We are the culture, I will say this again – WE ARE THE CULTURE. It makes me so happy when I look at the charts, or I go through a Spotify playlist, or I’m out and I hear urban music making it mainstream. I don’t just mean the Beyoncé or Rihanna tracks that are universally loved and appease everyone, but the Future, Migos, Stormzy, Stefflon Don, you get my drift – and everyone is enjoying it.
At the end of the day, music is universal. Its purpose is for it to be enjoyed by everyone. What irks me though, are the amount of club nights which will blast urban music, host urban celebrities, but won’t let ‘urban’ people in, or being frank ethnic minorities. What line was used when the American football players were turned away from a popular London club recently? They looked ‘too urban’.
I’ll be honest, I hear all these stories and I am outraged, but I had never seen it first-hand with my own two eyes. On a night out in Berlin a couple of weeks ago, a night called ‘Hip Hop, Don’t Stop’ ironically, I witnessed a group of Black guys, then a group of Black and Asian girls turned away from a club with no reasoning – just told to move. After those two sets followed a group white ladies in trainers, and they got in without a problem.
I asked the manager why he turned the first group away, he said he didn’t need a reason. I reminded him that the song that was playing in the background (Future) was that of a black man, and that the evening was meant to celebrate urban culture. He was quick to tell me that he wasn’t racist and that black people were allowed in. Needless to say, I was no longer going to spend any money in their club, so I went to their rival club instead.
DSTRKT have been catching heat since their treatment of 4 black women back in 2015. However since then, they will still host packed club nights, with ethnic artists and collectives such as Karrueche Tran, OVO, Young Thug, Jacquees still making guest appearances. I get it, these celebrities are receiving a fat pay cheque to show their face for a couple of hours. But, it also sends the wrong kind of message.
Celebrities aside, I watch black guys, (my own friends dare I say it) spend silly amounts of money on a table, just so they can get in the door. Making the club owner richer, for what? Stormzy embodied the issue clearly in First Things First
‘Westend wanna show a nigga love. But if it weren’t me you would never let my niggas in the club. Fuck DSTRKT and fuck all these nightclubs. And fuck giving money to people that don’t like us’.
I don’t understand what the issue is. Are we intimidating? Do they think we won’t spend money? Are we not in keeping with the idea of western beauty? Because all three of those are poor and pathetic delusions.
So what’s the solution? What frustrates me more is that I don’t have it. I just know something has got to give & as a culture we really need to stop spending our money in places we clearly aren’t wanted. However as a society, club owners, event promoters and the industry in general need to rid themselves of these narrow-minded views. I mean, it is 2017 after all…