Three New York drill rappers have been removed from the Rolling Loud New York lineup scheduled for this weekend at Citi Field in Queens at the request of the New York Police Department (NYPD).
According to The New York Times, Sha Ek and Ron Suno, both from the Bronx, and 22Gz, an influential figure in Brooklyn’s drill movement, were all removed from the show. The last-minute cancellations were similar to the festival’s New York stop in 2019, when five artists, including 22Gz and Pop Smoke, had their performances scrapped.
Tariq Cherif, a co-founder of Rolling Loud, said he had no choice but to comply with NYPD. “Trust me. I said that and much more,” Cherif tweeted to a Rolling Loud attendee. “All the public sees is the letter. Way more happened behind closed doors. [So] if we want [Rolling Loud] to return to NYC, we have no choice but to comply. That’s the position we’re in.”
The publication reports that the NYPD assistant chief stated that the rappers had “been affiliated with recent acts of violence citywide” in a letter to the festival’s organizers. “The New York City Police Department believes if these individuals are allowed to perform, there will be a higher risk of violence,” according to the letter.
Stanley Davis, Sha Ek’s manager, said in a Thursday (Sept. 22) statement that his client was not been charged with any crimes that could justify his removal. “The police try to associate what he’s doing with violence and negativity,” he wrote. “They don’t respect that he’s an artist and entertainer trying to better himself and feed his family at 19 years old.” He added, “Sha Ek has performed all over the Northeast this year. The crowds at his concerts are full of kids dancing and having fun. He’s excited to keep growing his touring business and proving the police wrong.”
Diamond Brown, who manages Ron Suno, said: “How can a person who has no criminal record and no gang ties — the kid never even made a diss record — be denied to perform in his hometown after all his hard work?”
On Friday (Sept. 23), Rolling Loud returns for its third appearance in New York, headlined by Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky, Future, and Playboi Carti.
Below are Cherif’s tweet regarding the Rolling Loud Festival’s removal of the three rappers: