Tomorrow night's performance of Dead Prez at Sky Bar has drawn criticism that the bar and group probably never expected.
The controversy goes back the summer of 2010, when No More Deaths started We Mean Business, getting almost 100 local businesses to post the red-on-white anti-SB 1070 sign that says "We Reject Racism." Brooklyn Pizza and Sky Bar owner Tony Vaccaro took down his signs at his Fourth Avenue spots and claimed businesses shouldn't get involved in politics.
Since that decision, immigration-rights activists have boycotted Sky Bar and Brooklyn Pizza. Boycotts aren't easy to maintain, but this is a group that has stuck to its beliefs. But when a highly political rap group like Dead Prez shows up, it can make these battles difficult.
Still, a call went out asking the group to reconsider playing at the venue and what it means to immigrant-rights supporters.
The Mexican American and Raza Studies Facebook page, among others, have had active conversations about the controversy. This response from Dead Prez was shared on the page:
"Thank you for the information. dead prez already made a commitment to play this show prior to knowledge of this venue."
Conversations of protests in front of the bar have been tempered, and word went out that Dead Prez is speaking with community reps and figuring out way to offer support.