Progress Bar in Boystown, Chicago reportedly issued a new policy banning DJs from playing rap music— and critics are calling the new policy racist.
According to Block Club Chicago, the gay nightclub located on Halsted St. is known to host dance parties that feature diverse music.
On Wednesday night (May 29) an email from the bar surfaced online showing Progress Bar opted to ban DJs at the venue from playing rap music. One part of the email reads, “We have implemented a NO RAP rule effective immediately. This is not a suggestion!! If you play RAP you will not be asked back.”
The email continues, “Anything vulgar, aggressive or considered mumble rap (including certain Cardi B tracks and newer Nicki Minaj is off limits.”
The leaked policy received criticism from users online.
Drag performer, Quinn Hegarty, posted the email to Facebook with the caption reading, “Progress, are you just gonna come out and say black people aren’t welcome in your establishment?”
Progress posting a statement to their official Facebook page defending the rule.
“Progress ownership wants to make it VERY clear that EVERYONE IS WELCOME HERE!!!” the statement reads. “We have no ill intentions here. That can not be stressed enough. … We are still going to play hiphop, please don’t read too much into this.”
Bar reps said the establishment was “looking to try something new” and that the policy had “NO racial intentions.”