Published Feb 08, 2019Though he's already appeared in music videos shot in Saint Vincent and Iceland, Lil Berete has also been known to use the views of his Regent Park neighbourhood for clips like "Southside" and "Northside." Now, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) has warned the rapper that shooting videos on its property could get his family evicted.
Late last month, Berete shared a copy of a cease and desist letter from the organization that outlines a number of stipulations required to film on TCHC property. The letter makes mention of a required application to film, in addition to a mandatory $5 million insurance policy.
The letter also alleges that the rapper has broken no-smoking policies in common areas of TCHC buildings and has trespassed in "areas that are dangerous, and are not open to the public."
Speaking with NOW, Berete admitted he "was kind of scared" to receive the letter, adding, "I don't know why they threatened my mom. It has nothing to do with her. You guys can kick me out, but why kick her out? She's got two other kids to take care of."
Berete told the publication he became aware of the regulations after being approached by police during a photo shoot in his neighbourhood.
"They're cancelling your shows. They're following you in the neighbourhood. They're threatening to kick your mom out of community housing," Berete said. "If another rapper that isn't mentally strong heard this, they wouldn't keep rapping."
TCHC communications director Bruce Malloch told NOW that the letter was not meant to be interpreted as a threat, but rather "a firm letter that is setting clear expectations for our tenants. We're not trying to hold this individual back. We're just expecting that he and his group follow the rules for filming."
Malloch added that TCHC "will gladly work with our tenants to find the right way to do it" with regards to future videos. However, Berete told NOW that the warning comes off as hypocritical based on how TCHC workers and police have treated him as his star has risen.
"This whole summer I swear to god, police, people that work for Toronto Community Housing — at least 12 of them came up to me for pictures and signatures to show their daughters and sons," he said. "If you guys are going to send out a letter to me saying no more videos in the 'hood, then tell your kids to stop listening to my music, and stop coming up to me for pictures to show your kids."
Berete delivered his Icebreaker mixtape through New Gen/XL Recordings last year. Find the cease and desist letter below.