http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/06/AR2011030603342.htmlAt DMV Awards, violence mars a hopeful moment for the Washington hip-hop scene
By Chris Richards
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 6, 2011; 8:12 PM
As Saturday night's DMV Awards passed the halfway mark, things weren't going smoothly.
An estimated 1,500 artists, promoters, bloggers and fans had crammed into the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City for the fifth annual awards ceremony celebrating the area's burgeoning hip-hop scene. But not everyone had a seat. Some had already had too much to drink. And as the ceremony wore on, losing factions began booing the winners.
At about 9:45 p.m., witnesses say it turned ugly. During a program intermission, a fight errupted between two crews, quickly spiraling into a full-scale brawl in the hotel atrium. Witnesses said that between 20 and 60 people were involved in the altercation. Punches were thrown. Bottles were broken. Tables were flipped.
One fan videotaped the fray - you can watch it on YouTube - while others dialed 911. In a few short minutes, an evening dedicated to recognizing the unprecedented growth of the Washington-area hip-hop community had unraveled into chaos.
"The idea was to bring people together, and this is so sad," said Natasha Brown, the event's publicist. "It took us back in a year where we were really moving forward."
Organizers issued a statement on their website Sunday afternoon. "This community is comprised of thousands from Baltimore to northern Virginia who love to make music and support the artists who do so," the statement read. "It was in this spirit that the DMV Music Awards were created five years ago, and in this spirit, the 'DMV' will continue to move forward in the efforts to share great work with the worldwide community of music fans."
Promoter Dre All Day in the Paint said that while it may be hard to find a venue, the event will take place again next year. "I'm not going to allow one bad incident to taint the whole project," he said.
Details about what triggered the fight remain blurry, but by the time Arlington police had ordered the crowd home, five people had been sent to the hospital with injuries, including one hotel employee. No arrests were made.
For local hip-hop and go-go fans, the story is sadly familiar. Washington's go-go scene has struggled with nightclub violence for years - so much so that District Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier established a weekly "go-go report" targeting venues where conflict was expected to break out. Last year, Love, the city's leading hip-hop nightclub, closed for more than three months after a non-fatal stabbing took place inside the venue.Read more via the link above...
Youtube clip... that's all...