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Arkansas rappers speak on racial profiling and hip-hop music censorship

Memphisrap.com recently caught up with SoundChild Crew as well as a couple of other Arkansas artists and industry people to speak on the possible racial profiling since Eightball & MJG were pulled over by police recently in Arkansas and claimed it was racial profiling.

It has become quite clear to rappers and everyone over the past few weeks that hip-hop has been under the radar ever since radio personality Don Imus was fired for his "nappy headed h**s" remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team. Now many conservatives want to censor words that rappers use in their lyrics. Many feel that this is a discrimination in itself as only Hip-Hop is under the radar for these words, and not any other genre or form of entertainment. However, since this recent uproar over hip-hop music, it seems security for rap/hip-hop concerts have 'beefed up' even more in the South at and or around rap/hip-hop events and now it is leading some to believe and feel there's racial profiling in this "Hip-Hop, under the radar" era.

Recently, on last week, Bad Boy South recording artists Eightball & MJG were pulled over by police (read related story) as well as a couple of other rappers in Arkansas by the name of SoundChild Crew who were scheduled to perform that night along with 8 Ball and MJG, who didn't perform that night, as well as Rap-A-Lot recording artist Yukmouth.

Memphisrap.com recently caught up with SoundChild Crew as well as a couple of other Arkansas artists and industry people.

"Mayne we from Little Rock, and things don't happen like that in Little Rock," B Reign of Arkansas rap group SoundChild Crew told MemphisRap.com. "They [police] were pulling everybody over... the speed limit was 40 mph, I believe, and my speedometer was not over 37. I know because I was like mayne I got a show to be at and I didn't want to get pulled over. Mayne we turned in the Metroplex about 5 mph [6 blocks from all the police], and I was already in the parking lot and that's when I got pulled over. Two squad cars pulled in front. It was one unmarked car and two City of Rogers cop cars," Reign continues.

"They [the police] were like 'roll all the windows down' and put all the big lights in the car on us and said 'we caught you going 50 [mph] in a 40', he said. I said mayne I was going 37 and he said 'you need to get your speedometer fixed, because ours is calibrated'. Mayne they held us up for like 30 minutes in the parking lot with fans and everything walking by," Reign added.

When asked did they perform, Reign says they did perform but no one else (including 8Ball & MJG, and Yukmouth) did. When asked did they think it was racial profiling, Reign only stated he felt it was profiling while other Soundchild Crew member Blu Tantram had a little more than just that to say. "If you ask me I feel that they [the officials] were trying to shut it down. The media too. They were saying things that made me feel they were expecting too many people and they were afraid. So they were already trying to shut it down from the jump. But we got over that hump, then we got a call on Friday [a day before the event] saying it wasn't zoned. I mean how you going to have somebody booked 45 days out, get their deposit, let them spend all this money on media and promotions and have artists flying in? If you wasn't zoned, there shouldn't have even been a contract," stated Blu Trantrum.

"They don't want Hip-Hop up there. They fear the people coming together. The cops were enjoying themselves and they even gave everybody in the car, passengers too, a warning ticket and I believe they put us in a database or something," added Blu Trantrum.

"Hip-Hop, though, is alive in Little Rock," says Blu Trantrum. "Still, I do want to say we appreciate the support that we did get up there in Rogers and we want everyone to keep up the support".

Due to the Police and officials, Blu Tantrum and B Reign, alone, ended up having the show without special guests 8Ball and MJG and Yukmouth at another club moved from All Star Sports Arena to Club Metroplex in Rogers owned by a well recognized supporter of Hip-Hop by the name of DJ Freddy.

When talking to other local rappers and Industry people in Arkansas about the incident and Hip-Hop, MemphisRap.com got mixed views on the topics.

"I have never had any issues with the Arkansas police and neither have any other artists I know," says Bobby Lopez with Eightblock Entertainment out of Fort Smith, AR.

When it comes to censoring hip-hop music DJ Kaos of Level One Records out of Magnolia, AR stated, "It's apparent that some people have forgotten were the essence of Hip-Hop & Rap comes from, the streets and the inner cities. That is the voice of the people. Most of these artists come from areas that are described in their lyrics. Censoring Hip/Hop & Rap is censoring the people and their right of expression. Should we focus on what this music style put across or on the problems this music exposes in our country?"

Though many of you may haven't heard of Arkansas until now, there's a rich scene growing there as are many other cities in the South have been doing, so keep a watch for names such as B Reign and Blu Tantrum (SoundChild Crew) who's songs you can hear on episodes of MTV's Pimp My Ride, DJ Freddy at Club Metroplex out of Rogers, DJ Kaos of Level One Records out of Magnolia, AR and more from those out of the A-State.

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