Hyphy Or Just Hype?
California State University Stanislaus officials canceled a September 16th
The Bay Area style of hip-hop music and culture, characterized by gettin’ hyphy (dancing in a ridiculous or “hyper” fashion), sideshows, car maneuvers like “yoking” and “ghostriding” and partying, has faced recent backlash in some Northern California communities.
E-40 is considered one of the founders of the movement, with the drawing power to expose the hyphy phenomenon to a larger audience. This is the second time the artist has drawn press in the San Joaquin Valley. In March, an E-40 concert in Visalia was nixed by city officials over fear it would attract gangs.
Associated Students at the Turlock, Calif., school sponsored the all-ages, alcohol-free show, which was expected to draw almost 3,000 people. But after numerous complaints from community and law enforcement agencies, it was taken off the books.
“Based on the concern for the safety of our students, and the pressure placed on ASI from the law enforcement officials from Stanislaus County and the vice president for student affairs, it was apparent that it would not be in the best interest of students to move forward with the concert,” ASI President Chelsea Minor said in a statement September 12th.
Officials cited a recent Modesto event as an example of the danger surrounding the movement. A September 3rd clash between Modesto police and teenagers was fueled by a hyphy event promoted at a club, Modesto Police Chief Roy Wasden told The Modesto Bee. Wasden explained the apparent hyphy mentality.
“Be dumb and act stupid,” he said. “Have no respect for order or for rules or the law or anyone’s property. … It won’t be tolerated here.”
The Modesto Police Department said in a statement that a September 3rd altercation between police and teenagers occurred when a crowd of 1,500 to 2,000 people became violent following an over-capacity DJ show. The crowd became aggressive, and some individuals began attacking and robbing people on the streets. Officers used K-9’s, tasers and pepper spray to subdue the crowd, eventually calling for assistance from neighboring police departments.
“Every agency in the county responded including some from Merced County Sheriff’s Department, Ripon PD and Manteca PD,” Modesto Police Lieutenant Adam McGill said.
But hyphy events don’t always necessarily provoke violence.
E-40 performed at the Summer Splash Show at
Manager Chaz Hayes said the characterization of E-40 is wrong.
“It is totally unfair; we haven’t done anything wrong. We did 26 cities with not one incident, and now in our hometown, they want to do this,” he told the Bee. “They’re acting like no amount of police is enough. Like he is Osama Bin Laden himself. It is crazy.”
The ASI and the university will lose about $25,000 on the show, providing refunds to those who purchased tickets for the Welcome Back Concert scheduled at the University’s amphitheatre.