Yasiin Bey Gets Arrested Outside of the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards: Today in Hip-Hop
On this day, Aug. 31, in hip-hop history...
2006: Taking place at the historic Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards happened during a year of small gains for hip-hop in terms of recognition.
Unlike the 2016 VMAs, where Drake led the pack with the most nominations, Latina star Shakira and rock band The Red Hot Chili Peppers were the ones to dominate the list of nominees. Chamillionaire won Best Rap Video for "Ridin Dirty'" while Black Eyed Peas won Best Hip-Hop Video for "My Humps." But it was something that happened directly outside the awards ceremony that went down in hip-hop history.
The Brooklyn rapper pulled up to Radio City Music Hall on a flatbed truck around 10 p.m. while the awards show was happening inside the hall. From there, he began performing "Katrina Clap," a politically-conscious remix of a UTP song by the name of "Noila Clap." UTP was a group comprised of Juvenile, Wacko and Skip, three Louisiana-hailing rappers. "Noila Clap" was a shoutout to New Orleans' infamous Magnolia Projects.
With the background of "Noila Clap" in mind, it makes sense that Bey would use that particular instrumental to address the aftermath of Katrina, of Hurricane Katrina, a horrific natural disaster that swept across Louisiana and surrounding states the year prior. At the time, the President George W. Bush's administration was criticized for their perceived failure to adequately assist those affected by the storm. Yasiin Bey's "Katrina Clap" spotlights this idea.
After Bey's arrival, a crowd began to gather around the rapper's truck and sing along to his social justice tune. Even though he had a public performance permit with him, Bey was arrested by NYPD officers a few minutes after he started his performance. Check out how it all went down in the video above.
“Mos Def was not out to break any laws," said Bey's then-publicist, Carleen Donovan, in a statement the next day when the MC was released. "His only goal was to heighten the awareness of a serious situation that still exists in our country. He does not want people to forget that although it’s one year later, the people and cities hit by the hurricane still need the help of the American people.”
Check out how it all went down in the video below.
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