Back2School Concert Promoters Issue Apology For Concert Fiasco

The

fallout from the Back2School Jam concert continues, as promoters have issued an

apology to fans and placed the blame for the evening’s violent climate on Nassau

Coliseum management. The

Sept. 30 concert, presented by Hot 97 and Big League Entertainment, was to feature

rappers Yung Joc, T.I., Foxy Brown, Lloyd Banks, DMX, and Jim Jones. While

Yung Joc, Lloyd Banks and G-Unit, and DMX gave performances–some rife with technical

problems–the show’s organizers maintained that the problems started long before

any of the entertainers hit the stage. "I

would like to send my sincere apology to all those who might have had an unfavorable

communication, interaction or experience at this event," said Big League

CEO Michael Green. "I would especially like to apologize to the artists that

were unable to perform due to the abrupt close of the show." According

to the concert’s organizers, Hot 97 DJ Funkmaster Flex, Foxy Brown, and Jim Jones

could not get past the venue’s security in order to make appearances at the show.

While

Yung Joc’s performance took place without incident, fans waited almost two hours

in between sets. When

rapper Lloyd Banks did perform, organizers said his set was truncated to just

30 minutes. Banks,

G-Unit, and 50 Cent managed to give controversial performances, taking jabs at

former labelmate the Game, DMX, and Jim Jones during a shortened set that included

performances by Mobb Deep, Tony Yayo, and 50 Cent. According

to witnesses, 50 Cent’s microphone was cut several times during his performance,

prompting the rapper to declare: "man, I’m never coming back here. Every

time I come to Nassau they ask me to leave!" Independent

production manager Divine, who was working with Lloyd Banks and G-Unit on Sept.

30, also said the backstage area was poorly organized and became an issue. For

over nine years, Divine has worked with artists such as Busta Rhymes, Tweet, Missy

Elliott, Marcus Miller, Naughty by Nature, Eve, and Queen Latifah. "The

Coliseum had one person dealing with over 200 people’s access to backstage,"

Divine claimed. "There was an unusual amount of police present and they were

also disrespectful. The police on horses allowed there horses to defecate right

in front of the back stage ramp. I had to personally walk my artists around the

feces." Green

claimed many of the artists had to wait for hours to attain credentials to enter

the building and that his company was never allowed to control that process. "To

add insult to injury, the building wouldn’t allow Big League support staff ‘All

Access’ to help manage the show backstage. In our opinion, we were set up to fail,

performing a hi-wire act without a safety net." That

"hi-wire act" came to a climax when sound problems continued into DMX’s

set; his microphone was cut several time s during his performance. According

to Nassau police, DMX jumped off the stage and fought with the sound person. Authorities

said the rapper and his entourage allegedly left the stage but returned to throw

bottles of water at the crowd. When

an audience member tossed a steel folding chair at the stage, police claim a member

of DMX’s entourage threw the chair back into the audience, striking a woman in

the head. The

woman was treated at Nassau University Medical Center for a laceration to the

head and other injuries. Foxy

Brown did appear at the venue, as did Jim Jones, but neither performer took the

stage due to issues backstage and with the venue’s sound system. Green

claims his company has worked closely with Nassau Coliseum and other venues in

the New York area for almost 10 years promoting Hip-Hop events. "It

is our feeling that Nassau Coliseum is not a venue which operates in a way that

is conducive to our goal to put on a well-organized and fully supported Hip-Hop

or R&B concert event," Green said. "It saddens Big League Entertainment

to announce we will not work with Nassau Coliseum in the future." Representatives

for Nassau Coliseum could not be reached for comment at press time. Green

also said that Big League Entertainment intends to file suit against T.I. and

his manager for breach of contract. Green

claimed he canceled T.I.’s performance on Sept. 30 because the rapper violated

an agreement by performing at a show in the New York area a week before the Back2School

Jam. "I’m

going to sue the hell out of him," Green said in published reports.

Related Stories