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Sacramento bar booked anti-LGBTQ rappers during Pride weekend. Now a backlash is coming

Goldfield Trading Post cancels anti-LGBTQ shows previously set for Sacramento Pride weekend

Adam Calhoun and Demun Jones’ “Crazy White Boy Tour” had two sold-out shows in Sacramento at Goldfield Trading Post on June 7 and 8, 2019, the same weekend as Gay Pride in Sacramento. The bar has since cancelled the shows after community concern.
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Adam Calhoun and Demun Jones’ “Crazy White Boy Tour” had two sold-out shows in Sacramento at Goldfield Trading Post on June 7 and 8, 2019, the same weekend as Gay Pride in Sacramento. The bar has since cancelled the shows after community concern.

Update: Sacramento country bar cancels controversial shows after uproar from LGBTQ community

Original story:

Musicians and customers are boycotting Goldfield Trading Post after the midtown Sacramento country bar booked two rappers with a history of anti-LGBTQ lyrics during Sacramento Pride.

Adam Calhoun and Demun Jones’ “Crazy White Boy Tour” will land in Sacramento for sold-out shows at Goldfield on June 7 and 8. Both are part of a new country/rap “hick-hop” movement that’s emerged in recent years.

Calhoun has built his brand on the kind of right-wing commentary that gets some users suspended from Facebook multiple times, including videos where he questions transgender legitimacy and rails against an Iwo Jima Pride Flag adaption.

The rapper’s polarized views show up in his lyrics, too. In the song “Racism,” Calhoun raps about being stereotyped as white trash before running through a list of black stereotypes while using the N-word.

“Baby mama bitchin’, you ain’t taking care of business/All you do is smoke weed, run around with other bitches/And you can’t keep a job, ‘cause you’re in and out of prison/Guess it must be Trump’s fault, ‘cause you’re making bad decisions,” Calhoun rapped.

Jones’ songs are equally backwoods, but generally contain lyrics less controversial than Calhoun’s. An exception is the 2018 track “Sound On The Water” sung along fellow rapper Upchurch, though even then Jones takes steps to temper anti-gay lyrics.

“Drake is feminine, Birdman is a f-----/A sword fight can’t create life, God won’t have it,” Jones rapped. “And I ain’t no homophobe, Uncle Tommy died of AIDS/He was my fav, queers are 14 of spades/So if you’re feeling triggered maybe you should take some days off/Read a couple Hustlers and see if that s--- pays off.”

Goldfield Trading Post owners Eric Rushing and Bret Bair also own Holy Diver and The Cabin, and Bair owns B-Side. The pair opened Ace of Spades in 2011 and continue to book artists for the venue, which they sold to LiveNation in 2016.

Jones has previously played shows at Holy Diver and Ace of Spades, and Bair’s venues have frequently hosted controversial artists whose views he doesn’t necessarily agree with, he said. He’s booked hip-hop artists in the past who talk about drug use and shooting police, he said. If people don’t like what Calhoun has to say, they won’t show up.

“I don’t agree with some of his stances and opinions obviously, but he’s an artist and he’s allowed to say what he wants to say,” Bair said. “Look, he sold out two shows so he obviously has a fanbase here. Do I agree with that fanbase? Maybe, maybe not. I have a business and music venues and book artists of all music genres.”

As news of the upcoming show spread on social media, other musicians, burlesque dancers and customers have voiced their opposition, especially with Sacramento Pride scheduled for June 8 and 9. Frontman Vinnie Guidera of Vinnie Guidera & The Dead Birds called for a boycott on his personal Facebook page,

“To any of my music peers in Sacramento that haven’t yet seen this: Goldfield booked some homophobic s---bags to play two shows during Pride week. Don’t give them your money, and don’t make them money by giving them your talent. Don’t hang there and don’t play there,” Guidera wrote.

Across the R Street Corridor from Ace of Spades, The Snug blasted Goldfield’s selection of the “openly racist and homophobic rappers” in a Facebook post. The new Irish bar owned by the de Vere White brothers promised to donate all sales of a to-be-announced Pride cocktail to the Sacramento LGBT Community Center.

Bair wasn’t worried about backlash from his decision to book Calhoun and Jones a few months ago affecting Goldfield’s bottom line, he said. Their music doesn’t have to appeal to everyone — just enough people to sell out.

“People who are protesting this probably aren’t Goldfield customers. It’s the truth,” Bair said. “There are so many genres of music and so many subgenres that people are going to support what they want to support.”

The Crazy White Boy Tour will also stop in Petaluma on June 4 and Chico on June 6.

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