The LA hip-hop stars had their visas denied for several reasons, New Zealand immigration officials said, “including incidents at past performances in which they have incited violence.”
Odd Future will not be performing a scheduled show in New Zealand this weekend, or even setting foot in the country for that matter. Immigration officials banned the hip-hop hooligans from entering the “Lord of the Rings” nation after they were deemed a threat to the public.
In an official statement, Immigration New Zealand said: “Odd Future has been 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.”
Border Operations Manager Karen Urwin told reporters this decision to deny visas to six group members came after authorities became aware of a 2011 incident in Boston where violence was provoked against police. Then, group leader Tyler, the Creator was signing autographs at a comic store when police showed up in response to the large number of fans. News reports said people then climbed on the roof and shouted insults at the police, which some viewed as inciting violence.
The L.A. rap collective were supposed to perform at Saturday night’s Rapture hip-hop festival in Auckland, headlined by Eminem and featuring Action Bronson and J. Cole on the bill. Odd Future was to be an emergency replacement after Kendrick Lamar announced on Feb. 2 he was pulling out due to an “unavoidable scheduling conflict.”
Christian Clancy, the group’s manager, revealed via Twitter they were only made aware that visas were to be denied an hour before the flight. He 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.”
The group’s leader Tyler, the Creator also took to Twitter: “OF IS BANNED FROM NEW ZEALAND, AGAIN. THEY SAID WE WERE ‘TERRORIST THREATS AND BAD FOR THE SOCIETY’ OR WHATEVER. SICK. THEY ARE ANTI GOLF”
Tyler continued to point out the irony that Eminem has made very controversial songs such as “Kill You” and “Kim”.
It’s not the first time conflict has found met the band in New Zealand. In 2011, Odd Future was dropped from the country’s Big Day Out festival following criticisms of their lyrical content, which were accused of being homophobic, misogynistic and hateful.
Urwin told reporters this decision was not related to lyrics. She said, “If we banned people who used swear words, we wouldn’t have many people left in New Zealand.”
She also told Radio New Zealand that the ban was only on the group, and if members of the group wanted to travel there as individuals they would be welcome.
This ban will surely help add to Odd Future’s rebellious image, well founded on the group’s outlandish behavior and punk-like attitudes in concert with moshing and crowd surfing that have a history of inciting riots. Last year, in October, riot police stopped a Tyler, the Creator show at Low End Theory in Los Angeles before it even started. Earlier, in 2013, a riot broke out at a Tyler, the Creator show in Boulder, CO. And in 2011, a show at The Roxy in Hollywood erupted into a riot as well.
(via Hollywood Reporter)