Only hours after an organizer for DMX's Ruff Ryder/Cash Money tour boasted about the outing's peaceful track record, five people were stabbed backstage during the hardcore hip-hop tour's stop in Boston, authorities said.
Six people were hurt overall. "One [person] was hit in the head with a bench," police spokesperson Lisa Zschuschen said.
The melee at the FleetCenter caused a 90-minute delay following a set by Cash Money artists, including Juvenile and Lil' Wayne. The 5,000 concert-goers were asked to leave the venue before Ruff Ryder acts DMX, Eve and the LOX took the stage, the Boston Herald reported. The Cash Money artists — Juvenile, Lil' Wayne and B.G. — were out of the building before the fighting began, their publicist, Althea Spellman, said.
Two people were arrested. David Smith, 34, of Randolph, Mass., was charged at 9:53 p.m. with felony assault and battery for hitting someone with the bench, Zschuschen said. Benny Reyes, 22, of New York was charged at 10:30 p.m. with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Zschuschen would not say how much marijuana Reyes is accused of having.
On Tuesday morning, two victims remained at Massachusetts General Hospital, one in critical condition, hospital spokesperson Beth Baratz said. Another was treated and released.
Two other people were treated and released from New England Medical Center, spokesperson Catherine Bromberg said. Neither hospital would release information about the injuries.
Police and hospital representatives declined to provide the names of those hurt, although Zschuschen said none of the tour's musicians were among the injured. She would not comment on whether the rappers' entourages were involved in the violence.
The Ruff Ryder and Cash Money crews are known for gritty lyrics that detail the violence of urban street life. The outing was billed as a unity show between the two labels.
On Monday afternoon, Ruff Ryder Entertainment co-chief executive officer Joaquin Dean said fear of violence at hip-hop shows had kept corporations from sponsoring the tour.
But "we proved [a nonviolent rap tour] can be done," he said, several hours before the violence in Boston erupted.
Asked what sparked the brawl, Zschuschen said, "It looks like people were trying to sneak in an exit," but she would not elaborate.
Ruff Ryders and Cash Money artists have enjoyed a string of platinum albums in the past two years. Each of DMX's three discs have debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, including his most recent, ... And Then There Was X, which includes the single "Party Up" (RealAudio excerpt).
The Ruff Ryder/Cash Money tour kicked off in February. It is slated to wind up April 17 in San Diego, with stops in Atlanta, Seattle, Phoenix and other cities.