Tyler, the Creator' (back right) and the Odd Future at VGX
2013 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Getty.
The organiser of a group which campaigned against a visit
to New Zealand by hip-hop group Odd Future says she has fielded
death and rape threats after some of its members were refused
entry to the country.
The Los Angeles collective was meant to be playing at the
Rapture hip-hop festival in Auckland tomorrow but was refused
entry after being determined a threat to public order.
It was to be an emergency replacement after Kendrick Lamar -
one of the show's top billings - announced he was pulling out
because of an "unavoidable scheduling conflict".
However, in a statement this week Immigration New Zealand
said Odd Future had been deemed a potential threat to public
Border operations manager Karen Urwin said authorities
decided to decline visas to six group members after becoming
aware of a 2011 incident in Boston in which some witnesses
claimed group members incited fans to attack police officers.
In that incident, at an album signing for frontman Tyler, The
Creator, the group climbed on top of the shop and ran from
roof to roof. A police officer was hurt and a 13-year-old
Immigration NZ's decision came days after sexual violence
advocacy group Stop Demand emailed Auckland councillors,
criticising the decision to allow the group to perform at the
Western Springs event.
The email quoted several lyrics from Odd Future which
referred to rape.
Stop Demand founder Denise Ritchie said the organisation had
been inundated with hate mail since the decision was made
"Our Facebook page, I was told by a volunteer of our
organisation not to go into it because it was too vile...it
included a rape threat against me, a death threat and, I'm
not sure if it's still up, but a threat to burn my house
She described the decision to block members of the group from
New Zealand as great, and said the organisation was aware
that the reason was not because of the group's lyrics.
Stop Demand had targeted Odd Future and not the equally
controversial headline act Eminem because it had to pick its
battles, Ms Ritchie said.
Prime Minister John Key weighed in yesterday, saying that
while Immigration NZ would have had its reasons for
cancelling the visas, it would have been better if the
decision had not been last minute.
"There will be plenty of people who go to the concert who
will be feeling quite frustrated by that. I ran into a few of
them when I was coming off the plane arriving in Wellington
[yesterday]. People are frustrated."
He said Immigration NZ operated at arms' length from the
Government. "I'm sure they had their reasons. It's good if
they can communicate that early so the fans know."
He had not known about it until he saw it on the news. "I
know very little about their music apart from apparently a
lot of their lyrics are extremely provocative."
New Zealand rapper David Dallas, who is also playing at
Rapture, vented his frustration at the decision, via Twitter,
saying: "NZ Immigration looking very Draconian.".
Odd Future were last here in 2012. They were set to perform
at the Big Day Out, but had their performance axed after
complaints their homophobic lyrics encouraged bullying and
They denied they were homophobic, came anyway and performed
an incendiary sideshow at Auckland's Powerstation the night
before the Big Day Out.
- By APNZ and Hew Zealand Herald staff