‘No Fly Zone’ enforced: Rick Ross cancels Detroit performance, ‘fears for life’
By Steve Furay
Special to the Michigan Citizen
Rap star Rick Ross was forced to cancel his Chene Park performance at Hot 107.5’s annual Summer Jamz concert June 21. Chene Park officials says 100-150 individuals blocked the service entrance into the venue, forcing Ross to cancel his appearance.
A video of the interaction posted online shows Detroit rapper Trick Trick — the man who has declared Detroit a ‘No Fly Zone’ for out of town artists who don’t pay respect to the local rap community — talking to members of the Detroit Police Department outside of the venue’s gate.
At midnight, after a full lineup of hip hop acts had already performed for the crowd, Hot 107.5 Program Director Jay Hicks took the microphone on the Chene Park stage and announced the show was finished, and that Rick Ross was “in fear for his life” and the Florida rapper “may never come back to Detroit.”
“We had Rick Ross right outside here,” said Hicks, “when he was pulling up to come into Chene Park, he was met by a hundred individuals outside.”
“Ross didn’t get a chance to perform,” said Hot 107.5 radio personality Dr. Darrius from the station’s studio later in an online video. “I don’t even think he got a chance to approach the gate… I guess that we have really seen that the ‘No Fly Zone’ is really real…”
In 2009, Trick Trick, a popular independent artist previously signed to Motown/Universal Records, made headlines announcing that major hip hop artists would have to check in with himself as a representative of the streets of Detroit before performing in the city as a part of the ‘No Fly Zone.’ The idea was that for years Detroit had been overlooked for deals by major record label executives, who are known in the music industry to study popular trends in the Motor City and then find comparable artists from other regions to sign to record deals. Those artists then receive major backing from radio stations and party promoters who fly them in to perform for large fees, sometimes up wards of $100,000, then leave the city before building any relationships with people in the streets.
“Detroit has become a ‘No Fly Zone,’” said Trick Trick in a 2009 interview with radio personality MC Serch, “so the majority of artists are not allowed here without permission or some kind of money. Y’all record labels better start signing some of these … artists from Detroit, or y’all artists can’t come in … taking (our) money.
“How the record labels and label reps be just coming in our backyard and not be paying attention to what the f— (is) going on here?”
In the song “No Fly Zone,” Trick Trick raps: “I’m just a phone call way, come here without permission I don’t want to hear s— you got to say… I created these laws so I enforce them; all we coming for is our portion.”
On June 21, the day before the show, Trick Trick’s Twitter account was updated to read “This fat disrespectful muthaf—–,” presumably referencing Rick Ross. Following updates to the account promoted Trick Trick’s appearance at a Sunday evening party in Detroit with Lil’ Boosie, demonstrating the Louisiana rapper had in fact “made the call” to clear his appearance in Detroit.
On June 22, The Right Productions, Inc. that manages and operates Chene Park concerts, issued the following statement to the website AllHipHop.com about the June 21 incident:
“This incident greatly saddens me and our entire team at The Right Productions who work so diligent(ly) to host and produce outstanding entertainment performances at Chene Park. Reports from our venue operations and security teams indicate as a result of between 100-150 individuals led by a local rapper prevented and threatened to harm Ross if he entered the grounds to perform at Chene Park Amphitheater. The band of individuals orchestrated a human blockade around the service entrance to the venue — preventing Mr. Ross and his entourage from entering the premises. A decision was made (by) Mr. Ross’ team the conditions were becoming threatening and posed a security risk.
“We want to extend our deepest regrets to our patrons who attended Summer Jamz 17 who should have been treated to an outstanding performance from Rick Ross. We have the upmost respect for our guests at Chene Park, and they deserve better. This is the fifth Summer Jamz event we have hosted with our partner, Radio One, and host, 107.5 FM — and until this point with no incident. Acts of intimidation, bullying, threats or violence of any kind that compromises the security and enjoyment of our shows will not be tolerated at Chene Park.
“I will be reviewing this matter with our collective team and sponsoring host to ensure the integrity and respect we hold for our patrons and artists is upheld for future acts performing at Chene Park Amphitheater.”
Ross has come under fire over the years for his lyrics, including boasts about date rape and what many people believed were offensive lyrics invoking slain teen Trayvon Martin. Ross, a former correctional officer, often portrays himself as drug “boss.” In 2012, his tour bus was robbed in Detroit while he was performing.