Call to ban rap group

AMY MAAS
Last updated 08:21 13/02/2014
Tyler, the Creator
Reuters
LOVE HIM OR HATE HIM: Tyler, the Creator of Odd Future.

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A group lobbying against sexual violence wants a rap group they say is infamous for its "rape and murder fantasy lyrics" banned from a concert in Auckland this weekend.

Stop Demand founder Denise Ritchie said the group was putting pressure on Auckland Council to ban Odd Future who are to perform at this weekend's Rapture 2014 at Western Springs Stadium.

"It is astonishing that in light of the nationwide outcry and soul-searching that arose over the Roast Busters' incident and the sexual callousness of some young men towards women, Auckland Council is about to allow a group that glorifies rape and rape culture to perform on council-owned property – and at an all ages event," Ritchie said.

Stop Demand said the group's incitement of fans extended beyond lyrics to real life. In an incident in Sydney last year, the band's lead rapper – Tyler the Creator – abused onstage a young Australian campaigner who spoke out about the group's lyrics.

Ritchie said the group had also contacted council-controlled Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) director Paul Brewer and Melbourne-based promoter Dainty Group's managing director, Tim McGregor.

Brewer told Fairfax Media he was not in a position to comment in detail as RFA were in discussions with the concert promoters.

"Obviously the promoters and Regional Facilities Auckland are aware of some of the concerns that people have expressed and we are looking to find what compromises we can find to ameliorate as many of those concerns as possible," Brewer said.

"I do think that the particular performer they are talking about, Tyler, has moved on from the type of lyrics that have been quoted and that's in his past. He's not the same performer. Those lyrics are in his past." 

Stop Demand was urging the council to "consider its ethical, moral and social responsibilities to hold the RFA" to its legal obligation under the Local Government Act 2002.

The act states that council-controlled organisations "exhibit a sense of social ... responsibility by having regard to the interests of the community in which it operates".

"Speech glorifying women as mere objects to be brutalised, raped and butchered at an all-ages event does nothing – we repeat: nothing – to improve the social wellbeing of resident," Ritchie said.

"It is completely irresponsible on the part of all parties involved." In 2011, Odd Future was axed from performing at Big Day Out at Mt Smart Stadium.

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Reggae artist Beenie Man was also axed in 2009 due to offensive and homophobic lyrics.

Tickets to this weekend's Rapture 2014 were sold out before Odd Future was named as a replacement for Kendrick Lamar.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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