The biggest news rippling through the local music community this past weekend was an altercation that abruptly ended the Twin Cities Hip-Hop Awards show, which was held in the First Ave mainroom on Friday night. According to reports from several witnesses, a fight broke out between emcee Boima Freeman and an unidentified stage crasher immediately prior to Illuminous 3's set, and the fight escalated into an all-out brawl when audience members jumped up on stage to intervene and throw their own punches.
Larry Lucio, Jr. over at Amplified Life has the most comprehensive report of the incident posted on his blog, including his play-by-play of how the fight broke out:
All of a sudden, I heard Boima's voice get louder and louder. He was yelling to anyone who would listen to "get this --- off the stage". Now if you had been watching Boima all night, you would not have been able to discern whether or not he was serious or joking. Apparently he was serious. Dead serious.Both Lucio and rapper Franz Diego, who was preparing to take the stage with Illuminous 3 when the fight broke out, expressed disappointment in the acts of violence at the show and said that the awards ceremony was an otherwise relaxed and amicable environment. Diego posted his own take on the events on his Facebook page:
Then a fight broke out. Boima and this other dude started throwing blows. I took a few steps back. Then other people rushed the stage and knocked my papers over along with the HUGE table they were resting on. Again I stepped back. But the stage was filling up.... FAST.
When I saw some dude pick up a bar stool and whip it at my head for NO APPARENT REASON, I knew this was way beyond a man-to-man fight. People were taking the opportunity to act a fool.
I am so personally hurt by this because I have seen the beauty of this community, since I entered into it as a young teenager. I have been so welcomed, guided and taken care of by so many people in this city under the umbrella of hip hop culture that it is a part of me and I want to reciprocate it. We need events like these, we need to grow and celebrate and share and network and show off and have fun, we need that more desperately now than ever. But people have to understand the value of that first and until they do, we will continue to have problems such as these.One of the TC Hip-Hop Awards organizers, DEPth, spoke up in the comments of Franz Diego's Facebook entry:
And host Boima Freeman has since apologized on his own Facebook page:
There has also been a YouTube video circulating through the blogs of the outbreak (Warning: Contains explicit language):
And both Chris Riemenschneider from the Star Tribune and the bloggers at LOL/OMG have reports of the incident. It's unfortunate that the awards ceremony had to be cut short because of the actions of what boils down to a few people, and we're hoping that the TC Hip-Hop Awards will be able to rally next year and build up more support in terms of PR in the overall community.