The 7th annual TC Hip Hop Awards, which were scheduled to take place at Myth Nightclub in Maplewood this Friday, February 22, has been canceled just days prior to taking place. Though the annual awards show has certainly had its share of difficulties—the last two years have been plagued by fights, and last year’s event was forced to end early—the reasons behind this year’s cancellation appear fuzzy at best.
The TCHHA’s founder, David “Depth” Powell, says that it was the venue’s decision to forgo the event, and that Myth general manager Ryan Kovaleski had cited concern from the Maplewood Police Department as his cause for calling things off. However, when Powell followed up with the Maplewood Police directly, he was told that the department had no knowledge of the event.
“I called the Maplewood Police myself, talked to the Chief of Police, and he told me that there was no way they did that or would they ever do anything like that because the Myth has control over their own events,” Powell says.
Maplewood Police have confirmed that they don’t have the authority to shut down an event. As a private entity, Myth is responsible for providing its own security at concerts; just last year, they touted the hiring of a new security company that would help them avoid some of the issues they encountered with police during their 2011 grand re-opening.
When Powell relayed his conversation with the police to Myth, he says their reasons for canceling began to shift. He says he was told he breached his contract with the club, and then was later refunded his deposit for the event and told, “‘Your event is over, just face it, it’s over.’”
Staff at Myth reiterated as much when called for comment, confirming that the event was off but declining to offer further details. General manager Kovaleski has not responded to multiple requests for comment.
“They’ve been avoiding my calls,” says Powell, who was forced to pull the plug on the event all together rather than relocate it on short notice. “I’m going to have to take legal action, because they really breached the contract in more than one way, as far as the promotional stuff goes. They never promoted my event on their site or even through the ticket sales, for our pre-sale.”
The TC Hip Hop Awards draws an average of 1,200 people to its event each year, and presents awards to performers, producers, and other staples of the hip-hop and R&B scene in 27 different categories. Toki Wright, who was scheduled to headline the event, says he hasn’t been contacted about the cancellation and learned of the development on Facebook. Other scheduled performers included Ashley Dubose, Meta, Mike Dreams, and Xavier Marquis.
“People are disappointed,” Powell says. “It doesn’t seem right.”