The raucous brand of rap music known as hyphy has been banned officially from Petaluma's Phoenix Theater following a recent shooting and a gun incident earlier this year.
Also, other acts headed to the all-ages concert venue will face more rigorous screening to ensure they are not a threat to safety.
"The hyphy genre promotes a culture of violence," said Bruce Hagen, president of the theater's board of directors. "We decided if someone is advertising themselves as hyphy, we are not going to book them."
Police lauded the move, approved by unanimous vote of the theater board late last week.
The fast-paced music born on the streets of Oakland encourages fighting and drugs and ushers in a "bad element," said Lt. Tim Lyons. "We're very happy they are taking a harder look at the concerts they are bringing to the Phoenix," he said.
The shooting happened in a parking garage outside a Dec. 6 hyphy concert that drew 350 young people. A dispute apparently arose between two groups of men inside the theater near the end of performances by Mistah F.A.B., J Diggs, Rydah J Klyde and Glasses Malone, theater officials said.
The men were escorted by security guards to their cars but apparently continued the fight in the nearby garage on Keller Street.
Shots rang out as police arrived, scattering a crowd of about 50 people gathered to watch. Two young men were wounded.
Police locked the garage in an attempt to round up witnesses and suspects. So far, no arrests have been reported, and the identities of the wounded men have not been disclosed.
It was the second gun-related incident this year.
In January, police arrested a 17-year-old from Concord who retrieved a gun from his car after being kicked out of the theater during a hyphy show. Police said he was carrying a loaded 9mm pistol when they chased him down outside the club.
After the January incident, some directors urged an immediate ban on hyphy. Instead, theater managers canceled three shows and stepped up oversight. Young people and promoters complained that a ban would be unfair and could feed stereotypes about rap music.
It wasn't immediately clear how many hyphy shows have been staged since.
The Dec. 6 lineup was checked out in advance and raised no red flags, Hagen said.
"We did what we thought was necessary the first time around," Hagen said. "The second time around we improved on it."
Now, theater managers will do more rigorous screening, including checking a performer's past shows and such things as fan-based Web sites for signs of trouble, Hagen said.
The review will be applied to all acts, from punk rock to hip-hop. Rap performer Del tha Funkee Homosapien will appear tonight as scheduled.
But hyphy shows of any kind are forbidden, Hagen said.
No hyphy concerts were previously booked, so there are no pending cancellations, he said.
"The Phoenix isn't a place for that kind of scene anymore," Hagen said.
You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 762-7297 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat