Toronto Police Shut Down NXNE Hip-Hop Showcase Featuring Rich Kidd, Tre Nyce; Cite 'Potential Gang Rivalry'
announcement regarding our #smashmouthmentality showcase," a tweet read on SmashMouth's Twitter account late Wednesday afternoon. Shortly thereafter SmashMouth tweeted: "The Hip Hop police do exist..even in Toronto" before later adding "The cops can hate but I'll always put on for the homies."
"Damn, our #SmashMouthMentality Showcase would have been the best #NXNE event by far....this sucks," they tweeted a little after 11 p.m. Eastern and then replying to a tweet with "unfortunately people are still stereotyping a misunderstood culture #HipHop."
Brenden Hewko of SmashMouth Entertainment said in an email response to Spinner he was notified of the cancellation around 4 p.m.
"The explanation that I was given was that the Toronto Police and Toronto Gang Unit received information regarding artists on my showcase bill about potential gang affiliation which lead them to believe that a potential 'gang rivalry' could occur leading to gang violence," Hewko said. Hewko also said an official statement from SmashMouth would be sent out later today (June 14).
Sha Prince, a member of The Antiheroes, expressed his dismay late Wednesday evening in response to a tweet. "hip hop police man smh shut down no reason given...they do what they want I guess lol," he said late Wednesday evening. He also said he "didn't even get inside the venue yo lol."
The Rivoli repeated the show was cancelled on its Twitter account and adding that it was "for reasons beyond our control" and they were "very sorry."
While NXNE organizers made no other announcement, various tweets by some of the artists on the scheduled bill including Denzil Porter and Rich Kidd said they were hoping that another venue, The Crawford on College Street, could serve as a last-minute solution