Thursday, December 2, 2021

Rapper Responds to Tenants Being Evicted Over His ‘Gangsta’ Music Video Shoot

we crippin video still
We Crippin’ video still via Twitter

*Last month six households in the Del Monte Manor complex in Seaside, California received eviction notices after they appeared or participated in “an unauthorized and unpermitted film project involving what appeared to be a music video on the premises.”

The  Monterey County Weekly covered the story, noting that the video appeared online on June 16 but was yanked. The track, titled “We Crippin” – features two rappers, N.Sane Ready and Da Bigg Homie, reportedly boasting about killing rivals and gang violence. 

The publication goes on to say that the music video was a response to the murder of 32-year-old father of two, Tremain Calloway, who was killed while driving by the apartment complex. Two Crips gang members have been arrested and charged for his murder, the report states. 

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Meanwhile, one of the rappers credited for the song, Michael “Da Bigg Homie” Mckinney, is reportedly pissed with the Weekly’s report about the evictions story. As noted by Complex, he believes the writer, Asaf Shalev, should have focused on the actual evictions of tenants.

Mckinney began his post by stating:

Recently there was an article published by the Monterey County Weekly, reporting several evictions of Del Monte Manor residents in response to a music video. However, the details of these six eviction notices were misconstrued and misrepresented. There are several concerning aspects of the tone, delivery, and content released in this article.

He also criticizes Shalev for lacking understanding of the purpose behind the video.

“Our intentions were to unite, not destroy relationships and create more adversity,” Mckinney wrote. “(…) There were multiple established rivals on the scene during filming, solely for the purpose of ending long term issues, while honoring and paying tribute to a beloved, and fallen community member. There was absolutely no violence.” 

Mckinney says the local police were on scene throughout the filming, and that the relationship between law enforcement and residents was cordial and respectful.

“Our purpose is NEVER to glorify illegal and illicit activities,” he wrote. “We’ve NEVER aspired to glorify harsh living conditions, but rather accept and embrace our surroundings, while expressing ourselves in a healthy manner.”

Mckinney also notes his frustration over the writer’s focus on lyrics and “gangsta” imagery rather than the actions of the management company of Del Monte Manor (TerraCorp).

The Monterey County Weekly noted that the lawyer for TerraCorp did not answer questions related to the story. This too angered Mckinney, who wrote:

“This company TerraCorp’s lawyer didn’t even publicly respond to the outlandish and unreasonable eviction notices. The whole display almost appears to be a pitiful excuse for a means of gentrification. Shame on the Seaside PD for not adding context to the situation.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also acknowledge that they are aware of the evictions, but can not intervene without a formal complaint being filed.

Mckinney concludes by calling Monterey County Weekly’s coverage of the events a “cultural disconnect.”

“When will we take a stand against tyrannical housing corporations, pushing their own agenda, regardless if it displaces the elderly and the innocent? When will we take control of our contextualized history, and be the leaders of our own narrative? The time is now. It starts here.”

Read the original Monterey write-up here and Mckinney’s response here.

 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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