Hyphy Won’t Rise Again At Phoenix

Twice was enough for a group of Petaluma, Calif., theatre officials who decided acts that promote drugs and violence would no longer be allowed following the venue’s second gun-related incident this year.

An argument broke out during a recent hyphy concert at the Phoenix Theatre, and two young men were later involved in a shooting in a nearby parking garage and hospitalized for gunshot wounds that were not life-threatening, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.

The shooting follows another incident in January during which a fight broke out in the venue lobby after a hyphy concert and a teen was arrested outside the building with a loaded gun.

After the first incident, the nonprofit group that oversees the theatre and its accompanying teen center canceled hyphy shows – for a while – and said they would be prudent in making their picks for future concerts.

But the recent shooting was the last straw for hyphy, Phoenix board member Amber Faur told the Press Democrat.

“First and foremost we are a teen center,” Faur said. “Ensuring that we’re a safe venue is paramount to anything that we do.”

Hyphy, the hip-hop subgenre that originated in the San Francisco Bay area and is characterized by dancing in a ridiculous or “hyper” fashion, has earned a bad rap for unsafe behavior and faced backlash in some Northern California communities.

“We want to make sure that performers really reflect values for our kids; what matters is that they promote a culture that’s positive for the youth,” Faur said. “Hyphy is so heavily embedded in drug culture that we can’t promote that.”

The venue’s board of directors was set to meet to discuss the shooting Dec. 11. Attempts to reach a representative for comment were unsuccessful at press time.