Park Slope Citizens Decry Plans To Open A "Yo MTV Raps 'Bling-Bling' VIP Club," Suggest Making It An "Indie" Club Instead

yo mtv raps.jpeg
So there's a hot new club/bar/live-music venue called Prime 6 in the works down in the Atlantic Yards nexus at Flatbush and Sixth in Brooklyn, inciting the usual neighborly trepidation, because this club might play rap music. There is now a petition circulating, not to stop Prime 6 from opening, you understand, but just to suggest they find a . . . friendlier style of music. "Indie," for example, which'd make the place "a vibrant artistic hub instead of another Yo MTV Raps 'bling-bling' vip club." And here we go.

Let us allow for the possibility that this is performance art, but if so, this performance now has an audience, and blatantly smacks of The Great Savalas Rap Ban of 2010. So here's the full petition, which takes care to cite Park Slope residents as "about the least 'racist" people on the planet" (the petition's author is a huge rap and r&b buff, personally), while nonetheless asserting that "hip-hop's violent history tragically precedes it." There's like a 10-percent chance that Carles is behind this; it's a remarkable piece of work regardless. Observe:

SEND THE MESSAGE TO PRIME 6: Indie Music Will Earn You More Than Hip-Hop!!!

My name is Jennifer McMillen, and I live only a few doors down from the proposed site of Prime 6. Like most of the folks at the CB6 meeting on Monday night, I too have been concerned about the impending entrance of Prime 6 into our community and our daily lives.

I'm not generally the type of person that speaks up, (I remained silent during the entire Monday night meeting), but in this situation, I'm hopeful that I've stumbled onto a solution that makes so much sense for *both* parties that I'm beyond excited to share it with all of you.

First, let me explain what's at the heart of this conflict: I know for a fact that there's no single type of establishment (or type of bar/club patron for that matter) that Park Slopers would inherently view as "undesirable." I don't think anyone would deny that Park Slopers are about the least "racist" people on the planet.

What IS causing strife in this situation is that over the last ten years, Park Slope has become a family-oriented and family-centric community. This can be annoying at times - believe me, as someone who has chosen not to have children, I'm more than aware of the self-entitled attitude that often pervades parts of our community.

Nevertheless, it's just a fact that in this neighborhood, family comes first.

Prime 6 has to realize this - but at the same time - Park Slope families need to realize that this is a free country, and that Prime 6 has a right to exist. Furthermore, no one can legally stop the owners from doing what it is they're going to do.

So here's the gist of my big idea: Isn't there some middle ground between this spot being a stroller repair shop and it being a full-on hip-hop club?

No one can change the fact that Prime 6 WILL exist - they have their liquor license, and nothing's going to deter them from opening. BUT: What if owner Akiva Ofshtein could be convinced that his business will see far more financial success as a different kind of nightlife establishment. Instead of focussing on hip-hop and urban entertainment, what if Prime 6 embraced some of the more indie local artists of ALL races who live and perform in the area.

It's not "racist" to equate hip-hop with an elevated crime rate vis a vi other types of musical genres - It's just a statistical fact that crime is more likely to occur among urban audiences than among audiences of other demographics. R&B and rap happen to be my two favorite types of music, but no one (especially my African American friends and colleagues) would seriously deny that hip-hop's violent history tragically precedes it.

In addition, conveniently(!), we also happen to be in the middle of an unprecedented drought of live music. Seventh Ave has ZERO venues for live music by indie artists, and is absolutely ripe for the right type of establishment to come along and breathe life into the live music scene. The business owner who is able to do THAT will reap financial rewards far beyond what they could hope to earn by selling Henessey/etc to basketball fans after a Nets game.

Not only will Akiva Ofshtein make more money by creating a sustainable business that uses social media to bring crowd-drawing acts to Prime 6, he'll also find that by working alongside the community he's joining, he'll build loyal allies in the neighbors around him - INSTEAD of the hostility we saw at the CB6 meeting and on the internet on Tuesday.

