Hip-Hop group Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All was kicked out of Auckland, New Zealand’s Big Day Out festival line-up which runs from January 20 to February 5, over homophobic and misogynistic lyrics.
“The homophobic and misogynistic lyrics speak of homosexuals in derogatory terms and describe sexual violence against women,” reported BikyaMasr.com.
Apparently, this is not the first time that Odd Future has made headlines this month. On October 30, one of the group members, Left Brain, allegedly assaulted a photographer while Odd Future was playing at a concert in Chicago, the Voodoo Experience Festival. The group denied the charges.
Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All is known for their controversial lyrics, but what constitutes crossing the line?
According to the New Zealand Herald, the accusation came from an activist named Calum Bennachie, who wrote a letter to the BDO promoters, saying “Lyrics such as those played by Odd Future increase the societal discourse against LGBT people, a discourse that encourages bullying and violence.
“If it is acceptable to say something similar to ‘gays are a cancer on society that deserves to be eliminated,’ then what group would be next?” Bennachie continued, referencing Odd Future’s lyrics in question. “By allowing Odd Future to play at BDO, you are proving that you have little concern for the lives and welfare of LGBT people, that you are willing to endanger their lives, and seek to encourage stigmatization against them. I find this disappointing in an organization that could do so much to enhance the self-esteem of youth, reduce stigma, and discourage violence.”
Bennachie was granted his wish after the Auckland City Council found out that he had contacted the chairwoman of the council’s Parks and Heritage Forum, Sandra Coney.
“The messages in the songs are that LGBT people are immoral, evil, sick and worthless and therefore violence is an easy step for those who are already disposed towards violence,” Bennachie told the APNZ News Service. “I find it quite sickening […] it’s damaging to people, it’s damaging to society.
“Too often gay men are targeted as objects of violence or ridicule in the streets and the perpetrators feel safe in targeting them because of the messages contained in hate music like this,” Bennachie continued.
Tyler the Creator, Odd Future’s leader, denied accusations that his lyrics are homophobic to NME magazine. “I’m not homophobic,” he said. “I just think ‘faggot’ hits and hurts people. It hits. And ‘gay’ just means you’re stupid. I don’t know, we don’t think about it, we’re just kids. We don’t think about that shit. But I don’t hate gay people. I don’t want anyone to think I’m homophobic.”
So the moral of the story is that the group just needs to be a little more thoughtful in their rhymes?
This isn’t the first time that the festival has had to remove an artist from the line-up. Back in 2010, Beenie Man was removed from the BDO festival for nearly the same thing. “Gay rights groups expressed outrage at [Beenie Man’s] invitation due to lyrics such as: ‘I’m dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays,’ ” BikyaMasr.com reported.
Other artists who are scheduled to perform in the festival’s line-up include Kanye West, Girl Talk, SoundGarden and My Chemical Romance.