Hannibal Buress Among Those Boycotting Houston Hip-Hop Venue After Accusations of Racism
Update (Feb. 8, 4:19 p.m. EST):
Sara Fitzgerald, the owner of the Houston music venue Fitzgerald's, provided this statement to XXL:
"The above YouTube video [Starlito and Don Trip's "Caesar and Brutus"] was sent to me for a possible booking and I felt like the language (which I wrote in quotes) was racist, sexist and promoted violence. Further, I did not think it presented a very good image for young black men. As a women, I take offense to the treatment of women in SOME rap music and this one in particular. The words in the song have been turned against me but have been very beneficial to the promoter, so I guess its a big win for them. I am not a racist and would have never allowed the "N" word in my venue, but now if I host a young rap show, it's 15 minutes of let's get high, cussing, references to violence, 20 N words and blame it on the bitches and hoes.
The kids think this will make them rich. Are they right?
I'm sorry Hannibal Buress is upset, but I have received many positive emails today from black parents thanking me for speaking out, women who resent being slandered in rap music, young people thanking for me for starting this dialogue and many long time customers who know me and my reputation for supporting all genres of music over the past 40 years."
Houston music venue Fitzgerald's is under fire after producer Trakksounds shared an email exchange he had with them while attempting to book a gig for duo Starlito & Don Trip's upcoming Stepbrothers 3 tour. As seen in a tweet below, Sara Fitzgerald, the venue’s owner, responds to the inquiry by writing, "I’m gonna pass on this. Not a big fan of the ‘nigger, bitch, pussy, whore ,gonnafuckingshootyou' music or the fans that wear their pants under their ass with their underwear showing, drink and smoke pot in the parking lot, then scream, ‘you racist bitch’ when I ask that they take their lit joint outside."
Trakksounds responded by saying it sounds as if the venue owner has aggression built up about something else, and posting the exchange online. "The boycotting for @FitzgeraldsLive starts now," the tweet reads. "This type of response is a disgrace. I will never step foot inside of this place again." Comedian Hannibal Buress expressed a similar revulsion, writing, "Yeesh. Just worked at this spot on Friday. Never again though."
The Houston Press reports that Fitzgerald is defending her remarks, saying she was simply quoting Starlito & Don Trip’s song “Brutus & Caesar." She compares the lyrics in the song to Buress' use of the n-word at the venue the previous weekend, saying it seemed appropriate then. “Why is my reputation on the line? It was their lyrics,” she says.
Trakksounds meanwhile says he's been to many hip-hop shows at the venue, saying he's "never once had a problem of any sort," and "never seen such blatant stereotyping or a ridiculous response from a ‘professional.’"
“I shouldn’t have said anything,” Fitzgerald added. “I don’t know. It’s something I’ve been scratching my head over for a long time, because I like to think that we’re open to all kinds of music, but [that kind is] just...it’s embarrassing... And maybe I’m just old [and] I’m not getting it, but for them to say I don’t like black music...I mean, I’ve probably had more black music in Fitzgerald’s than any white club in town. I like music, and I like black music. I just don’t know how to deal with this type of music.”
XXL has reached out to Fitzgerald's for comment.
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