AllHipHop: Caught In A Classic Case Of Profiling In Atlanta

This has been a great year for AllHipHop, the site and the brand.

We’ve been to the White House numerous times. We’ve done some work in needy communities like Newark, NJ, Wilmington, DE, and Baltimore, MD. We’ve had several editorial highs, like revealing the alleged assailant of the 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur. The site is about to relaunch, and we’re still at the forefront of the Hip-Hop journalism/entertainment game. And, importantly, we are up for a BET Hip-Hop Award this year.

Listing all of our accomplishments is not to pat ourselves on the back, but more so to give a bit of perspective on the brand.

As a team, we traversed down to Atlanta to celebrate the Hip-Hop Awards with the city and partner with a local promoter to have a party with a select list of our industry friends at the midtown W Hotel inside the Whiskey Park bar. Both founders of AllHipHop.com have been patrons of the Atlanta franchise, and Greg Watkins was even staying at the downtown W (a different location) on this very weekend. But, that didn’t matter as we attempted to get into our own party.

Frankly, there was an issue with Greg, the co-founder of the site. The dress code of the party was deemed “dapper,” which itself is vague. But, when we saw people inside and around the venue dressing like “whatever,” we didn’t believe the code was being strictly enforced to begin with. But, right from the start, the excuses for not letting Greg into his own party flowed like chronic diarrhea. First, they said only patrons of the W were allowed in. After that, none of us were on a mystery list that we know were were on, because AllHipHop’s Steve Raze made the list. The list was with the people at the Whiskey Bar; meanwhile, we were contending with Jared, the W’s general manager.

The “reasons” continued. It was the clothing, then they didn’t like Greg’s thick beard, and the reasons for denial kept changing at every instance. But, he wasn’t the only one. Several professional, industry people were denied entry based on some vague discretion. It didn’t matter that AllHipHop was the reason many of these high profile people (and patrons) were even entering their “posh” venue.

The manager made it clear that entry was “at his discretion,” yet he made no concessions, even though the promoter Ruffin had stated who Greg, myself, and Steve were. After a while, the whole thing became embarrassing. One of the higher ups told Greg to “walk away” as the scene got increasingly heated. A police officer concurred with a gleam in his eye, like “make a move so I can twist you up right here.” Needless to say, we left the venue heated and disgusted that they would treat us like that, especially since were were co-organizers and hosts.

After it was all said and done, Steve Raze told me that “no reasonable explanation was given” for Greg’s denied entry to the venue. I wasn’t going to write this, but a friend, Ed Garnes, tagged me on the following message on Facebook:

ATL: beyond profiling… what happened at the W hotel this eve was equivalent to the Woolworth lunch counters of yesterday…peaceful people…and overzealous police…do not a welcoming committee make..gatekeepers made it clear: your kind ain’t wanted here…

I couldn’t let it go. Then the legendary Bun B, who is an MC and a college educator, tweeted the following:

I then knew this was worth it. Most of us have dealt with profiling and even more brutal forms of racism – even in this so-called post-racial Obama era, prejudice still exists. Sure, incidents like this start out as rather small things, but they fester and grow into monuments such as the questions surrounding the execution of Troy Davis. We were bringing business to the W and also the Whiskey Park bar, which is inside the building. We did nothing wrong, except we didn’t look like what they wanted in their establishment. It didn’t much matter that we stay at the W every year. It didn’t matter that we brought out celebs like Wale (who was also denied entry) or power players in the music game. None of it mattered.

So, now the W doesn’t matter to me. We’ll never support the establishment again, and we encourage others to follow suit. AllHipHop has done events with Diddy, Russell Simmons, Jermaine Dupri, 50 Cent, and corporate clients that dwarf the W – without so much as an incident. Clearly, they didn’t know all of this, and they may not care either way.

There are many, many other lodging establishments that will appreciate law-abiding, peaceful, business people, especially when they are bringing business, and peaceful, lawful people into the building. Maybe not a lot will change from this incident. People will continue to flock to the W when it’s time for big ticket events like the BET Hip-Hop Awards.

But as for the W? Bravo. You got our money and some of our friends as patrons, but that won’t be the case next year. We’re not going to play games. We know people and those people know people. We’re going to talk to them and see what our next steps are. Anybody who continues to patronize a company that doesn’t respect them is a fool without principles.

We’re out.

And Jared, (the general manager of the W), shave your beard.

  • EDOGZ818

    Damn Homie!
    Sorry to hear you guys got your N-Word wake up call in such a fugged up fashion.
    Time to get your / our own….& spend accordingly.

