This weekend’s Rolling Loud Festival in NYC will be short five performers with ties to the city.
According to The New York Times, the festival dropped Casanova, Pop Smoke, Sheff G, 22Gz, and Don Q, from their line-up at the request of the NYPD. Police cited “safety concerns,” claiming the rappers “have been affiliated with recent acts of violence citywide,” in a letter to the festival’s organizers from NYPD Assistant Chief, Martin Morales.
Though the festival has yet to comment, on Twitter, Rolling Loud co-founder, Tariq Cherif, noted “I can’t speak on this much but I want everyone to know that we are still paying all of those artists full booking fees AND sending them offers for future Rolling Loud’s in other cities.”
On Instagram this morning, Casanova responded to his canceled, pleading with the festival to acknowledge his last felony conviction was over a decade old. He adds, “I lost everything I ever loved and I’m STILL losing. So much so that “they” won’t allow me to perform at Rolling Loud NYC on Sunday. It’s unfair and unfortunate that my past, which I’ve dealt with legally and personally, continues to stigmatize me and my career as a recording artist. I’m at war with my past and the scars that they still leave on me everyday.”
Don Q also took to Instagram for his response, claiming his cancellation was due to “misinformation.” The 29-year-old rapper goes on: “I love my city and I never been in any gang activities or never had issues at any of my previous shows. I hope the city will wake up and see that cancelling me and my fellow NY artists isn’t the solution, we just love what we do and want to perform for our fans. We won’t give up.”
You can read both below along with a copy of the NYPD’s letter, shared by Karen Civil.
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