There may be a crackdown coming for businesses in Atlanta, and some believe that it has targeted Black owners of nightlife establishments. Rolling Stone shared a report that leaders within the Peach State are looking to “change Atlanta’s nuisance property laws,” which, in turn, would give an easier, streamlined way for judges to “shut down a business after acts of violence.” The example of the Georgia Aquarium was used, a family-friendly location that happened to be across the street from the Encore Lounge, a hookah bar. Over the last two years, it’s reported that Encore Lounge had 171 calls made to the police, including a shooting incident that resulted in damage to a dolphin tank. The lounge was eventually shut down.

“Once you shoot at the dolphin tank, all bets are off,” said Dustin Hillis, an Atlanta city councilman. “I want everyone to go to enjoy nightlife. However, I want them to be able to return to their house at night and not have to worry about, you know, ‘Am I gonna get shot by a stray bullet for some beef by some other people that I don’t even know?’”

Killer Mike
Ian Gavan / Stringer / Getty Images

During an Atlanta City Council meeting, Killer Mike and 2 Chainz showed up to defend small Black business owners who may find their locations shut down.

“When you come around and you need donations, when you come around and you need votes, you come to us singers and dancers and club owners and we oblige you,” said the Run The Jewels rapper. “This is one of the only cities where entertainers and athletes have gone on to form a business class… When you go to New York, the clubs ain’t owned by people who look like you. When you go to Miami, you might get turned away by people who look like you that don’t feel like you deserve to be in the club.”

Mayor Andre Dickens spoke with RS about rappers making positive moves in the community and wanting to curb violence despite their lyrical content.

“I’ll say that a lot of musicians have a tremendous amount of value in the city as they continue to push out culture and help employ people on those things,” said Dickens. “I got a great relationship with them. I’ll tell you that they actually on the mic, they say one thing, but in various other places, they also say, you know, ‘We want to make sure that crime stops.’ They don’t want their car windows broken out, their businesses burglarized.… So, a lot of times the conversation is multifaceted when I’m talking to them.”

It has been argued that business owners can’t control every action of their patrons, so if something does occur, they risk losing their livelihoods because of the actions of a customer or even someone on the street passing by.

Check out Killer Mike at the City Council meeting below.