Hot 97 Butt Of Eviction
New York City hip-hop radio flagship Hot 97 announced the lineup for its “Summer Jam” festival April 28th – and within a week also got an eviction notice from its landlord after the latest in a series of high-profile violence outside the studio.
Adding insult to injury, the landlord slapped tough visitation rules on the three Emmis Communications-owned stations inside the SoHo-area building – though a State Supreme Court judge overturned the most stringent of them within a week.
“They were warned in the past about the prevalence of unacceptable and unsafe behavior generated by their ill-conceived insistence on bringing dangerous people to the building,” attorney Brian O’Dwyer – representing the NYC District Council of Carpenters that owns the building – told the New York Daily News.
“If we had Pavarotti’s posse going against [Placido] Domingo’s posse, I would do the same thing,” he said.
The latest incident – and the last straw for the carpenters’ union – occurred when “a third-rate local rapper went and got himself shot in the ass outside the station’s studios” April 2nd, according to the Village Voice.
Some local media noted the similarities between the shooting of Jamal “Gravy” Woolard and a recent story arc in “The Sopranos” in which a rapper arranges to be shot “in the fleshy part of the thigh” for street cred. The hired gun is a tad high on his aim, hitting the rapper (played by Treach of Naughty by Nature) in the behind.
At any rate, Woolard’s injuries were so sufficiently minor that he was able to conduct his interview inside Hot 97 before being treated and released at a nearby hospital. He reportedly is not cooperating with the investigation.
New York police, however, wasted little time installing 24/7 video surveillance cameras around the building, which is located in an otherwise quiet, trendy and relatively crime-free neighborhood. And the carpenters followed up by restricting visitors.
Emmis took the restrictions to court, and a week later State Supreme Court Justice Bernard Fried lifted the restrictions in what amounted to a ratification of an agreement between landlord and tenant.
On-air guests – recording artists – for Hot 97 must enter the building alone. The station must give the landlord four days notice for those guests and must hire an armed guard to patrol outside the station at least an hour before the guest shows up.
The station also agreed to install a telephone outside the building so the armed security guard can call police if there is a problem, and the guard must be licensed to pack heat.
Hot 97 has been the site of a series of highly publicized incidents dating to a February 2001 shootout between crews of
More recently, hangers-on of rappers
Meanwhile, the Council of Carpenters agreed to the relaxed rules pending the outcome of the eviction lawsuit.
“Ultimately, the only way to deal with this will be to have Hot 97 removed from the building,” attorney O’Dwyer said.