The dress “G”-code

by Spencer Doar


While taking a peak at T.I.’s performance information at Epic Friday, April 19, I ended up reviewing the dress code—something I always find interesting.  Amongst all of the usual trappings of a night out on the town (no flip-flops/open toed sandals, hats to the front, no baggy pants) was something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before: No face or neck tattoos. 

While all of the other requirements can be adjusted by a trip to the closet, that part of the code excludes people on the basis of their ‘physical’ appearance.  While codes are generally an exercise in not-so-subtle keep-your-gang-nonsense-out-of-our-establishment rules, this is…tattoo profiling? Under those rules Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, The Game, Birdman, and I'm only naming some rappers, couldn't attend the show.  

While owners and promoters will inevitably use the same “keeping out the bad elements” argument, it seems to slip farther down the slope of ethical concerns.  Is “no intimidating looks or appearances” going to be next?   

Oh, and they have the catch-all “no gang colors” rule which I always take exception to as, when you think about it, every color, someplace or other, is a gang color.  While solid blue and red are “a-duhs” when it comes to Crips and Bloods, the splintered nations of the Folks and People claim just about everything else under the sun, or a combination thereof.