KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Hip-hop performer DJ Jazzy Jeff says his weekend performance in Kansas City was stopped because of censorship, not race.
Jazzy Jeff left the stage during a Saturday show in the city's downtown Power & Light District after saying venue managers didn't like the type of music he was playing.
Power & Light District officials say they had nothing against the choice of songs, just the volume. They say the music was too loud for the sound system.
Critics of the district's handling of the show at the district's KC Live! pavilion have suggested race played a role. But Thursday during a phone interview with The Associated Press, Jazzy Jeff blamed it on censorship.
"If someone would have told me beforehand that I couldn't play hip-hop I wouldn't have gone," Jazzy Jeff said. "You don't tell someone 15 minutes into their set to change the music."
Hip-hop is what Jazzy Jeff is best known for. The artist, whose real name is Jeff Townes, won a Grammy in 1988 with partner Will "Fresh Prince" Smith for the hit, "Parents Just Don't Understand."
The performer's road manager, Darnell Jenkins, said the venue's operations manager told them, "We don't play that type of music here," referring to the playlist that included songs by Jay-Z and T.I.
Jenkins said the contract called for Jazzy Jeff to play Top 40 music. The current Billboard pop charts consists heavily of hip-hop artists, he said.
Jon Stephens, president of the Power & Light District, said Thursday that Jazzy Jeff and his management was asked on four occasions to turn the music down.
"The system was maxed out and it would have damaged the equipment," Stephens said.
But Jazzy Jeff said he and his staff never had control of the sound levels, and that the venue managers could have turned down the volume if it was a problem.
"As a DJ I am never 100 percent in charge of the sound," Jazzy Jeff said. "The sound levels are controlled by someone at the sound board of the venue."
The Power & Light District is run by the Baltimore-based Cordish Co. The entertainment venue operator received negative attention last year for its dress code banning hip-hop styles such as sagging pants and oversize jewelry.
Some residents accuse Cordish of targeting young black men with the clothing rules.
- Jul. 18, 2017 Check out the best celebrity mug shots of all time!
- Jul. 19, 2017 See all the stars turning 50 in 2017!