DJ Jazzy Jeff vs. Power & Light

To the shock of everyone within sniffing distance of Kansas City, the Power & Light district has managed to make a fool of itself once  more.

It’s like Ron Prince and Donald Rumsfeld got together and decided to create a downtown hangout district, then hired Andy Rooney to run it. It’s just one mismanaged night after another down there.

Whats with all this hippy hop music, anyway?

"What's with all this hipping and hopping these days, anyhow?"

The latest is a spat with DJ Jazzy Jeff, widely known as the guy who used to hang out with Will Smith in the 90s, but known to himself as “a 25-year legend.”

Parents just dont understand.

Parents just don't understand.

The facts: Jazzy Jeff’s show at the P&L was cut short.

Jazzy Jeff’s explanation: The P&L management didn’t like the music he was playing (hip hop), and booted him off stage.

P&L’s explanation: He was playing the music so loud, he was about to blow the speakers. He declined to turn it down. Show over.

The general reaction:

Of course, that’s going to be the reaction to anything that happens involving a black person at the P&L, because the P&L used to have a blatantly discriminatory dress code that disallowed, among other things, baggy pants, jerseys and oversized jewelry, which is code for “black people clothing.”*

*My opinions on this are complex, but let’s get a couple of points out of the way. It is impossible to be “racist” toward clothing, since we are born unclothed. I doubt the dress code policy had anything to do with race. I think it had to do with people who wear baggy jeans, jerseys and oversized jewelry.

Granted, those tend to be black people, but as you may have noticed, an awful lot of white people dress this way, as well as Hispanics and (rarely) Asians. What unifies these baggy-pants-and-jewelry-people is not their race, it is something else, and that something is what the P&L didn’t want.

But with that context, you can see why this Jazzy Jeff show — a show, by the way, that nobody even seemed to care about. One guy who was there told the KC Star that some people “booed briefly, but otherwise the incident was uneventful.” — has turned into a controversy, even though it’s obvious that DJ Jazzy Jeff is an idiot. He expects us to believe that a hip hop artist was hired to do a show, and then booted from the stage for playing hip hop. Clearly, these P&L people aren’t PR geniuses, but, as The Star’s Mike Hendricks wrote, “Nobody is that stupid.”

But here’s the question I haven’t seen asked yet: Why is the P&L trying to host concerts with equipment that can’t handle concerts? It has reportedly (and without incident) asked other acts to turn down the sound, which means this is a regular problem, which means it’s just a matter of time before someone blows these inferior speakers.

How about this P&L, how about you buy some speakers suited for concerts, then start booking concerts.


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