After all, which one of Prime 6's direct neighbors wouldn't be forever grateful to Ofshtein for seeding a vibrant artistic hub instead of another Yo MTV Raps "bling-bling" vip club.

As a Park slope resident that has lived steps from Flatbush avenue since 1998, I've seen the neighborhood change drastically in the last 12 years, and I'm well aware of the gentrification sensitivities that have been part of the neighborhood fabric for at least the last decade - so let me tell you first-hand:

We've waited a long time to get to this point: for once, this isn't a question of race or even class. My hope is that artists and art-appreciators OF EVERY IMAGINABLE BACKGROUND will band together to make this happen - to that end, please tweet and tweet and re-tweet: sign this petition to let Prime 6's owner know what he stands to GAIN by embracing independent LIVE music; and by steering clear of processed, commercial noise.

Update: Park Slope Anti-Rap Club Petition Flooded With Pro-Rap Signatures, Hilarious Jokes


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37 comments
RFA
RFA

What is so controversial, its basic, Park Slope does not want a bling bling drive by shooting lil wayne VIP club. Basically, Park Slope does not want the meat packing district in their turf, you either stand up or it happens; just like the people who used to live in Park Slope and got gentrified by these new group. What I like about it, in some type of ironic way, is that most of the cowards who live in Park Slope are the same people who will hold idiotic ideas such as Fidel Castro is still a posh counter culture revolutionary even after 60 years of converting Cuba into a prison state, or that Chavez is helping the poor in Venezuela, or that Michael Moore is right to compare Al Zarqawi with the revolution war minute men. Time for the cowards to stand up and fight.

Mainlander
Mainlander

Ultimate NIMBYism. Please. Shut. Up.

no one
no one

Take your babies and strollers and go back to the Midwest, you gentrifuckers. This is still NEW YORK FUCKIN CITY.

anabel
anabel

And Indie music is not processed, commercial noise? The voices in her head must have told her it was a good idea to post this because no sane, rational, educated person aware of their surroundings or community would is stupid is enough to write this. Stupid hipsters.

amorcubana
amorcubana

i feel like i am reading an onion article. Seriously. When i got to the part about her African-American friends and colleagues, i lost it. She hits on every classic "i'm not racist but don't want to be around black people" line in the book. Who is stupid enough to write and circulate something like this in the internet age? Now random people in California are laughing at her comically racist ass....ahhh

Djpersonalassistant
Djpersonalassistant

hartman18

03/03/2011 3:29 PM

Park Slope: The mecca of suburban transplant Brooklyn wanna-bees! The ultra-liberal carpetbaggers that were brainwashed by their hippie college instructors with their over-priced Brownstones, lack of street parking, and Obama-touting now seem to have a problem with hip-hop blacks/Latinos in their "neighborhood?" Hmm. Guess it's easier pretending to be hardore "Brooklynites" in front of one another in Park Slope where you try to out-Brooklyn each other and portray some psuedo-street toughness or put on a show for the bumpkins back home that come to visit them..."Wow...you're so Brooklyn!!" is what hope to hear from friends and family back home. But it's easy to have that illusion in a neighborhood inhabited almost exclusively by suburban/rural, out-of-state transplants. Now, you get a hip-hop club and everyone of those phonies are up in arms. But you're from BROOKLYN!! You're tough! You can handle it! No? Scared the REAL Brooklyn folk are going to trample your fantasy world, pick on your geeky suburban-minded kids, and betray your false beliefs of racial equality. Hmmm. Too bad. Hypocrites exposed! But at least those phonies aren't trying to revive the name "Hell's Kitchen" Now there are a real flock of desperate losers looking for some kind of street credibilty. Give it up! You're a fake, phony, and fraud...no matter how much you think you could survive in a "Hell's Kitchen" or "Brooklyn" of the 70s or early 80s...keep pushing that lie, keep pushing it til you make it true...it'll never happen, though.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/l...

