Drake, the most popular rapper in the country, was supposed to play a free concert in New York on the day his new album was released. Also playing that concert: Hanson. See if you can guess what happened! (A riot.)
The free show at the South Street Seaport, headlined by the inexplicably popular rapper Drake and featuring former teenpop long-hairs Hanson and hipster-rappers Ninjasonik, was cancelled almost as soon as it had begun after more than twice the expected 10,000 fans showed up, and then started throwing bottles, and, eventually, chairs at each other. And they broke Hanson's mixing board! Drake knew it was being cancelled, but showed up anyway.
"This seems like a great recipe for a riot," wrote The Village Voice's Zach Baron on Monday. Is Zach Baron some kind of Nostradamus? No, he is just a person who pays attention to things, like the fact that two acts with huge, zealous, and non-overlapping fan bases are probably not the best combination for a free show. He's got the best account yet of the pandemonium:
By the time we rolled up, a bit past 7pm, cops already had the outdoor venue surrounded; fights were breaking out all over the tightly packed crowd, and as we made our way toward the stage, a guy came past us running the other way, shouting "I don't want to hurt nobody, so I'm out!" Good advice....
The primary theater of battle? The northern side of the Seaport, where fans standing on the balcony in front of shops and restaurants began raining bottles down on the crowd below, who promptly returned fire. As things escalated, the bottles turned from plastic to glass. Then, at the peak of the fight, kids on the upper level began tossing steel chairs off the balcony. That was when people really started to run. It was also about at that moment that the police finally broke through the crowd and stormed the second level, where they too were momentarily pelted with bottles. We watched a few kids on the deck attempt to shove or otherwise assault the cops who were trying desperately to clear them out. In turn, more than one officer took out her baton, though the police had the situation in hand relatively quickly.
And here's a video of the chaos: