“Police said officers responded at 11:28 p.m. to a parking lot near the Uptown Theater in the 3700 block of Broadway Boulevard where they found a victim suffering from gunshot wounds,” reads the most detailed sentence in a brief Kansas City Star article on a Friday night murder in Kansas City.
The Star was not alone in suppressing the most newsworthy angle of this story. As reported in Tony’s Kansas City, only Fox4KC mentioned that the victim was found shot in the lot across the the street from the Uptown Theater where “Rapper Yo Gotti had been performing.” According to Fox4KC, “police say a fight inside the theater spilled out into the parking lot.”
The mayhem was worse than that. According to Tony’s KC, “police emergency response recordings offer an important perspective of the melee wherein dozens were running through the street and witnesses report a massive gun fight not just one fatal shooting.”
The fact that this story was scarcely reported is not an oversight. As Tony notes, the Star and other media have been hammering music venues, Westport’s most notably, for their “unwelcome” attitude towards hip-hop and rap music. It is hard, however, for the media to play the race card when the reality on the street trumps it time after time.
Last fall in Lawrence, violence spilled out from an #ASSJAMZ event on Massachusetts Avenue. What could possibly go wrong, you ask, with a concert that promised “NO COVER. GREAT DRINKS. BEAUTIFUL WOMEN. HOT DOODZ. SO MUCH BOOTY SWEAT ON THE GROUND YOU MIGHT DROWN IN IT. POSSIBLE BOOTY SHAKING CONTEST”–not to mention free admission for anyone wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey.
Quite a bit. Three people getting shot to death qualifies in anyone’s book as “wrong.” Said a bereaved mother of a young woman who was killed in the melee, “I encouraged them to go to Lawrence instead of Westport because Westport has been so violent and dangerous.”
If the local media thought the connection to the concert less than newsworthy, the national entertainment media did not. Thanks again to Tony’s for providing the links:
TMZ: Yo Gotti Shooting Erupts Outside Concert … 1 Dead
XXL: The “Rake It Up” rapper was in town to perform at the Uptown Theater on Friday (May 11). While he was onstage, shots were fired in a nearby parking lot around 11:30 p.m.
Hip-Hop DX: Yo Gotti Concert Interrupted By Fatal Shooting Outside Venue
All Hip-Hop: Police Hunt Suspect Who Shot And Killed A Man At Yo Gotti Concert In Kansas City
One would think that the appearance at the Uptown of a “special guest” like “$MONEYBO,” the rapper formerly known as Kansas City Chief Dwayne Bowe, would have attracted at least a little attention, but apparently not, at least not in area newsrooms.
The media have a narrative to protect, by gum, and they are not going to let a little bad news from the Uptown spoil the story.