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Promoter, Toronto Police comment on cancelled NXNE showcase [Article]

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Toronto, ONNXNE kicked off amidst some controversy last night with the cancellation of the SmashMouth Mentality Showcase. Scheduled to take place at The Rivoli, the show, which was going to feature performances by acts like Rich Kidd, The Antiheros, Denzil Porter and Tre Nyce, was shut down before it even began.

According to Toronto Police Media Relations, police visited The Rivoli yesterday afternoon to speak with the owner and manager about security measures for the showcase.

“What happened was police spoke to The Rivoli,” said Victor Kwong of the Toronto Police. “As we normally do, we keep in touch with the venue owners for security issues. It was brought up whether or not they had enough security for the concert. The venue then went to the concert promoter and asked for increased security. The concert promoter said they would not be providing increased security. And so the venue cancelled that show.” [More]

News: Police cancel NXNE's SmashMouth Mentality Showcase - HipHopCanada.com

However, SmashMouth Entertainment’ Branden Hewko says he first found out his own event was cancelled when The Rivoli tweeted yesterday afternoon:

“We regret to announce that due to circumstances beyond our control tonight’s SmashMouth NXNE showcase @TheRivoli has been canceled.”

“I was getting ready to head down to Toronto and I was on Twitter and I saw The Rivoli tweet the showcase was cancelled. I sent out some emails to NXNE representatives that I’d been working with and to my contact at Rivoli. And I got a call from Crispin Giles, (Programming Manager at NXNE) and he said the gang unit and the Toronto police went to the venue in the afternoon and said they had some tips come in about some of the artists on the bill having possible gang affiliation and there being a gang rivalry.”

Here’s where the story takes another twist.

One of the artists included in SmashMouth’s showcase was Tre Nyce, of Vancouver. There is also a Tre Nice (notice the difference in spelling) from Toronto, who was featured on TnT’s mixtape Bout 2 Blow in 2008. TnT, and more broadly the Sick Thugs crew, have been linked to last week’s Eaton Centre shooting that killed two and wounded five others.

One source has speculated a potential issue between the two Tre’s regarding the similarities in their names, which dates back several years. A few years ago, a huge debate ensued on the HipHopCanada message board about this very subject, although it was never clear if it was strictly squabbling between fans or if parties in question were actually involved. Regardless, both artists maintained their names and nothing ever came of it.

(Click here to see a message board thread from 2010 where HipHopCanada users question if a certain song by Tre Nyce is directed at Tre Nice).

Either of these situations could explain the reported suspicions by Toronto Police.

Despite this coincidence, Kwong denied Toronto Police having any issue with specific performers on the bill, saying instead this was simply a matter of asking questions of the venue about the expected attendance and number of security personnel.

“I didn’t hear that,” said Kwong. “We didn’t go in there about gangs or anything. It was safety measures, it wasn’t even specific to that show. It wasn’t about those performers it was the show in general.”

Kwong also added “I don’t know any laws that allow us to cancel a concert.”

According to Kwong, after police asked questions about safety measures, the venue contacted the promoter and requested he provide additional security and he refused, thus the show was cancelled.

Hewko says he was never asked to provide additional security and actually presented that as a solution to the problem when speaking to NXNE programming manager Crispin Giles. Unfortunately, according to Hewko, by that time The Rivoli had decided on their own the show wasn’t going to happen.

Hewko then looked into finding an alternate venue, but was unsuccessful due to the time constraints.

The Rivoli has yet to return calls and emails requesting comment on this matter. We will update you as soon as we know more.

Media relations for NXNE declined to comment on the situation saying it was beyond their control.

Written by Jonathon “Bizz” Brown for HipHopCanada

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@ThatsBizz

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@ThatsBizz is a Senior Contributor for HipHopCanada and a member of the Central Canada team. The nuts and bolts of Jonathon “Bizz” Brown are impressive, but it’s his ability to apply his skills, identify opportunities, adapt to new environments and get the job done that makes him who he is. An engaging combination of education, experience and vision, Brown continues to make his mark on many fronts and plant his flag as a professional on the rise. Entrenched in the urban music scene for more than half a decade, Bizz launched Crack House Radio in 2004. Over the next four years, the online radio show would evolve into a major outlet for Canadian music and hip hop culture in general. Over that time, Bizz interviewed countless artists and professionals including Belly, Bishop, Drake, Classified, Guru, Joell Ortiz, author and gang specialist Michael Chettleburg, Brent (owner of Just Ent) & many others. In 2007, Bizz joined Urbanology Magazine as a staff writer and would go on to contribute dozens of articles over the next three years including a cover story on Classified in 2009. 2007 also saw the launch of Bizz' line of t-shirts reading "Hip Hop Ain't Dead It Lives In The North." Since then, he's toured with Peter Jackson, Busta Rhymes, DJ Dames Nellas, Bishop, Slaughterhouse & Pharoahe Monch and secured a strong following with his column on Cityonmyback.com called "The Fine Print."

  1. Ziad

    I’m cheesed.. I was looking forward to seeing Tre Nyce. Didn’t know he hit up Crawford till after the fact. Hope you perform in Toronto again soon Tre.

  2. Zontag

    First time I’ve ever heard of a show being cancelled there. They can get enough security to handle a packed house, so it’s gotta be a bigger problem that made em shut it down than just not having enough security

  3. NXNE in review: Best bands, BBQ love-ins, and worst party shutdowns | resonancity.com

    [...] down due to apparent gang-violence fears (or lack of security given the number of people expected depending on who you ask). It gave scheduled Rivoli acts like Upperclass Men and our favourite Rich Kidd a chance to perform [...]

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