Pusha T (aka Terrence Thornton) caused a social media firestorm Monday night (June 1) when he tweeted about being denied entry to a club — an unusual event on its own for the veteran rapper — in his native Virginia Beach, allegedly because he was black.
Pusha T Talks New EDM Side Hustle: ‘It’s Going to Be a New Wave’
As the rapper told Billboard in an exclusive interview Tuesday, he headed to the club with a few friends for drinks after finding that the neighboring Central 111 was relatively empty. One of Thornton’s friends was ahead of him in the line to enter — but as the doorman was giving his friend a wristband, the club’s owner allegedly walked by and told the doorman to insist that the club was “guest list only” that night, thereby refusing the group entry.
You whispered a little too loud last night @jlinds112 @venue112 we heard u tell your doorman, “tell them we are on guest list only tonight.” Unfortunately your other worker had already put the band on my friends wrist and wasn’t hip to your racially motivated instructions. Doormen, we aren’t angry with u. You were only doing your job and as doormen u are to do what you are told, i understand. You will correct this wrong with me, I eat breakfast in the area most mornings as well as workout extremely close by. Ask around abt me. @wtkr3 @wavy_news @103jamzradio @z104fans @hot91online
Thornton said that there was no guest list visible, and added that even though his friend already had a wristband on, he was still denied entry. Even the surprised protests of other potential patrons who recognized the rapper (who is something of a local legend) didn’t sway the staff. Frustrated, Thornton took to social media to share his experience and warn others away from the club.
Within hours, similar accounts began pouring in from fellow would-be patrons of Venue 112 alleging the establishment’s racist door policy. “I’m literally typing about an imaginary ‘guest list,’ ” Thornton told Billboard, “and [it turns out] this is a running theme! I had no idea.”
Listen to Pusha T’s Kanye West-Produced Song ‘Lunch Money’
The rapper couldn’t recall ever being confronted with such “blatant racism,” as he put it, in his hometown. “The only reason that me and my friends didn’t fit the mold was because we were black,” Thornton said.
Though he says the incident was “hurtful,” the rapper is looking for neither retribution nor apology. So why did Thornton decide to take the incident public? “I wanted to tell people that I wasn’t exempt from it either,” he explained to Billboard. “People may think that I have it easier in some ways, but this shows that racism even overpowers business. I understand what other members of my community are going through.”
Billboard reached out to Venue 112 for comment.
Last night should’ve never happened @venue112 . These “imaginary guest list” u impose on potential black patrons is a slap in the face to the Great Neck community, Virginia Beach, and the 757 as a whole. My phone has been ringing since 6am with stories abt your racist ways. A history of reviews online and on social media share in a seamless thread of bigotry involving your establishment. I will never come there again. You didn’t know me last night but u will learn everything abt me. And u will correct this wrong.