During the May 3 “Hip-Hop vs. Punk” event at Tower Bar, there was no evidence of aggressive behavior as the punk bands (the Lumps, the Mice) battled hip-hop crews (First Power Crew, BDP and T) inside the Normal Heights bar. Outside was a different story.
Dizzy Order (Eric Woodard) is a veteran hip-hop artist who started organizing shows in the late ’90s at the now-closed Loft downtown, “and at cafés that don’t exist anymore.... I was the first one to do shows at the Yard three years ago.” The Yard is the name of a backyard venue at a home on 17th Street near downtown, where backyard hip-hop shows are thrown regularly.
Along with his longtime MC partner Rokon (Max Stone), Dizzy has revived a loose-knit crew of conscious rappers called MWC, who address topics such as Monsanto seeds and the Boston Marathon bombing.
Dizzy says there was tension brewing between MWC, a multi-ethnic crew, and a white rap group called First Power Crew. He says the tension was not race-based. It was over a beef with First Power MC Stunt Double Bob.
“Bob was getting personally aggressive to me at the Yard. So I made a rap: ‘What kind of name is Stunt Double Bob/ Sounds like a name in gay porn.’ We made that song and put it on the internet. He said on Facebook, ‘You guys are nobody. Why don’t you come to my show May 3 and we’ll battle it out onstage.’”
When they showed up, Dizzy says there were only five MWCs, and “they had, like, 50 people.”
Rokon says MWC only wanted to duel First Power guys on the street. “We wanted to settle things intellectually, using our rhymes to fight each other instead of our fists. But I got the impression they were afraid to battle us.”
The battling, says Rokon, became physical.
“The second we get there, this Bob character, who is six-feet-one and has orange hair and a beard, goes up to my wife who is video taping and says, ‘I heard of you, fuck you,’ and pushes the camera in her face. I felt like a witch doctor who was getting burned at the stake by 50 people who didn’t know what they were doing. It was like they were trying emulate the movie Warriors.”
Rokon admitted he knocked a cell phone/camera out of Bob’s hands because of what he earlier did to his wife, but that there was no damage to the phone.
“As we were leaving,” Rokon says, “Bob rushes the car, grabs the camera off her neck, takes the memory card out, and he slams it against my vehicle.”
The promoter of the event, Hugh Knight (DJ Unite), and a supporter of the First Power guys, says it was actually the MWC’s who “bum-rushed” the event. “They wanted to do an Eight Mile event outside, which wasn’t cool. They came to our show and were disrespectful. We would have let them onstage.”
Rokon says the video would prove that the First Power Crew were the ones who were out of hand.
Knight admits that First Power did get ahold of the memory card from the camera and destroyed it. “I didn’t want anyone to get their hands on it. It could have been disrespectful.”