Odd Future was denied entry to New Zealand Feb. 13 with officials saying the rap group is a potential threat to public order “for several reasons.”
The Ritz Ybor, Tampa, Fla.
November 2, 2011
The California hip-hop group was to join the Eminem-headlined Rapture festival at Auckland’s at Western Springs Stadium Feb. 15.
According to reports, Tyler The Creator, Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, Left Brain, Mike G and Taco Bennett were on their way to LAX airport when informed their visas had been withdrawn.
In a statement, Immigration New Zealand explained they were “deemed to be a potential threat to public order and the public interest for several reasons, including incidents at past performances in which they have incited violence.”
The act was added to Rapture’s New Zealand show at the last minute after Kendrick Lamar pulled out citing a “scheduling conflict.”
Odd Future was only added for New Zealand.
Lamar will join Rapture’s Australian dates next week. As soon as the New Zealand odd Future appearance was announced, sexual violence advocacy group Stop Demand emailed Auckland councilors complaining of the rap group’s lyrics.
Founder Denise Ritchie said, “It is astonishing that … Auckland Council is about allow a group that glorifies rape and rape culture to perform on Council-owned property and at an `all ages' event.”
The Auckland Council revealed Feb. 12, before the ban, that it was negotiating with organisers to modify Odd Future’s performance.
In a radio interview Feb. 13, Border Operations manager Karen Urwin explained that the visas were withdrawn due to a 2011 incident in Boston at which Odd Future members were accused of inciting fans to attack police at an autograph session at a comic store.
A 13-year-old was arrested, and a policeman was hospitalized with minor injuries. Urwin also cited an Australian incident when band members used a concert and Twitter to encourage the “harassment and stalking” of a woman who had objected to their act.
“She received a lot of threats to her personal safety and, again, it's not really behaviour we want to see here in New Zealand," Urwin told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint program.
Urwin added, “It’s not a decision we take lightly and not one that happens often.” She emphasized that it was rare for New Zealand to ban musicians on character concerns.
“If we banned people who used swear words, we wouldn’t have many people left in New Zealand,” she said.
Odd Future was refused permission to enter the country in 2011 to play the Big Day Out festival. At the time, Auckland City Council objected to the group’s “misogynistic and homophobic” lyrics.
The group’s manager, Christian Clancy, tweeted: “sorry new zealand apparently this group of kids that have inspired the shit out of me for the last few years are a threat to society. ... and thanks for the hour before flight heads up. after approving and issuing visas.”
Odd Future leader Tyler The Creator said in a separate tweet: “They said we were ‘terrorist threats and bad for society’ or whatever. Sick. They are anti-golf (sic).”
The Australian Rapture tour, through Paul Dainty’s Dainty Group, begins at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne Feb. 19.
It heads to Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium Feb. 20 and winds up at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium Feb. 22.
Aside from Lamar, the Eminem-curated bill includes J. Cole, Queens MC Action Bronson, and Australian rappers 360 and M-Phazes.