Rapper 21 Savage Attacked By Crowd at School of Rock in Tempe

The poster for the party that turned violent.
The poster for the party that turned violent.
School of Rock

A party turned violent at School of Rock in Tempe on Saturday night as members of the crowd started throwing bottles and glasses at rapper/host 21 Savage, leading to a chaotic scene that emptied the club, sources say.

Atlanta rapper 21 Savage was at School of Rock on Mill Avenue. He was slated to host the party, not perform — essentially, just make an appearance on stage and hype the crowd.

Tempe Police have not yet provided details about the incident to New Times.

According to Taylor Owens, who was at the show and posted two videos on Facebook that have collectively been viewed almost 1.5 million times, the crowd became upset at 21 Savage's lack of enthusiasm on stage and began booing.

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The videos Owens shared on Facebook show a nervous-looking 21 Savage holding a large Styrofoam cup in one hand and flipping off the crowd with the other while bouncing in time with the music. He's flanked by two or three men, who are also showing their middle fingers to the crowd.

Another attendee, Bonitta Carrillo, said that once the crowd began booing, the other men on stage began flashing gang signs. 21 Savage has said in interviews that he joined the Bloods gang in Atlanta at the age of 19, and in one of the videos Owens posted, a crowd member makes a number of gang signs with an outstretched hand. At one point, he forms a "C" with his pointer finger and thumb, which may be the sign for the Crips gang.

Carrillo told New Times that as the gang signs flashed, the men on stage with 21 Savage started pouring water on the crowd. Then, the trouble started.

"That's when glass cups, mugs, glass bottles, chairs, tables, the buckets of ice from the bottle services — everything was being thrown," she said.

One of her friends was hit with something and fell to the floor, she said. The crossfire was so intense and the scene so hectic that she and her friends were trapped in the corner. It wasn't until the club had nearly emptied out that they were able to crawl under the bar and escape through the kitchen out the club's back exit.

"It felt like those stories you hear on the news," she said.

School of Rock's management did not respond to a request for comment.

The website MediaTakeOut News wrote that 21 Savage and his security guard were "knocked out." However, the story only cites "multiple reports" and doesn't name any specific sources. Though videos posted by Carrillo show a few men huddled around a man lying down on stage as debris flies through the air, it's unclear at this point if that person was part of 21 Savage's crew. As for the rapper himself, he's nowhere to be seen in any of the videos from that night after the chaos erupts.

21 Savage released a video after the fracas denying claims that he got knocked out.

"We do all the knockin' out around here," the rapper said.

This isn't the first time violence has erupted at a 21 Savage show. In July, the rapper jumped off stage in Atlanta to fight someone in the crowd. The incident also recalls when the rapper Diddy allegedly punched a fan in Scottsdale after showing up to host a party at 1:15 a.m.

Meanwhile, Facebook users were taking the opportunity to attack 21 Savage's authenticity, which outlets such as DJbooth and Fader have praised. One wrote "[21 Savage] aint [sic] no Blood he a flood" while another wrote "Them Crips in the crowd got him shook."

21 Savage did not respond to New Times' request for comment.

Check out videos from the night below:

Correction: This article originally said that 21 Savage had opened for YG earlier in the night. He was actually opening for Young Thug.

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