It’s no secret that Portland Police and the OLCC have been waging war on hip-hop in the town. It’s also no secret that some hip-hop parties have been shot up. The former is a bigoted response to negative stereotypes about hip-hop culture; the latter reinforces the stereotypes. All of this leads to hip-hop music being banned, hip-hop clubs getting shut down, and hip-hop culture being stripped from Portland one fitted hat at a time.
But I’m tired of complaining about it. Tired of hearing people complain about it. Tired of my man being denied entry into bars because of his attire. Tired of my classmates getting shot, too. So what do we do? We’ve talked to city officials already. And honestly, we all know we can’t change the minds of bigots that easily anyway, so we have to figure out what part we play in fixing it.
Even typing that last part made me cringe a bit. Really, there are very few hip-hop events that have problems. But, you know, one negative group of people will represent the whole population. Why should the majority of us have to deal with the police and OLCC knowing they’re simply hating on our culture? It’s frustrating. It’s annoying. It wears down on you. But as long as we CAN contribute to a more positive image, we need to try our best to do so.
Enter Joyce Olivio and Plush Party Bus, the group who is trying to put in their best efforts to create a drama-free hip-hop event that won’t add fuel to the fire. With a huge New Year’s Eve party planned, they have a lot on the line. Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta star, Lil’ scrappy is set to host the event with a few special guest in tow. There is also a $3,000,000 insurance policy in place for the evening as well, so all Ts will be crossed and every I will have its dot.
Since we know which crowds generally cause the ruckus, the first, and most obvious thing to do is to make sure that crowd is not in attendance. And you do that by not advertising to said crowd and you set up a “do not enter” list. Joyce herself has even posted Facebook statuses asking for input. If anyone knows of folks who are prone to fighting, shooting, you know, gang banging, she will add their names to the list and politely deny their entrance to her event. As expected, some people weren’t too happy with this, but it’s her party, her business, her ass on the line, so why should she not make sure to eliminate all the bad apples? Sounds like a very wise business move to me.
Even after banning certain people, the chance for disruption is there, so the next step is to establish dress codes (it’s NYE, leave your sneakers and hats home) and beef up security. Everyone’s getting wanded and it has been made clear that “the ‘Homies’ will not be working the door, or any other part of the event.” I know plenty of bouncers. They cut corners and hook their friends up all the time. So lets just remove that possibility and make it 100% professional. Yet another end tied up nice and neat.
And why are they so worried about tying them up so nice and neat? Well, they’re trying to comply with Portland Police and the OLCC. Is it jumping through hoops that non-hip-hop parties don’t have to? Absolutely. But you know what, it’s what we have to do. It’s a situation we’re in, so we have to deal with it. I’m not saying we have to kiss their asses, shuck and jive and the like. But if we want to have hip-hop events, we have to do what we have to do. Once ALL our events are non-violent and we can prove without a doubt that PPD and OLCC are being racist pricks, then we might have a better leg to stand on. But complaining about discrimination is pointless when a party got shot up and left two people injured and one dead just last month.
We really do have to be the change we want to see people.
With that said, aren’t you glad to have another choice for a safe hip-hop party to attend this year? I’ll be honest and say that as soon as I heard of this event I thought, Damn, a ratchet party. I’m not trying to get shot at. But after talking with Joyce and hearing all the safety measures they have in place, my hesitation faded and I’m excited to ring in the New Year amongst familiar faces. And honestly, it’s NYE so no matter where you go, be sure to be safe and have fun.