EDM.com Spotlight

EDM.com Spotlight

Carnage's Charity Efforts Fell Short Of The Mark

      DJ Carnage has a reputation for controversy. From calling out trap music to getting arrested at his own shows, he never seems to go very long without finding some reason to pop up in the headlines. Lately, he has leveraged his industry stardom towards combating a somewhat unfavorable reputation by paying his financial prosperity forward and returning a portion of his hard-earned money to those in need. Notable philanthropic efforts include shooting $10,000 out of CO2 cannons at a show in Chicago, and opening a learning center in the impoverished community of Villa Japón, Nicaragua. These charitable events, although certainly motivated by a benevolent yearning to connect with the community, failed to achieve their intended purpose upon execution. Although we have no intention of alleging a false sentiment from this argument, we propose that these instances are instead used as reference points for how charitable goals can be more tactfully achieved. In order to accomplish this, let’s revisit Carnage’s newfangled altruistic angle and break down where the faux pas occurred.

“i always see tweets of not having money to buy a ticket for tonight... or not having any money cuz you guys spent it all on my show... and its an amazing feeling knowing you guys spend all of your hard earned money to come see me play... so i wanted to show you guys how grateful i am and how much i truly love my fans... so what does papi gordo do...seeing im blessed to make a good living off what i do... why not give back to all of you... so in chicago last night...5,000 people .. the biggest show on the #pat2014 ... i decided to secretly hide 10,000 dollars in my confetti blasters…” -Carnage's original, but later deleted, Facebook Post regarding the learning center.

      In mid-November Carnage was rallying through his ‘Parental Advisory Tour’ and made a routine stop in Chicago. During a sold-out show, the confetti cannons were vacated of the usual colorful strips and replaced with nothing but loose greenbacks. As Migo’s money-making anthem “Bricks” blasted over the speakers, the cannon’s were discharged and $10,000 was unexpectedly expelled overhead like a summer’s rain in San Diego. Following the event, Carnage was both criticized and praised for the stunt, although the reasonable response lies somewhere between these two reactions. The donation outwardly appeared to be a publicity stunt aimed towards creating a distraction from a prior reputation, similar to the way a politician who makes a racial flub attempts to rectify the mistake by making a donation to the NAACP. Regardless, no one can deny that it was a generous effort. The ill-advised issue concerning this event was rooted in the fact that dumping a lump sum on the crowd invariably accomplished four inequitable results: attendees either: 1) made money, 2) were able to cover the cost of their ticket, 3) received a discount on the price of their ticket, or 4) witnessed fellow concert goers collect money, but received none themselves.

      The stunt created a dichotomy of fan-ship where those who fought to occupy the front of the stage were rewarded, and those enjoying the performance from the back were left to observe. $10,000 is a sizable amount, and had the potential to affect a much greater audience than what actually transpired. It would have been just as easy for Carnage to find a promoter willing to host him for $10,000, and to instead throw a free concert for everyone. It was not a last minute instinctual urge, which is illustrated by the hiring of a camera crew to document the spectacle, and executing a free concert designed to maximize the charitable impact would have required minimal effort and produced much more equitable results. Again, this is in no way an argument for what should have been done, but of what far reaching impressions are possible when thoughtfully planned out.

      More recently, Carnage announced that he opened a learning center in the poverty-ridden village of Villa Japón, Nicaragua. As education is the key to elevating a people from their financial bondage, this was a welcomed addition to the infrastructure of a community that is primarily constructed with plastic tarps, cardboard, and sheet metal. Just as it seemed as though Carnage had Big Papi’ed a generosity Green Monster, our eyes landedon the plaque located outside the learning center, which reads:

"On behalf of my Grandparents, the Chipotle Gang and myself, I want to dedicate this learning center to the kids in Villa Japón. My family always taught me as a child that "Charity starts at Home." - Carnage

      At first glance this seems like a conventional dedication for a progressive new institution, but read it carefully and think about the entities involved in the donation. At some point, the children of Villa Japón will learn to read through the learning center, will glance over the plaque, and will inquire “What is the Chipotle Gang?” They will return to the learning center to google the name, and will ultimately discover that it represents a faction of American gluttony in which an established food service company provides meals that offer more calories in one sitting, than the kids of Villa Japón receive in several days. This sentiment is further muddled by his public letter announcing the establishment of the learning center, which he signed with his common nickname, “PAPI GORDO.” (Translation: “Fat Daddy”).

      This argument has not been made in order to villainize DJ Carnage. At the end of the day, as our mothers taught us, it is the thought that counts. In this respect, Carnage passed with flying colors. He is merely referred to here as a demonstrative example of when good intentions can yield unexpected results. The purpose of pointing out these benevolent blunders is to suggest that as more artists and DJs decide to endow their resources to the public, they should make a point to do so in a controlled fashion that will maximize their reach and achieve the intended purpose. It's a great sign of maturity to remove one’s ego and take consideration for the global community that surrounds us. As a progressive and community driven genre of music, dance culture deserves to be represented in a manor that respects the inclusiveness of the scene, and we highly encourage those that choose to give back to consider the best use of their efforts before they implement action prematurely.