Stock photo of DJ spinning turntables(stock image via Depositphotos)

Progress Bar, a gay bar in Chicago, is getting some ‘racism side-eye’ after a leaked email from management instructed its DJs to ban rap music from their playlists.

The message, which was shared on Twitter, read:

Email alleged to be from the management of Progress Bar in Chicago(image via Twitter)

So, not only is rap banned from Progress Bar (it’s in ALL CAPS for emphasis), but the email makes it clear that rap will result in DJs not being asked back.

Plus, there’s going to be “added security” next to the DJ booth? Because management expects some trouble or violence over a rap ban?

Pretty strenuous messaging, it seems.

Progress Bar quickly issued a denial on their Facebook page (using more ALL CAPS) insisting that “EVERYONE IS WELCOME HERE!!!”

The bar also stressed there “are NO racial intentions here,” and the owners merely want to “tweak” their sound.

The post has garnered over 1.7k comments at this writing.

The question seems to be: is banning rap racist?

On one hand, the management references in its email as an ‘approved’ vibe example the Chicago radio station KISSFM, whose ‘top songs’ list features Ava Max, Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, Jonas Bros, Panic! At the Disco, Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber. All of those are pretty mainstream pop artists, and mostly white.

On the other hand, if you Google radio station WGCI, the first thing you see are photos of black artists:

(screen capture)

Progress Bar’s owners say the change has nothing to do with race.

Scrolling through the bar’s Facebook feed, it’s clear they hire several black DJs, so that really doesn’t feed the ‘racist’ theory.

And maybe the reaction to rap music hasn’t been very positive among the bar’s regulars?

Reading through comments on the inter-webs today, this writer came across some folks who shared:

• “Some people just don’t like rap music!”

• “Hip-hop depresses me, and rap makes me want to kill myself. It has nothing to do with racism. It’s just that rap sounds very angry most of the time.”

• “What if they wanted to switch to all country music?”

• “Rap is not a race and rap is one of the genres where it’s still ok to be heavily homophobic without consequences. Sorry, but I don’t find any fault with this bar.”

What do you you think, readers? Is it ‘racist’ to ban rap music? Or do the owners of Progress Bar know their clientele’s taste in music?

Let us know in the comments section.


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