."