DJ Assault has been pulled from two Berlin events for problematic social media content. Some find the decisions misguided.
Update, Tuesday, September 12: DJ Assault has responded to EDM Identity. He claims that the team behind London festival NTS One Day preceded Kater Blau and HÖR by canceling his appearance at the May 27th, 2023 edition of their event.
“With the festival they said the artists on the bill had a problem with me,” he told us via email. “Then I spoke with the promoter over the phone and he said a booking agent had a problem with me on the bill. He could never say what the problem was and he wouldn’t tell me who was the booking agent or person saying these things. Weird because I’ve never been part of any booking agency.”
Previously: DJ Assault can’t seem to catch a break. In July, the Detroit ghetto tech figurehead was pulled from a lineup at Berlin club Kater Blau for commentary shared to his social media channels. Now, Berlin broadcaster HÖR has followed suit.
“It has come to our awareness that our political and social views may not coincide in the way we find important,” reads a screen shot of an apparent email from Kater Blau’s booking team that DJ Assault (real name Craig Adams) shared via Instagram on July 13. “Previously, we were unaware of your social media output, which was shown to us by our community. We can not [sic] stand behind the content of it as a club or as a community. Therefore have [sic] come to the conclusion that KaterBlau is not a fitting place for you to play.”
Adams claims to have received a similar email from HÖR’s team, an apparent screen shot of which he shared via Instagram on September 7. It reads: “Over the past few days, we have received feedback and concerns from our community and the venue regarding specific content on your social media platforms. As an organization committed to promoting inclusivity and diversity, we take such concerns seriously and believe it is essential to address them in a responsible manner. We have a responsibility to ensure that our events align with our values and principles. After careful consideration, we have decided to cancel the booking for your DJ performance at our event on September 23rd.”
Adams did not mince words in his caption on the Instagram post. “They tried to get the show canceled a few weeks ago in Berlin that I played,” he wrote. “That didn’t work, now naturally I’m smart enough to get 100% of the fee upfront. You can’t hurt me, this is only hurting the music scene and the club goers!!!“
Neither Kater Blau nor HÖR have specified what social media content led to their decision. EDM Identity has reached out to both venues as well as DJ Assault for comment; none have responded at the time of writing.
Adams is one of the artists most closely associated with ghetto tech, a genre known for aggressive and sexually charged lyrics. He sometimes shares memes with a conservative slant, including some that challenge US Democrat leaders or COVID policies. Social media commentators have pointed out the logical fallacy of European, white-owned venues canceling a Black man’s performances in the name of “inclusivity and diversity.”
“Canceling an outspoken Black artist with a massive discography in the name of inclusivity has to be one of the funniest plays of all time,” reads one comment. “The levels of clown world just keep reaching higher.”
“The thing about being a Black man within liberal and leftist spaces is that if you say the right words you’re a “poc” but if you talk too loud you’re ‘just another man,’” another commenter argued. “This scene is ran by people who use virtue signaling to reinforce the same old systemic racism.”
It remains to be seen whether DJ Assault will encounter further trouble with Berlin bookings, or those in other markets for that matter.