New York Rap Never ‘Fell Off’ — It Was Snuffed Out

The history of New York nightlife — and, by extension, New York music — is a game of cat and mouse, of the ingenuity of smart young partyers and business owners in the face of a ceaseless wave of police and government enforcement. One party slips and the other one pounces. Rage too hard and it sparks noise complaints or violent incidents that beget harsh crackdowns. Press the venues too hard and crowds slip into DIY venues and secret after-hours spots you have to ferret out in order to regulate. This city never seems to know how to apply the right amount of pressure: from the Prohibition era, when a government ban on selling alcohol drove nightlife patrons to clandestine speakeasies and doctors were legally allowed to…

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