Music News

Cypress Hill Cancels Tucson Show in Protest of SB 1070 (UPDATE)

Sorry, folks: There will be no hits from the bong in Tucson. Latino rappers Cypress Hill posted an announcement on their website saying they will cancel an upcoming show at Tucson's Rialto Theatre because of the law, which requires Arizona law enforcement officers to ask suspected illegal immigrants for documentation.

The group says the May 21 show has been axed "in a show of resistance to the criminalization of immigrant communities and in opposition to SB1070."

"This decision was made in an effort to show support and solidarity with those, undocumented and otherwise, being directly affected by this unconstitutional 'law.' Cypress Hill recognizes those living in the struggle for their basic civil rights. Rise Up!"

Coincidentally, the group performed in Phoenix on April 22, the day before the bill was signed into law. Arizona rappers have been similarly outraged by the law. Check out Feathered Bastard's coverage of a video produced by a cadre of Arizona rappers in protest of the bill.

Curtis McCrary, general manager of the Rialto Theatre, says the non-profit venue expects to lose about $20,000 on the show, calling the cancellation "a huge hit." McCrary says the cancellation was purely on principle.

McCrary was made aware of the group's concerns about playing Arizona last week and e-mailed them in an attempt to convince them to play anyway -- to no avail. After what the group's management told McCrary was "a heated debate" over the weekend, Cypress Hill confirmed they're pulling out.

"We were expecting upwards of 1,000 people. It was tracking to do really well. It's strictly because they're Latino and it's an important issue for them. They strongly disagree [with the law] and this is what they wanted to do instead of what I suggested they do, which was using the show itself as a protest."

Now, McCrary's attention turns to The Deftones, a rap-rock group which shares a management firm with Cypress Hill and also has a Latino singer, Chino Moreno. So far, the band has said it plans to honor its June 1 commitment, but the Rialto is still concerned, McCrary says.

"The first band to announce they were not playing Arizona was a Canadian band, Stars, so it's hard to predict how that kind of thing will happen," he says. "It's hard to predict who's going to respond to it in that way.

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Martin Cizmar
Contact: Martin Cizmar