Spineymary
Spineymary

are you serious? seriously?!!! you are so ignorant. if you don't like what is happening in park slope then move. you are completely ass-backwards. seriously?!

Jane
Jane

C'mon guys, she's not racist, she just doesn't want black people in her neighborhood. She doesn't hate black people, she just doesn't want them near her. Statistics and all.

Ben Tribune
Ben Tribune

"I know for a fact that there's no single type of establishment (or type of bar/club patron for that matter) that Park Slopers would inherently view as 'undesirable.'" Except for a club that plays (gasp) ANTI-FAMILY VIOLENCE-PRONE URBAN (read: black) MUSIC!!

This petition is exactly what Phil Ochs was talking about when he wrote that classic song, "Love Me, I'm a Liberal." Everyone's against racism until black people move next door; everyone is for integrated schools until blacks are bused in; everyone who loves R&B and rap cannot possible be racist!

I had no idea David Duke lived in Park Slope. Thanks for the tip.

Mikeymike
Mikeymike

If she thinks an indie club can make tons of money, why doesn't she open one herself. Why do other poeple have to do what she wants?

Blujork
Blujork

Park Slope, please secede from the rest of New York and take Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick with you.

Al Ortega
Al Ortega

Forget indie (although I love Andrew Bird, Superchunk, etc)...lets have Raffi, kersnuffle, or a hanna montanna venue...better yet forget music...we in Park Slope need a good place that sells comfortable shoes and comfortable wool socks...and more warm tea and coffee shops. Indy music? yea, if it starts at 630pm and ends at 7:30....embarassing...I left Chapel Hill NC for a reason...

Ex Pat
Ex Pat

Are we sure this isn't actually an article from the Onion?

Idiot
Idiot

"It's not "racist" to equate hip-hop with an elevated crime rate vis a vi other types of musical genres - It's just a statistical fact that crime is more likely to occur among urban audiences than among audiences of other demographics."

So happy she has statistics behind her proving that their jungle booty sweat music is the reason why they have crime in their neighborhoods. By "them", I mean the urbaners. I mean, you are more likely to die at a rap show than anywhere else in those kind of areas, right?

Kerplunk32
Kerplunk32

Racist white lady, Thank you for given me something to bring to social work classes this week. Sincerely, another white lady

Return To Da Throne
Return To Da Throne

well, there can be no further denying it.. for all you self righteous so-called progressives.

indie rock = white people

how's that taste?

Dtdtdtdate
Dtdtdtdate

I dont know why she would assume that only people who are black would attend this type of establishment. I know plenty of people be it white, latin or of other races who are really into hip hop. I dont get why they are getting all up in arms about the opening of a hip hop in BROOKLYN for goodness sake....we are not talking about the upper west side or some suburt out in New Jersey. I mean for me variety and divesity is what makes a neighborhood great. Ok Park Slope might be dominated by women with strollers and what not....but wouldnt they be at home tending to their children at nighttime?? I mean this will be a nightclub after all.I mean seriously if this letter is legit this women has some really subconscious underlying rascist issues going on

lordhelpme
lordhelpme

I especially love how she is quick to point out her relations with her "African American friends and colleagues." Oh, and the killer, " Park Slope residents couldn't possibly be racist."

Uh-huh.

Jason Gross
Jason Gross

They should compromise and play indie rap.

Abyssinia
Abyssinia

First I just want to say HIP HOP FOREVER!!!There are a lot of issues at play here, but I want to address the categorical wrong here (not the entitled opinions that I don't agree w/). I want to address the lumping together of all Hip Hoppers. I don't think CB6 is racist, to be racist you have to hate - I just think that they don't know any better. So maybe I will post the following on the Voice.

There are Rappers like Knaan', The Roots, Common, Outkast, Mos Def (who I saw give a jazz performance at the Blue Note once) and Funk/ Neo Soul Artists like Raphael Sadiiq, Erykah Badu, and Jill Scott. These people are the antithesis of say 50 cent, Jay Z, Eminem, Nikki M. and the like. My point is that the former type of Rap/Hip Hop repels the goons who CB6 (and I as a black woman) fear/don't enjoy being around further than they could ever dream. The latter might attract them.

