KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- A popular Westport bar owner is hitting pause on a whole list of songs he says DJ’s are no longer allowed to play.
Rapper Drake and some of hip hop’s biggest artists are on the no playlist at a Johnny Kaw’s. The leaked list from a DJ training document also shows a dozen of artists including Cardi B, Migos and even a song by Beyonce and Jay Z.
Joshua Hudspeth shared the no playlist on his social media account in hopes of drawing attention.
“It feels like you’re trying to push out a certain group of people and that’s not right,” Hudspeth said.
The owner of Johnny Kaw’s, Brett Allred, said the majority of music they play is by African American artists. But it’s hard not to notice there isn’t one white artist named on the no playlist.
He said that all the songs and artists on the list have low beats per minute, sing about violence, drugs and have profanity.
“He can play the edited versions in his establishments,” Hudspeth voiced.
DJ Savy hasn’t worked at Johnny Kaw’s, but he does DJ at bars in Westport and in downtown.
“Yeah, at the Wine Fest I was playing Cardi B they loved it,” DJ Savy stated.
He said it’s an unusual request by the owner.
“I’ve never been in a situation where someone has said, ‘play this, don’t play this,’” DJ Savy said. “But it happens at a couple venues.”
Johnny Kaw’s has two locations in Westport.
The owner was unavailable for an interview Saturday but sent KCTV5 a statement that reads,
“Johnny Kaw’s and Johnny Kaw’s Yard Bar are sports bars. We have music guidelines that fit our concept as do all nightlife establishments. We choose to play primarily top 100 pop / hip-hop, country and classic rock songs that are profanity free, upbeat and above 90 beats per minute on average. We employ over 200 people of all backgrounds and demographics. We strive to create safe, fun and welcoming environments. Everyone is welcome here, but we don’t take music requests."
There was mixed reaction Saturday in Westport.
“Yeah, I probably wouldn’t go there, those are like all the songs we like to dance to,” Emily Becker, patron, voiced.
And someone defended the bar on social media by saying, “It’s his venue and he has the right to play whatever he desires.”
Hudspeth says it’s not a race issue, but he wants to understand the correlation between music and violence.
“I get it you’re a business owner you can play whatever you want to play. But it screams you want a particular group of people in your establishment,” Hudspeth said.
The owner of Johnny Kaw’s is opening four more establishments in Westport. They will fall under different names and concepts. Some fear the playlist restrictions will continue.