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Recently, news headlines and social media made us aware of the NYPD using their influence or power to prevent three artists from performing during the Rolling Loud event in New York. This is not the first time this has happened. About three years ago, the same thing happened with another Rolling Loud event in New York. One would start to think that, collectively, artists should save their time and energy for a platform with a bit more backbone.
This latest artist roadblock by the NYPD got me thinking, “should artist be concerned with law enforcement preventing their performances?” I mean, if this is something that becomes common in multiple cities, how would independent artists, or any artist for that matter, manage to make a living moving forward? Could law enforcement start to pick favorites and block the livelihood of certain artists? Weaponizing their influence to stifle first amendment speech. If their bans are not based on the lyrics, but instead on certain artists’ pasts, then can it be said they are preventing folks from moving on from a bad past to a successful future as a performer? What do you think?