    When $hyt like this happens to Grouchy Greg , with his resources , you know it’s bad for the brother with none. Hopefully these new experiences will help AHH.com grow & use it’s influence to promote a cure via economic independence & educating the culture, promoting & rewarding entrepreneurs / artists.
    IE: School ’em Saturdays ( $E$ )
    >>>>Opens contract negotiations with Chuck ( Signals Jamillah to go to bat for $E$ )
    ( Granted $E$ might be too dangerous for the world’s most dangerous site : )
    AHH should start something , weekly or monthly? etc. to promote self education. 
    That is the greatest form of giving back.

    Whiskey Bar = Ritzy?
    Trendy on Pennies?
    Dual sword….do it ghetto fabulous & you guys get treated like heroes , but risk some knucklehead with nothing to lose gaining access & fuggin up ya night , segregate economically & get the BS that you got.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    The new upgrade is doo doo butter! Str8 @$$ Juice.
    $hyt looks mad @$$ , but if it works better…
    >>>E Shrugz!

    • DonDub808

      Start your own website/blog and stop trying to fck up the business over here.

      I’m sure your some kinda agent, that would explain the $ signs in $E$.
      What’s that, Seriously-Erroneous-Shit? FOH and go build your own site.
      You big dummy.

      • $$ = Money
        Education = More Value than $$$

  • Curtis75Black

    Real Talk Chuck !! Glad you put this into publication instead of letting it slide. Trust me, y’all won’t be the only one’s not messing with that hotel anymore after this.

  • DonDub808

    The profiling is disgusting, especially as AHH has been so pro-active in representing the positive side of the culture for so many years.
    I’m glad you posted this article, situations like this too often go unreported.

    People like EDOGZ don’t help either. The last $E$ he wrote about 9/11 was destructive to the brand.
    I couldn’t believe he was permitted to post such conspiracy BS.
    If you think that kinda shii goes un-noticed by the authorities, your sadly mistaken.

  • p.s. Wedgie:
    Seriously – erroneous – $hyt?
    You may not like $E$ or the truth , but I challenge you to find some erroneous shyt that was ran , that wasn’t a guest feature.
    >>>>Starts to think Wedgie is up the system’s @$$ as an agent!

    • DonDub808

      As I wrote earlier, go and build your own website/blog if you want to talk on that shit.
      There are many ways for you express your opinions and bring facts to the table, without fuckin up this sites rep.
      You really think the sponsors are going to fux with a site that allows people such as yourself to post that kind of shit? You know damn well they won’t!

      So, if your such a revolutionary and your about being self sufficient, go start your own site/blog and stop fcking up the business over here.

      P.S My name is Weggie, spell it right. You pseudo-intellectual lame old dog.

  • Biba Adams

    Good post, Chuck… It was total BS. I was disgusted and will definitely cross the W Midtown off my list. And, when I told a friend about the incident, she wasn’t surprised and stated that she and her friends were harassed there as well.

  • Dam Chuck how they gon tell you that you can’t get into your own party,that’s fucked up,I didn’t know it was that bad for the ahh staff.something needs to change..

  • I’m with you… we need to start some kind of Twitter campaign or something to bring this out in the open to where they have to publicly address this. The W is the “Dennys” of the hotel business.

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  • Breakdabars

    Like someone said this is just a wake up call sorry your company had to get it in this fashion. Maybe this will also lead you to stop covering bullshit rap artists who offend the culture even if they offer to pay you

  • Damn, I stayed at the W Midtown during the BET Hip Hop weekend.  Is this article referring to midtown or downtown?  It says downtown, but then Bun B says something bout midtown.  I am not going to lie, I have stayed here many times and never had a problem, but then again i never partied in the hotel.  If this kind of profiling is going on then it’s best we all stop supporting them.

    Besides the new LOEWS was looking nice!

  • This is just the begining of things we can expect. Every since we exercised our right to vote and put a black man in office. The racist people of power have been doing everything they can to remind us that we are still “Niggers”. Our Money and status in life makes no difference to them. Especially here in the Capitol Slave State of Georgia. I’ve been here ten years and have watched as they got rid of every black leader that existed from Malaki York, to El Amins(William H Rap Brown). I don’t think anyone else noticed that because they were to busy “Trapping” themselves to care. Wake Up Sleeping Giant

    • Hmmm , not necessarily true ( The Not noticing Part ).
      ILLSEED caught alot of flack from the Uncle Tom house negroes & their handlers for dropping School Em Saturdays ( $E$ ) Jan , 8 , 2011 ( Omarion announces Bisexuality ) specifically covering El AlAmin. ( H. Rap Brown ) , including links to write the brother & send $$$.


      Gotta give him props for that , cuz the house negroes & their handlers were HATING!

      Still, slowly but surely , AHH has been stepping up to the plate & uplifting Hip Hop while walking the fine line of the business side.
      The new format has plenty of potential.
      I see an awakening of Hip Hop…slowly…but surely!

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