Hip-hop group canned from BDO over homophobic lyrics

By nzherald.co.nz staff, APNZ

There will be no Odd Future at this year's Big Day Out. File photo / Richard Robinson
There will be no Odd Future at this year's Big Day Out. File photo / Richard Robinson

A controversial hip-hop group has been ditched from the Big Day Out lineout because of its homophobic lyrics.

Music by hip-hop collective Odd Future features homophobic and misogynistic lyrics that speak of homosexuals in derogatory terms and describes sexual violence against women.

Wellington man Calum Bennachie wrote to Big Day Out promoters, saying: "lyrics such as those played by Odd Future increase the societal discourse against LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] 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?

"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 stigmatisation against them. I find this disappointing in an organisation that could do so much to enhance the self esteem of youth, reduce stigma, and discourage violence.''

Auckland City Council intervened after Mr Bennachie contacted Sandra Coney, chairwoman of the council's Parks and Heritage Forum.

Auckland City Council owns Big Day Out venue Mt Smart Stadium.

Big Day Out organisers could not be contacted for comment this evening.

Mr Bennachie told APNZ he had tried to listen to Odd Future's music, but turned it off promptly.

"I find it quite sickening. I don't like hate being propagated in ways like this. It's damaging to people, it's damaging to society.

"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.

"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.''

It is not the first time an act has been pulled from the Big Day Out over homophobic views.

Performer Beenie Man was pulled from the 2010 event after gay rights groups expressed outrage at his invitation due to lyrics such as: "I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays''.

Leader of Odd Future, Tyler the Creator, has previously denied accusations his lyrics are homophobic.

"I'm not homophobic,'' he told magazine NME.

"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.''

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