Lastly, the former type of Rap/Hip Hop will attract socially & politically conscious, natural hair-wearing, vegetarian/vegan, intellectual, graduate-degree holding, yoga mediating (let's face it) Blacks (*gasp*) who have a lot to live for, disposable income to spend, and flavor and color (literally and figuratively) to add to the bleak gentrified scene which looks less like the internationally renowned "Planet Brooklyn".How can you categorically dismiss a whole culture of music synonymous w/ and varied as the shades of brown which it's people come in as "unfriendly"?! Maybe, we just want to chill w/ a heterogenous group of friends and literally "live in peace". Not all of us want to come to your pretty plain little neighborhood to tear it up. So hands off my Hip Hop! and if you didn't know, you do now and definitely should have asked somebody. lol.

If I haven't made myself perfectly clear yet let's use an example in terms that they can understand, their own. Indie Rock is Rock, so is Death Metal but you wouldn't attribute the tendencies of the bloody-nosed moshers to the hacky-sac juggling weed smoking new-aged hippies, right? Eurocentric, may be the dominant culture, but it isn't the only one so I suggest learning about the others whose roots are older,more prolific, and thing from which rock was born.

Hip Hop is international b/c it is the universal language of the poor, young and oppressed. From Japan to the USA and everything in between (the long way round the globe) and Indie? How big is it? Yes, my friends; My music is BIGGER than yours ;P.

Daniel
Daniel

I want this to be satire so badly. Could anyone be this self-unaware?

CheetahDeals Blog
CheetahDeals Blog

Why'd you link to the petition if you're also going to just repost it here?

Harry Cheadle
Harry Cheadle

She says she isn't racist, then says the club will be selling "Hennessy/etc." Yeah, the implication that people who drink Hennessy are undesirable isn't racist at all.

Fool
Fool

Surely no one has ever been killed, assaulted, arrested or has OD'd on drugs at an "indie" concert. Oh, except for all those other times, like when that black guy got beat to death in front of that indie club.

Moveforwardmusic
Moveforwardmusic

if you want INDIE go to Rock Shop or Union Hall, we playin that loud bling bling RAP SHIT over here, bitch.

elricomassuave
elricomassuave

clearly, she's right because a "vibrant artistic hub" has no place in hip-hop or urban culture.

Fool
Fool

We don't hate black people, just everything they represent. Clearly, white people and the music they enjoy would solve urban poverty and crime if black people would let it.

Aceafer
Aceafer

I don't understand why racist is constantly in quotation marks. Is she trying to imply that racism doesn't exist?

No_contradiction
No_contradiction

Thank god she clarified that it's not black people that cause crime but "urban" people, otherwise I might've thought she was racist.

Dr. Funkenstein
Dr. Funkenstein

You named good artists like Common. But aren't they "Indie"-musicians? Common has lost his deal with Universal music. Indie doesn't mean "good" or "bad", it is not a musical style. It does mean: independent of a major label.Eurocentric is the dominent culture? No! US major hip hop stars use dance sounds from the 90ies in Europe and as a result of it the Black-eyed Peas have turned from an excellent Indie Hip Hop band to a trashy pop act.

BKBlueshirt
BKBlueshirt

I mean if we're gonna be completely honest here, ANYBODY who's foolish enough to drink Hennessy(regardless of race) is pretty undesirable.

rorkabald
rorkabald

well because the point she is making would actually be racist, but by adding quotes she isn't lying because it is not "racist". Just like she is not a full blown real actual racist no quotes, i mean she knows black people! But... she is just kind of, sort of, but not totally racist... aka "racist"

Nakia H.
Nakia H.

I was wondering the same thing. Clearly she thinks those quotes are necessary since she did it twice.

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