Toki Wright was scheduled to perform at Friday's TC Hip Hop Awards.
Photo by Drew Carlson
A good reputation can open doors, and a bad one will lock you out. To be realistic, the Twin Cities Hip Hop Awards has been stuck with a bad rep over the last few years. However, it's up for debate if it was well-earned or not. But you can't argue with video evidence. Last year's event at First Avenue was the latest of several in its history to be diminished by violence from the crowd.
David "Depth" Powell, the award show's organizer and veteran of the local scene, had a signed and sealed contract to hold the event at Myth Nightclub this Friday. Last Wednesday, February 13, rumors and postings on Facebook
were abuzz that the Maplewood Police shut down the Seventh Annual TCHAA.
According to Powell, the Myth Nightclub general manager sent him an email on February 12 alerting him that the show was shut down by the Maplewood Police Department due to worries about fighting and violence. When Powell reached out to the chief of police to get answers, the chief had no idea what he was talking about and said he took no such action.
Powell went back Myth with his new evidence and they told him that "the acting lieutenant in charge shut the event down, not the police chief." Again, Powell called Myth out on their lies, and communication between the two became a game of cat and mouse.
When City Pages reached out to the Maplewood chief of police he had this comment: "Police specifically don't have the authority to shut it down," said Dave Kvam, acting police chief. He added that he had not been consulted on the matter, and was not familiar with the event.
In what could be considered admission of guilt, Powell says Myth did give back the event deposit in full, but also told him to "Get over it and deal with it" when he pushed for more answers about the cancellation. "Even from the beginning I knew something was off. They never listed the event on the Myth website, printed advance tickets, or helped with promotion of the event," Powell says. "The day I was supposed to reach out with the production manager to talk about the show setup, that was the day they sent me the cancellation email."
From then on Myth received phone calls, internet chatter, and questions about the cancellation. Powell says the club accused him of being in breach of contract for bad publicity with Facebook threats, and that led to the cancellation of the event -- even though no such clause existed in the contract. Plus, they had already given him back the deposit and the show was canceled days before the internet spam.
Since Monday all communication has been silent with Myth, Powell, and the Maplewood Police Department, and even City Pages' repeated attempts to reach out to the management at Myth have been met with silence.
When asked if the show would go on for the 7th TCHAA, Powell says he considered a couple of other venues, but since it was such short notice he wasn't sure if something would happen this year or not. "I wish to keep it going," he says. "But it's starting to wear on me with everything that has happened the last few years."